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Religious studies encompasses historical, literary, social, and scientific approaches to the study of religion. It explores the nature of religion as a system of human thought and practice, the ways in which religions influence human identity and culture, and developments within religious traditions. The academic discipline of religious studies seeks neither to make students religious nor to discourage religious beliefs and practice; rather, religious studies focuses on understanding religion as a dimension of human identity and culture.

Students earning degrees in Religious Studies will investigate the interaction of religious beliefs and practices with the world's political, social, cultural, and economic developments. They can explore the ritual and symbolic aspects of religion, investigate the formation of the world's major religions, and examine religion's socio-political characteristics. Still other courses look at religious ideas in their historical contexts or investigate the various approaches to the study of religion.

Declare This Major

Undergraduates currently enrolled at UT who wish to declare a religious studies major must first meet with a religious studies advisor. There is no formal application process. For more information, visit the student affairs page on how to declare a major.

Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit UT Admissions to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

Required Courses

Visit the religious studies degree plan to view all required courses for the religious studies major in the College of Liberal Arts.

View religious studies degree requirements and course descriptions for additional information.


The Department of Religious Studies offers courses in four areas of specialization:

  • Area I: Religions of Asia
  • Area II: Religions of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
  • Area III: Religions of the Americas
  • Area IV: Approaches to the study of religion and comparative studies of religion

Students take at least one course in each area and then select a primary area from any of the four listed above.

What can I do with this major?

Wondering how you'd turn this major into a career? Remember: your major does not always determine your career path. Career counseling and assessments at the Vick Center can help you explore.

Major ≠ Career

Graduates with this major pursue many different careers, depending on their interests and experiences. Make yourself more marketable by complementing this major with part-time work, volunteering, internships, a certificate program, or graduate school.

Experience + Degree = Career

The Career Service Offices in your college can help you with internships and jobs. They work closely with employers to help students prepare for career opportunities. Read a few inspiring stories by professionals whose experiences led to great careers.


To learn more about what the religious studies student experience is like, learn more about the related student organizations.


A degree in religious studies is beneficial for students seeking careers in government, law, medicine, social services, journalism, the ministry, academics, or any other field which values critical thinking, an ability to communicate clearly, and a sensitive awareness to cultural variation. By analyzing religion as a dimension of human identity and culture, Religious Studies prepares students to be educated citizens in a diverse and pluralistic society.