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The Department of Religious Studies offers DePaul students the opportunity to engage in the academic study of religion. The study of religion includes not only the traditional areas of sacred texts, myths, rituals, mystical experiences and doctrines, but also the ways in which political, social and economic forces shape these phenomena for religious communities. Drawing on a host of academic disciplines, religious studies challenges students to encounter the traditions of the world in all their rich diversity. Given the complexity of the subject matter, members of the department draw upon several other academic disciplines -- anthropology, art history, biblical studies, economics, environmental studies, ethics, gender studies, history, linguistics, literature and literary criticism, political science, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and theology -- as they do their work.
Beyond work with texts, students may also study religion through the media of film and video, music, the visual and dramatic arts, and the internet. The department emphasizes comprehensive learning in writing, synthetic and analytic thinking, and oral communication skills. Students can go beyond their course work with further learning opportunities, such as the senior thesis, independent study, study abroad and internships, and service learning, both locally and internationally.
A religious studies major or minor is positioned to pursue a wide variety of careers. A bridge between the specialist's perspectives on religion and a wider world that is often in need of these perspectives, religious studies majors have worked in the fields of law, social work, regional and international business, governmental and non-governmental service, secondary school teaching, and service in religious communities. A religious studies major is also well-prepared for further studies in graduate programs leading to careers in academia.
The Department encourages students in all major concentrations and minors to engage various questions related to the study of religion, such as (but not limited to):
- What is religion?
- How do religious communities come into being and define themselves?
- How do religious communities form worldviews, doctrines, and practices, and how does the study of religion help us to understand their change over time?
- How do sacred texts come into being, and what do they communicate to us?
- How does religion shape culture, and how does the wider culture define religion?
- What is the role of religion in the contemporary world?
- How do religion or religious sensibilities help us to relate (or hinder us from relating) to each other?
- How can an informed student of religion evaluate the rival claims to truth and moral rightness of different religious and secular ideologies?
- How do religious traditions and texts treat issues of sexuality and gender, race and class?
- How have religious traditions interacted with each other in the past, and how do they continue to do so today?
|Program Requirements||Quarter Hours|
|Liberal Studies Requirements||84|
|Total hours required||192|
Students will be able to:
- Identify, analyze, and critically compare some significant elements of religion - such as myth and narrative, symbol, ritual, sacred texts, law and doctrine, ethics, experience, and systems of cosmic, social, and individual order - as they are manifested in religious traditions across culture, time, ethnicity, race, or gender.
- Apply to religious phenomena various theories, methodological perspectives, and experiential approaches.
- Evaluate the relationship between religion and other elements of culture and society regarding such issues as the relation between religion and other elements of culture and society regarding such issues as the relation between religion and moral values, religion and power, and religion and personal transformation.
- Identify and apply scholarly resources and/or field methodologies from religious studies in a research paper.
- Support and defend in writing an integrated vision of the field of religious studies expressed in a focus on the student’s area(s) of interest.
College Core Requirements
Study in the Major Field
The student’s course of study in the College consists of three parts: Liberal Studies, the major field, and electives. Together these three parts contribute to the liberal education of the student which is the common purpose of all study in the College. By “liberal education” the College understands not only a deep and thorough knowledge of a particular area of study but a knowledge of the diverse areas of study represented by criticism, history, the arts, the behavioral and social sciences, philosophy, religious studies, the natural science, and mathematics.
The major field program generally is built upon a set of core courses and a specialized “concentration.” The number of courses required for a major varies by department. Most students go beyond the minimum requirements, electing additional courses which both broaden and deepen their understanding of their chosen discipline.
Because no academic major program is built in isolation, students are required to pursue a number of electives of the student’s choice. The inherent flexibility of this curriculum demands that the student consult an academic advisor at each stage in the total program and at least once prior to each registration.
Students will be prompted to visit the College Office for their official graduation check early in their senior year.
Declaration of Major, Minor and Concentration
All students in the College are required to declare a major field prior to beginning their junior year. The student will then be assigned a faculty advisor in the major field department or program and should make an appointment to see that advisor at his or her earliest convenience.
Students must declare or change majors, minors, and concentrations, via Campus Connection. However, for the purpose of exploring the possibility of changing a major field, the student should consult an academic advisor in the Office for Academic Advising Support.
The Modern Language Requirement (MLR)
All students will be required to demonstrate competence in a modern language (i.e., a language other than English) equivalent to the proficiency attained from one year of college-level language study. This Modern Language Requirement (MLR) may be demonstrated by:
- placing into 104 or above on the DePaul language placement exam
- completing the last course or earning AP/IB credit for the last course in the first-year college sequence of any language (e.g. 103 for DePaul language classes)
- completing a college course or earning AP/IB credit for a college course beyond the first-year level in any language (e.g. 104 or above for DePaul language classes)
- completing the final course of a four-year sequence of the same modern language in high school1
- completing a proctored exam by BYU and passing the exam (see the Department of Modern Languages website for registration details)
- completing a proctored Written Proficiency Test (WPT) by Language Testing International (LTI) and achieving a score of Beginner High or above (see the Department of Modern Languages website for registration details)
Students are strongly encouraged to take the DePaul language placement exam even if they have met the MLR via study of a language in high school. This will ensure continuation of language study at the proper level.
Students who complete an Inter-College Transfer (ICT) to the College will abide by this MLR in place on the effective date of the ICT, regardless of when they first matriculated at DePaul.
Students who have met the MLR and wish to pursue further work in the language may elect the “Modern Language Option” (MLO) of the Liberal Studies Program (see "Special Programs").
External Credit and Residency
A student who has been admitted to the College begins residency within the college as of the first day of classes of the term in which the student is registered. Students in residence, whether attending on a full-time or part-time basis, may not take courses away from DePaul University without the written permission of the college. Permission must be obtained in advance of registration to avoid loss of credit or residency in the college; see the LAS website for more information.
Liberal Studies Requirements
Honors program requirements can be found in the individual Colleges & Schools section of the University Catalog. Select the appropriate college or school, followed by Undergraduate Academics and scroll down.
|First Year Program||Hours|
|LSP 110 |
or LSP 111
|DISCOVER CHICAGO |
or EXPLORE CHICAGO
|LSP 112||FOCAL POINT SEMINAR||4|
|WRD 103||COMPOSITION AND RHETORIC I 1||4|
|WRD 104||COMPOSITION AND RHETORIC II 1||4|
|Quantitative Reasoning & Technological Literacy|
|LSP 120||QUANTITATIVE REASONING & TECHNOLOGICAL LITERACY I 2||4|
|LSP 121||QUANTITATIVE REASONING AND TECHNOLOGICAL LITERACY II 2||4|
|Multiculturalism in the US|
|LSP 200||SEMINAR ON MULTICULTURALISM IN THE UNITED STATES||4|
|REL 390||INTEGRATING SEMINAR 1,3||4|
Students must earn a C- or better in this course.
Readiness for LSP 120 is determined by the math placement test taken online after admission. Students may need to take developmental coursework prior to LSP 120. The LSP 120 requirement may be waived by credit already earned for advanced math coursework or by passing a dedicated proficiency exam. Students who complete both LSP 120 and LSP 121 take one less Learning Domain course. Students may not apply the course reduction to any Domain where only one course is required, and if taken within the SI Domain, the reduction cannot be applied to the SI Lab or SWK requirement.
A student majoring in Religious Studies (REL) is required to complete the Capstone offered by the REL Department. This is the case even if a student is double majoring (or pursuing a dual degree) and the secondary major (or degree) requires its own Capstone. An REL major in the University Honors Program shall take the University Honors Capstone and the REL Capstone.
- 3 Courses Required
- 2 Courses Required
- 2 Courses Required
- Not Required
- 3 Courses Required
[1 SWK Course, 1 Lab Course, and 1 Additional Course]
- 3 Courses Required
Courses offered in the student's primary major cannot be taken to fulfill LSP Domain requirements. If students double major, LSP Domain courses may double count for both LSP credit and the second major. Students who choose to take an experiential learning course offered by the major may count it either as a general elective or the experiential learning requirement.
In meeting learning domain requirements, no more than one course that is outside the student’s major and is cross-listed with a course within the student’s major, can be applied to count for LSP domain credit. This policy does not apply to those who are pursuing a double major or earning BFA or BM degrees.
The Religious Studies major requires all students to take 13 courses (52 credit hours), of which at least six courses (24 credit hours) must be at the 300-level.
The following five Core Courses are required:
|REL 103||RELIGIOUS WORLDS IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE 1||4|
|REL 298||METHODS AND APPROACHES IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION||4|
|REL 300||THEORIES OF CULTURE AND RELIGION||4|
|REL 302||THEORIES OF RELIGION AND ETHICS||4|
|REL 390||INTEGRATING SEMINAR (taken for Liberal Studies Capstone requirement)||4|
Students need to take eight additional courses (32 credit hours), at least three of which must be at the 300-level (12 credit hours) and the remaining at the 200-level.
Students interested in the specialized study of Catholicism or Islam should consult the Department of Catholic Studies or the Islamic World Studies Program.