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Philosophy and Religious Studies

College of Arts and Humanities
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Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies
L & L Building Room 337
(509) 963-1818

Religious Studies Major (50 credits or 60 credits)

If you are interested in declaring a Religious Studies Major, please see the Declaring the Major page for more information.

The Religious Studies major is a path of inquiry into the nature of religion, its pervasive role in human life, and its contribution to understanding human existence.The program is comparative in nature, but complemented by a philosophical component focused on religion and unique electives designed to accommodate student interests. Students may choose either a 50- or 60-credit major. In order to graduate, a student who completes the 50-credit major must also have a minor or second major in another discipline. A student who completes the 60-credit major is not required to have a minor or second major.

Departmental Honors in Philosophy and Religious Studies

The honors program in Philosophy and Religious Studies recognizes the exceptional scholarship of qualified students in either the Philosophy or Religious Studies major. To qualify, students must have completed at least 25 credits in their major and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall and 3.5 in their major coursework.
In addition to their normal coursework, students seeking departmental honors must take one additional upper dicision course in their program, complete a superior thesis (RELS 497: Honors Thesis) to be evaluated by a second reader from the departmental faculty, and make an oral presentation. Students graduating with honors will have that accomplishment recorded on their transcripts. 

Religious Studies Major (50 credits or 60 credits)


Required Course Credits: 35

RELS 101 - World Religions Credits: (5)

RELS 102 - Food, Sex, and the Other: Everyday Religion and Morality Credits: (5)

OR  RELS 103 - World Mythologies Credits: (5)

PHIL 352 - Greek and Roman Philosophy Credits: (5)

OR  RELS 403 - Buddhist Thought and Practice Credits: (5)

RELS 376 - Contemporary Religious Thought Credits: (5)

Capstone Project: Choose either the senior seminar or the two quarter thesis sequence.

RELS 488 - Senior Methodologies Seminar Credits: (5)

OR Thesis Sequence:

RELS 494 - Undergraduate Thesis Preparation Credits: (2)

RELS 495 - Undergraduate Thesis Credits: (3)

OR  RELS 497 - Honors Thesis Credits: (3)


Select One - Eastern Tradition

PHIL 345 - Chinese Philosophy Credits: (5)

RELS 351 - Religions of China and Japan Credits: (5)

RELS 352 - Religions of India Credits: (5)

RELS 401 - The Daoist Tradition Credits: (5)


Select One - Western Tradition

RELS 353 - Judaism Credits: (5)

RELS 354 - Christianity Credits: (5)

RELS 355 - Islam Credits: (5)

RELS 413 - Varieties of Early Christianity Credits: (5)


Department-approved Electives Credits: 15-25

Any upper-division RELS courses. Select upper-division PHIL courses or upper-division courses related to religion in other disciplines by approval. Small majors (50 credits) require 15 elective credits; large majors (60) require 25 elective credits.


Total Credits: 50 or 60

View major requirements and current curriculum in CWU's Online Electronic Catalog.

The Online Electronic Catalog (OEC) is the official University´s compilation for all curriculum. The OEC will serve as the basis for major, minor and program requirements for the academic year.

For current policy and curriculum requirements refer to CWU online catalog. When a printed catalog is produced, its publication will take place immediately following the freezing of the OEC for that year. Undergraduate catalogs are valid for five years.

Students must follow that catalog for major and program requirements that are in effect at the time they are admitted to the major. Please contact your academic department if you have questions. For current policy and curriculum requirements refer to CWU online catalog.


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