Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Send us your questions and we'll post them here, with the answers, of course!
How can I find a religious organization to meet my spiritual needs?
The Religious and Spiritual Life website offers a fairly comprehensive list of religious student organizations (RSO's) and private religious organizations and advisers representing the Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Pagan traditions. Most of these organizations have a website (we've provided links) or you can email or phone the contact person to get more information. Or contact us and we can help.
Does UMass Amherst offer a major in religious studies?
UMass Amherst does not have a religion department, but students can create their own major through the Bachelor's Degree with Independent Concentration (BDIC) program. UMass also offers an interdisciplinary Religious Studies Certificate Program, and UMass students can take religion courses at the other Five Colleges. You can earn a certificate in Buddhist studies through the Five College Buddhist Studies Certificate Program. More information can be found on these programs' websites:
- Religious Studies Certificate Program
- Bachelor's Degree with Independent Concentration (BDIC)
- Five-College Buddhist Studies Certificate Program
Does the University employ any chaplains or other religious advisers?
No, all religious advisers either serve in a voluntary capacity or are paid by their respective religious organization (e.g. the Newman Catholic Center, Hillel, etc.)
What is the Religious Affairs Committee?
All of the ministers, priests, rabbis and other clergy who serve as religious advisers for students at UMass Amherst, are members of the Religious Affairs Committee (RAC). Through their participation in the RAC, these religious advisers are formally recognized by the University and can receive certain privileges such as University email accounts, ID cards, parking, etc.
How does someone become a religious adviser at UMass Amherst?
A detailed explanation of the process, and all of the necessary forms, can be found on this website. Information for prospective religious advisers