Where a religious studies degree can take you

Lucas Smalldon

"As a personal identity, I shed religion at a very young age. But here’s the thing—religion is interesting. Throughout human history it has been our primary vehicle to explore chief identity questions and construct ethical architectures.

In class, professors forced my mind to fold and furrow over complex philosophical, historical, literary, and ethical material. I had the chance to read some of the most transformative and influential texts in human history. All the absorption, reflection, and discussion that characterized my experiences in the Religious Studies classroom have dramatically enhanced my capacity to think, write, and speak (to work, in other words)."

-Lucas Smalldon (BA '12)

What do people with IU Religious Studies degrees do?

Majoring in religious studies provides students with the critical thinking skills, writing skills, and general knowledge of the world necessary to perform a tremendous variety of professional tasks. While some religious studies majors pursue graduate study or careers in fields directly associated with religion, many others pursue further graduate and professional education or careers in other fields. Undergraduate majors in religious studies have long been valued by law schools, business schools, medical schools, public policy programs, and a wide variety of employers and graduate programs.

The study of religion grants one access to a wide range of human possibilities; it broadens and deepens one's understanding of the diverse richness and mystery that attends being human. Students majoring in religious studies will not only be better equipped to understand people of very different backgrounds, but will also learn much about themselves: how their ideas and values were formed, how they differ from others, and the significance of these differences. This is knowledge that will remain relevant for a lifetime, and is the key to a life of conscious choice.

The Department of Religious Studies strives to insure that majors are well prepared for life after college. The religious studies advisor is available for career and graduate school consultation, and serves as a liaison to other career services on campus. For those students who wish to go on to graduate school in religious studies, the department encourages students to consult with faculty members about their experiences pursing graduate degrees.