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Requirements & Forms

In order to receive the Masters of Religious Studies, a student must complete a minimum of 36 or 30 credit hours depending upon the course of study she chooses. The Masters of Religious Studies offers two tracks: a coursework intensive track (36 hours) and a thesis track (30 hours including thesis research, writing, and oral defense). Students typically declare which track they intend to pursue at the end of the first year of study.

In addition to coursework requirements, students must earn a 3.0 GPA at the end of their first term and maintain a 3.2 GPA in subsequent semesters.

The requirements are as follows:

Coursework Intensive track

(1) Thirty-six hours of intensive coursework. As part of these thirty-six hours, a student successfully must complete:

1. RelS 8200 Pro-Seminar in Advanced Theory and Method (3)
2. At least one course from each of the following areas (6):
• History of Religions (Abrahamic Traditions)
• History of Religions (non-Abrahamic Traditions
3. One course in comparative / thematic approaches to religions (3)
4. One course in religion and ethics / politics (3)
5. Additional electives (21 graduate level hours) from either Religious Studies or affiliated courses (see below) to bring the total to thirty-six hours. Because the interests and goals of each student are distinct, students are highly encouraged to consult their academic adviser when selecting courses to complete the program of study.
6. And submit one paper representative of high quality graduate level research and writing along with the CIT submission form.

Thesis track

(1) Twenty-four hours of coursework, including the following distribution requirements:

1. RelS 8200 Pro-Seminar in Advanced Theory and Method (3)
2. At least one course from each of the following areas (6):
• History of Religions (Abrahamic Traditions)
• History of Religions (non-Abrahamic Traditions)
3. One course in comparative / thematic approaches to religions (3)
4. One course in religion and ethics / politics (3)
5. Additional electives (9 graduate level hours) from either Religious Studies or affiliated courses (see below) to bring the total to twenty-four hours. Because the interests and goals of each student are distinct, students are highly encouraged to consult their academic adviser when selecting courses to complete the program of study.

(2) Six hours of RelS 8999 Thesis Research
(3) A thesis (Follow the "Thesis Information" link to learn more about the prospectus, research and writing processes.)
(4) An oral thesis defense

Restrictions that apply to both tracks

1. Only six hours of credit transferred from another institution may be applied towards the Georgia State M.A.
2. Of the hours taken at Georgia State and applied toward the M.A, no more than six hours may be from outside the Department of Religious Studies.

Letters of recommendation

Each faculty member in the department writes letters of recommendation at her/his own discretion, but all faculty members are willing to write letters for students regardless of which M.A. track they complete.

Foreign language competencies

Depending upon their area(s) of concentration, students who wish to go on to pursue a Ph.D. in Religious Studies may need to initiate or complete studies in a particular language or languages before beginning doctoral studies. Students are urged to consult with their advisers for advice and direction concerning language competencies.

The M.A. with distinction

Students who meet all of the following requirements shall be awarded the M.A. with distinction:

1. A graduate Georgia State GPA of 3.50 or higher in courses applicable to the Religious Studies M.A.
2. A thesis that, upon vote of the committee grading the thesis, is judged to merit distinction.
3. A determination by the Director of Graduate Studies that the student's graduate record at Georgia State University is one of distinction.