The Department of Religious Studies, established in 2005, offers both B.A. and M.A. degrees. The Department offers a broad range of courses, with particular focus on 1) religion and public life and 2) religion and globalization. Research and coursework in religion and public life recognize the impact that religion has on U.S. (and Atlanta) public policy, media, business, education, and non-profit activity. As CNN’s Belief Blog recently noted, “It’s impossible to understand much of the news without knowing something about religion.” Research and coursework in religion and globalization examine religious communities throughout history and around the world, and the impact of growing religious diversity in the United States. Thus the study of religion touches on every aspect of human life.
Faculty members – holding degrees from institutions such as Harvard, Princeton, Emory, and University of California, Santa Barbara – have won some of the most prestigious awards in the country (Fulbright, NEH, and both the State of Georgia’s and the American Academy of Religion’s Awards for Teaching Excellence). They offer expertise in Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, religion in America, and other world religious traditions.
The program offers over fifty different courses, including study abroad opportunities. In addition, students can explore the interdisciplinary nature of the field by taking topical comparative courses. Students regularly participate in the University Undergraduate Research Conference, the Southeast Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR), and the American Academy of Religion (AAR). Students majoring in Religious Studies at Georgia State have gone on to study at some of the top graduate programs in the world, including Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, Brown, Columbia, Chicago, Berkeley, and Princeton. In addition, graduates of the program work in business, law, politics, the media, education, and non-profit settings.
Throughout the year, the Department offers special activities and resources for majors, including workshops on how to apply to graduate school and career opportunities for students with religious studies majors. In Spring 2011 we began offering a drop-in writing lab to help students complete their course assignments successfully and develop critical reading and writing skills. In addition, we have a lively community, with faculty and students meeting regularly for pizza, informal Brown Bag Lunch seminars, our annual Student Symposium, and other events throughout the year. Come join us!