Undergraduate Study

Study of Religion BA

Capstone Major

The Study of Religion major is a designated capstone major. Students must complete an advanced seminar that provides unique opportunity to work closely with a faculty member on a focused topic of research. Through their capstone work students are expected to demonstrate their ability to plan and carry out a major project, apply subject matter and research methods knowledge to produce a paper or other research project, and organize information into a coherent and persuasive form for oral presentation to their peers.

Learning Outcomes

The Study of Religion major has the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrated ability to plan a major project that concludes with writing a cogent and convincing document
  • Application of knowledge of a wide-ranging bibliography and of methods of research to thoroughly prepare for seriously engaging an interviewee or for writing the prospectus describing the major project
  • Development of skills essential to taking oral histories or doing field research in Los Angeles’s multicultural population
  • Ability to organize research data into a coherent and persuasive form for oral presentation to peers
  • Demonstrated empathy as a critic of a wide array of religious traditions, institutions, and practices

Preparation for the Major

Required: Study of Religion M4 or 11, and two courses from Ancient Near East 10W, Anthropology 3, Asian M60, History 1A, 1B, 1C, 9A, 9C, 9D, 9E, M10A, 10B, 11A, 11B, Philosophy 2, 21, Study of Religion M10, M50, M60A through M60E, M60W, M61, M61W.

Transfer Students

Transfer applicants to the Study of Religion major with 90 or more units must complete the following introductory courses prior to admission to UCLA: one history of religions course, one philosophy of religion course, and two courses from sociocultural anthropology, Buddhism, history of Western civilization, Asian civilizations, civilizations of Africa, and history of China.

Refer to the UCLA transfer admission guide for up-to-date information regarding transfer selection for admission.

The Major

Required: Twelve upper-division courses, including (1) Study of Religion 101, 191 (capstone seminar), (2) one theory and methods course from Anthropology 130, 142P, Study of Religion 110, 120, 150, 160, 177, 180, M186C, (3) two religious ideas, practices, and institutions in context courses from Ancient Near East 162, Anthropology 114P, 162, 168P, Arabic 120, Art History CM115A, C120, 150A, 152A, 154A, 154B, 156, Asian 151, 162, Chinese 165, C175, Classics 166A, 166B, M167, English 111A, 111B, 111C, 145, 156, Greek 130, Hebrew 120, 130, History 108A, 121B, 174A, M182C, 185B, Iranian 170, Japanese 161, Jewish Studies M150A, Korean 165, 172, Philosophy 100B, 104, 107, 155A, Study of Religion M105A, M105B, M105C, M106A, M107, M108, M109, M132, M133, M135, 140, M142C, M155, M161A through M161D, M172, M173C, M174D, M174E, M178, M182A, M182B, M184A, M185D, M186A, M186B, World Arts and Cultures C142, C151, (4) seven elective courses selected from items 2 and 3 above.

Student are encouraged to select courses that focus on a specific religious tradition or traditions, or on a set of thematic issues important to the study of religion. During their senior year students must complete the capstone seminar, Study of Religion 191.

A course may be taken twice, on different topics, for credit toward the major where repetition is allowed by the department offering the course. A maximum of two upper-division courses in an ancient language relevant to the course of study may be applied toward the major requirements with consent of the adviser.

A maximum of 12 units of special studies courses (197, 198, 199) approved by the adviser may be applied toward the major. Each course for preparation for the major and the major must be taken for a letter grade.

Honors Program

The honors program provides exceptional students with an opportunity to do independent research under the tutorial guidance of a faculty member. Students admitted to honors should take three Study of Religion 198 courses under the guidance of the sponsoring professor. The first 198 course should be taken in spring quarter of the junior year, the second during the following fall quarter, and the third during winter quarter of the senior year. The three courses count as part of the regular requirement of 12 upper-division courses. The program culminates in an honors thesis.

To qualify for admission students should have a minimum grade-point average of 3.4. The 198 courses designed for the program and the thesis topic should be approved by the committee in charge of the major.

For further information, contact the student affairs officer or the faculty adviser at the program address.