University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Requirements

As an interdisciplinary program that stresses the role of religion in human affairs, the Religious Studies Certificate program requires six courses taken from a variety of departments. History 112, Introduction to World Religions, provides a foundation for the certificate. One of the five other courses must be an integrative course, intended to be both comparative in focus and a culmination of study in the field. The remaining four courses, no more than two of which can be in the same department, are meant to offer different disciplinary approaches to the phenomena of religion.

  1. Basics:  A minimum of six courses related to the study of religion (with a total of 18 credits) is required.

    • Students may receive up to six transfer credits for work done elsewhere, based on an evaluation of such work by the undergraduate adviser.
    • No courses may be taken Pass/Fail. The grade requirement applies only to these six courses.
    • A grade of B or better is required in each of the required six courses.
  2. Foundation for the Certificate:  One of the six courses must be HISTORY 112 Introduction to World Religions to be offered each fall.
     
  3. Integrating Studies:  In addition, one of the six must be an integrative course such as an advanced Seminar in Religious Studies (if offered) or an appropriate independent study (400 level).
     
  4. Diverse Traditions and Disciplines:  The remaining four courses may be selected from a large number that are regularly offered at the university and the other Five-College campuses. At least three of the four courses must be at the upper division level, and not more than two of the four may be taken in the same discipline or department. Each student will be advised by the director regarding the choice of courses.
     
  5. Completion:  Upon completion of the above requirements, fill out the certificate audit worksheet (PDF) and return it to Program Director, Susan Shapiro. Once completed, receipt of the certificate will be noted on your transcript at the time of graduation.