Why Religious Studies?

The Department of Religious Studies (REL) is part of the School of Humanities within the College of Arts & Sciences. Our majors graduate with a Bachelor of Arts and go on to graduate school, medical school, law school, or choose to enter the workforce in a wide variety of public, private, governmental, and non-profit agencies.

Why should I major/minor in Religious Studies?

Students who major or minor in Religious Studies gain a thorough knowledge of, and appreciation for, various religions and their pervasive and multifaceted role in shaping world history, literature, art, culture, politics, and economics. Such knowledge and appreciation are essential for informed citizenship in our increasingly globalized world, and will serve students who pursue careers in education, journalism, law, business, government, public policy, social work, and health care, as well as of thosewho continue their studies by entering various professional or academic graduate degree programs.

Our faculty and staff are committed to our students' success at USF and beyond.In and outside the classroom, our faculty assist and challenge students to develop their skills in critical thinking, reading, speaking, and writing so they can perform well and communicate effectively in the workplace or in any competitive professional or academic degree program.

Are there Opportunities for Career Planning and Undergraduate Research?

Yes.The undergraduate curriculum in Religious Studies exposes students to career planning activities in core required courses in the major.All faculty are available for directed undergraduate research.All of our majors and minors get hands-on research experience in the capstone course, Seminar in Religion, in which students must submit an original research paper at the end of the course.

What Skills Emphasized in the Major are Transferrable to the Workplace?

  • Critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking.
  • The ability to evaluate different methods of conducting research.
  • Literacy about various religious and ethical traditions.
  • The ability to work effectively and collaboratively with people of different ages, genders, races,ethnicities, nationalities, cultures, religions, and sexual orientations.
  • The ability to work in teams and to exercise leadership.

What are My Prospects for Employment upon Completing a Major or Minor in Religious Studies?

Religious Studies majors not only attain a deep understanding of religion and culture, they also develop skills transferable to any job or career. Although majors may not find work directly related to their study, “Inside Higher Ed” claims fields such as ours provide graduates with “insights and a way of analyzing the world, without intending their career to be specifically” in their field.

But who actually hires Religious Studies majors? What opportunities are out there? Examples of companies hiring Religious Studies majors are: Amazon.com, State of Florida, Florida Hospital, Accenture, Anthem Blue Cross, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., NBC, Charter Communications, University of Florida, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Disney, Nexstar Broadcasting Group Incorporated, among many others.

There are many additional career options for students with Religious Studies. Click here for our "Careers for a Religious Studies Degree" flyer that can provide you with additional insight regarding potential skillsets and career possibilities.

Please visit USF's Career Services or ask to speak with a faculty member in Religious Studies for further informationabout possible careers in the field.

Tips & Ideas for Incoming Students

  • Make contact with your advisor and professors. They are interested in your academic development, and welcome your visits during their posted office hours. Please contact our academic advisor, Andrew Bird, for specific questions about our undergraduate program.
  • Have transcripts from ALL institutions (high school, college, community college) and organizations (IB, CLEP, AP) sent to USF for review.
  • This degree has a foreign language exit requirement. This major accepts any foreign language offered at USF that has a two semester sequence. If you have experience with a foreign language, including ASL, you will be required to take a placement exam at USF to determine your level and to see if you can test out of the courses.You are STRONGLY encouraged to complete this placement exam prior to or during orientation.
  • All freshmen will have an AA hold placed on their account which prevents them from registering until they see an advisor.Once you have decided that USF is the right place for you, make an appointment as soon as possible after orientation to see your advisor.
  • Visit the College of Arts & Sciences information page for First-Year Students