Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Religious studies

College of Humanities and Sciences

 
Program description

The mission of the Religious Studies Program at VCU is to advance understanding of the nature, history and diversity of religious traditions.

Religious studies is guided by the idea that studying humanity's diverse and developing religious traditions is vital to understanding what it means to be human and how to live wisely as members of the world community. Students explore the artistic, ethical, literary, psychological and social dimensions of religions, as well as the relationship between religious ideas, institutions, and practices and matters of gender, sexuality, race, nationality, health, social justice, human rights and nature.

Religious studies emphasizes excellence in written, oral and visual interpretation and communication, critical thinking, informed dialogue, and global citizenship. Combining classroom- and community-based learning through study-abroad programs, internships and community service, religious studies empowers students to engage intellectually and practically with diverse communities and work to build a peaceful, generous and affirming society.

Career opportunities

● Education, government and business

● Business, law

● Nonprofit


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Clergy
  • Community and social service specialist
  • Community health worker
  • Director, religious activities and education
  • Funeral director
  • Market research analyst/specialist
  • Paralegal and legal assistant
  • Regional planning aide
  • Religion teacher, postsecondary
  • Social and human services assistant
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 131
Science required
  • Core only
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
Department name:
School of World Studies
Building/room location:
312 North Shafer Street
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 827-1111
Email:
info-sws@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Take RELS 108.
  • Take a foreign language through the 102 level.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond, including its museums, parks, festivals, and cultural events!
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations on campus.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs(OMSA) website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Attend VCU’s annual Intercultural Festival.
  • Explore diverse religious traditions in the greater Richmond community.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers and job titles in field of study.
  • Complete Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile with Career Services.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs throughout the year to explore your interests.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with academic or career advisor.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility).

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses. Complete the major exploration form.
  • Take core courses: RELS 311, 312, and 340.
  • Talk to your professors about interests, and strategies for success in your degree program.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA).
  • Join a student club or organization.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break, and other leadership and service events.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend the SWS Student Research Conference and other Internationally-focused events.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Interact with diverse religious traditions in the greater Richmond community.
  • Consider Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Build intercultural competence by engaging with international students on campus.
  • Continue taking foreign language courses to enhance marketability in global workplace.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest in religious studies.
  • Create a draft resume and come to drop-ins at VCU Career Services to have it reviewed.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs throughout the year to explore your interests.
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See a SWS advisor at least once, each semester to discuss degree progression.
  • Continue taking major courses and upper level requirements.
  • Start developing your World ePass portfolio
  • Students considering graduate school should discuss research projects with SWS faculty.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Create and complete a religious studies related community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Attend a program through the Wellness Center.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Participate in summer or semester-length internship or service-learning experience abroad.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the School of World Studies.
  • Consider applying for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore research or volunteer opportunities requiring in-depth knowledge of religious traditions and practices.
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
  • Apply for summer research funding through UROP.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to a career/academic advisor or a faculty member about whether graduate school or a job fits your career goals.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
  • Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before anticipated graduation.
  • Take RELS 490 Senior Capstone.
  • Complete the experiential learning requirement (either credit-bearing or volunteer).
  • Complete World ePpass by middle of final semester.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Consider jobs in the nonprofit sector.
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
  • Attend professional conferences that offer student rates or scholarships.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Develop communication and interpersonal skills for future work on diverse teams.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs events.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship through VCU’s National Scholarship Office.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Present at the Student Research Conference and Senior Symposium.
  • Gain practical experience through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Take on a leadership role in a student organization or club or go deeper in your service opportunities.
  • Network, Network, Network!
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Review your personal statement or cover letter, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Religious studies

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Take RELS 108.
  • Take a foreign language through the 102 level.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs(OMSA) website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Attend VCU’s annual Intercultural Festival
  • Explore diverse religious traditions in the greater Richmond community.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with academic or career advisor.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility).
Experience Year 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses. Complete the major exploration form.
  • Take core courses: RELS 311, 312, and 340.
  • Talk to your professors about interests, and strategies for success in your degree program.
  • Attend the SWS Student Research Conference and other Internationally-focused events.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Interact with diverse religious traditions in the greater Richmond community.
  • Consider Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Build intercultural competence by engaging with international students on campus.
  • Continue taking foreign language courses to enhance marketability in global workplace.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest in religious studies.
  • Create a draft resume and come to drop-ins at VCU Career Services to have it reviewed.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs throughout the year to explore your interests.
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
Year 3
  • See a SWS advisor at least once, each semester to discuss degree progression.
  • Continue taking major courses and upper level requirements.
  • Start developing your World ePass portfolio
  • Students considering graduate school should discuss research projects with SWS faculty.
  • Create and complete a religious studies related community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Attend a program through the Wellness Center.
  • Participate in summer or semester-length internship or service-learning experience abroad.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the School of World Studies.
  • Consider applying for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
  • Explore research or volunteer opportunities requiring in-depth knowledge of religious traditions and practices.
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
  • Apply for summer research funding through UROP.
  • Talk to a career/academic advisor or a faculty member about whether graduate school or a job fits your career goals.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
  • Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before anticipated graduation.
  • Take RELS 490 Senior Capstone.
  • Complete the experiential learning requirement (either credit-bearing or volunteer).
  • Complete World ePpass by middle of final semester.
  • Develop communication and interpersonal skills for future work on diverse teams.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs events.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship through VCU’s National Scholarship Office
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Present at the Student Research Conference and Senior Symposium.
  • Gain practical experience through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Take on a leadership role in a student organization or club or go deeper in your service opportunities.
  • Network, Network, Network!
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Review your personal statement or cover letter, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services