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
Theories of Religion (or equivalent)
HIST 594
Methods and Theory in the Historical Study of Religion: (or equivalent)
Required Capstone Experience 1
Select one of the following research options:3
HIST 600
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


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 region. Twelve of these 27 credits must be numbered 300 or above. The list of approved electives is posted on the program’s website.

Relevant language courses above the second semester will be counted as electives toward the Religious Studies major. Relevant languages depend on the student’s primary concentrations in religious studies but potentially include Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, German, Spanish, French, Italian, or other languages with approval of the director. Majors must file the appropriate forms with the director to receive approval for language courses.

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 the Program Director.