Major Requirements

Listed below are the requirements for the Religious Studies major. In addition to the requirements for the major, students must also satisfy all of the University General Education Requirements and the College of Letters & Science Degree Requirements. Degree requirements will vary depending on when you took your first college class. You are strongly advised to consult both the Religious Studies advisor and your L&S advisor to ensure you stay on track towards a degree.

Religious Studies Major Requirements

The religious studies major requires completion of at least 33 credits, including at least 18 in upper-division courses (numbered 300 and above) of which at least 15 must be taken in residence at UWM. In satisfying these requirements, students must select courses from at least three different curricular areas. The College requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA on all major credits attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work. The required 33 credits must be distributed as follows:

The following is recommended:
Introduction to World Religions
Required Methods
Select one of the following:3
Seminar in the Study of Religion: Theories of Religion (or equivalent)
Methods and Theory in the Historical Study of Religion: (or equivalent)
Required Capstone Experience 1
Select one of the following research options:3
Seminar in History: (with research conducted on a religion-related topic)
For students with additional major(s), upper-level research seminar in the additional major that focuses on a religion-related topic
A 3-credit independent study on a religion-related topic
Senior thesis in another program/department on a religion-related topic
Research paper focused on a religion-related topic as approved by the director
Select 27 credits (see below)27
Total Credits33

In all cases, the religious studies director must approve the topic to satisfy the research requirement. Majors are required to file the appropriate research/capstone approval form prior to completion of their research/capstone course.


All majors are required to complete at least 27 additional credits beyond the core courses. Nine elective credits must be distributed among three different religious traditions. A religious tradition course must focus primarily (more than 50%) on one specific religion. Twelve of these 27 credits must be numbered 300 or above. 

AFRIC 311African Religious Thought and Social Organizations (Indigenous religions)3
AFRIC 312The Church in African-American Life (Christianity)3
AIS 106Anishinaabe Ethnobotany: Plants in Anishinaabe Philosophy3
AMLLC 240Vampires: From Slavic Village to Hollywood (Indigenous religions)3
ANTHRO 203Indigenous Religions (Indigenous religions)3
ANTHRO 305The Celtic World3
ANTHRO 314American Indian Societies and Cultures (Indigenous religions)3
ANTHRO 326Peoples and Cultures of South Asia3
ANTHRO 351Anthropological Theories of Religion3
ANTHRO 543Cross-Cultural Study of Religion3
ANTHRO 544Religious Giving in Anthropological Perspective3
ARABIC 111Cultures and Civilizations of the Muslim Middle East (Islam)3
ARABIC 390Islam: Religion and Culture (Islam)3
ARTHIST 101Ancient and Medieval Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 102Renaissance to Modern Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 104African, New World and Oceanic Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 105Asian Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 237Northern Renaissance Art3
ARTHIST 241Introduction to Baroque Art3
ARTHIST 251Introduction to the Art and Architecture of Latin America3
ARTHIST 255Survey of Italian Renaissance Painting and Sculpture3
ARTHIST 270Pre-Columbian Art, Myth, and Legacy (Indigenous religions)3
ARTHIST 281Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art3
ARTHIST 312Minoan and Mycenaean Art and Archaeology3
ARTHIST 314Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East3
ARTHIST 315Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt (Indigenous religions)3
ARTHIST 316Roman Art and Archaeology (Indigenous religions)3
ARTHIST 323Age of Apocalypse: Western European Art after the First Millennium3
ARTHIST 324Early Christian and Byzantine Art and Architecture (Christianity)3
ARTHIST 325Early Medieval Art in the West3
ARTHIST 326Chivalry and Spirituality: French Gothic Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 327Caliphs, Emirs, & Kings: Art & Architecture of Medieval Spain (Islam)3
ARTHIST 333High Renaissance Art in Italy3
ARTHIST 371African Art (Indigenous religions)3
ARTHIST 372Art of the Inca and their Ancestors (Indigenous religions)3
ARTHIST 373Art of Ancient Mexico and Central America (Indigenous religions)3
ARTHIST 375Art of the Aztec Empire (Indigenous religions)3
ARTHIST 380Chinese Painting3
ARTHIST 382Chinese Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 383Japanese Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 386Art, Ritual, and Ethnicity of China3
ARTHIST 387Buddhist Art and Architecture (Buddhism)3
ARTHIST 412Cities and Sanctuaries of Ancient Greece (Indigenous religions)3
ARTHIST 431Renaissance Architecture in Italy3
ARTHIST 474Maya Art (Indigenous religions)3
CELTIC 133Celtic Crossings: Overview of the History and Cultures of the Celtic World3
CLASSIC 170Classical Mythology (Indigenous religions)3
CLASSIC 201Introduction to Greek Life and Literature3
CLASSIC 202Introduction to Roman Life and Literature3
CLASSIC 274Ancient Egyptian Civilization (Indigenous religions)3
CLASSIC 301The Life and Literature of Classical Athens: Herodotus and Dramatists3
CLASSIC 302War and Politics in Ancient Greece3
CLASSIC 303The Life and Literature of the Roman Empire3
CLASSIC 351Ancient Greek Religion (Indigenous religions)3
CLASSIC 370Hittite Myth and History (Indigenous religions)3
CLASSIC 390Egyptian Mythology (Indigenous religions)3
COMPLIT 231Literature and Religion:3
ENGLISH 454Milton (Christianity)3
GEOG 333Muslim Geographies: Identities and Politics (Islam)3
GLOBAL 371Rethinking Global Security3
HEBREW 201Third-Semester Hebrew (Judaism)4
HEBREW 202Fourth-Semester Hebrew (Judaism)4
HEBREW 301Modern Hebrew Literature I in Hebrew (Judaism)3
HEBREW 302Modern Hebrew Literature II in Hebrew (Judaism)3
HIST 131World History to 15003
HIST 175East Asian Civilization to 16003
HIST 201The Ancient World: The Near East and Greece (Buddhism)3
HIST 202The Ancient World: The Roman Republic and Empire3
HIST 274Ancient Egyptian Civilization (Indigenous religions)3
HIST 280Islamic Civilization: The Formative Period, ca. 500-1258 (Islam)3
HIST 282The Modern Middle East in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries3
HIST 284Buddhism Across Asia (Buddhism)3
HIST 303A History of Greek Civilization: The Greek City-State3
HIST 304A History of Greek Civilization: The Age of Alexander the Great (Indigenous religions)3
HIST 307A History of Rome: The Republic (Indigenous religions)3
HIST 308A History of Rome: The Empire (Indigenous religions)3
HIST 318Medieval Civilization: The High Middle Ages3
HIST 319The Era of the Crusades (Christianity)3
HIST 329The Roman Catholic Church, 1500 to the Present (Christianity)3
HIST 330The Papacy in History (Christianity)3
HIST 358The Jews of Modern Europe: History and Culture3
HIST 364The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism & the Fate of Jewish People in Europe, 1933-453
HIST 370Topics in the History of Religious Thought:3
HIST 379Introduction to Jewish History3
HIST 380Buddhism: A Cultural History (Buddhism)3
HIST 386Africans in World History: Communities, Cultures, and Ideas3
HIST 393History of Mexico3
HIST 452History of Religion in American Life to 18703
HIST 453History of Religion in American Life Since 18703
HIST 454God at the Movies: American Religion in Fiction and Film3
HIST 594Methods and Theory in the Historical Study of Religion:3
ITALIAN 333Dante's Divine Comedy in Translation (Christianity)3
JEWISH 100Introduction to Judaism (Judaism)3
JEWISH 101Jewish Culture in America: History, Literature, Film (Judaism)3
JEWISH 131Introduction to Biblical Studies (Judaism)3
JEWISH 230Bible Stories (Judaism)3
JEWISH 231Introduction to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (Judaism)3
JEWISH 232Survey of the Literature of the Post-Biblical Period (Judaism)3
JEWISH 234Survey of Modern Hebrew and Jewish Literature in Translation (Judaism)3
JEWISH 235The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible (Judaism)3
JEWISH 261Representing the Holocaust in Words and Images (Judaism)3
JEWISH 282Jewish Identity in Contemporary America (Judaism)3
JEWISH 331Topics in Biblical Literature:3
JEWISH 332Women in the Bible (Judaism)3
JEWISH 358The Jews of Modern Europe: History and Culture (Judaism)3
JEWISH 368Jewish and Christian Responses to the Holocaust (Judaism)3
JEWISH 379Introduction to Jewish History (Judaism)3
JEWISH 411Old Testament Texts:3
JEWISH 449Modern Jewish Thought (Judaism)3
LATIN 306Readings in Latin Literature:3
PHILOS 204Introduction to Asian Religions3
PHILOS 207Religion and Science3
PHILOS 250God, Faith and Reason3
PHILOS 304Buddhist Philosophy (Buddhism)3
PHILOS 350Introduction to the Comparative Study of Religion3
PHILOS 431History of Medieval Philosophy (Christianity)3
PHILOS 461Islamic Philosophy and Mysticism (Islam)3
PHILOS 474Contemporary Religious Thought:3
PHILOS 475Special Topics in Indian Religious Thought:3
POL SCI 215Ethnicity, Religion and Race in American Politics3
RUSSIAN 361Russian and Slavic Folklore3

Relevant language courses above the second semester will be counted as electives toward the Religious Studies major with approval of the coordinator. Students can take up to 10 credit hours of foreign language beyond the second semester if the language chosen is related to their future goals or research interests. Again, the use of such language courses as electives requires approval of the coordinator.

Optional Concentration

Religious Studies majors have the option of focusing their programs of studies on one or more religious traditions. To discuss this option, please contact Program Director David Divalerio at