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Religious Studies Certificate

Contact: Susan Shapiro
Office: 732 Herter
Phone: (413) 545-4464

The Faculty

Susan Shapiro (Judaic Studies) Director; Lynne Baker (Philosophy); Carlin Barton (History); Aviva Ben-Ur (Judaic Studies); Joyce Berkman (History); Jay Berkovitz (Judaic Studies); Richard Bogartz (Psychology); Anne Broadbridge (History); James Cathey (Languages, Literatures and Cultures); N. Chris Couch (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures); Debbie Felton (Classics); Stephen Harris (English); Sherrill Harbison (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures); Elizabeth Keitel (Classics); Arthur Kinney (English); Sara Lennox (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures); Sara McGaughey (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures); Stephen Miller (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures); Brian Ogilvie (History); Marios Philippides (Classics); Teresa Ramsby (Classics); Reiko Sono (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures); Banu Subramanian (Women’s Studies); Robert Sullivan (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures); Anna Taylor (History); Emily West (Communication).

The Program

The university offers a Certificate in Religious Studies to undergraduates who complete six courses to be selected from courses (including Independent Study) at the university and at the other Five College campuses. The interdisciplinary program studies the role of religion in human affairs, aiming to: a) provide a focused study of religion, emphasizing its importance in cultural and global affairs; and b) offer an integrated program of courses, research, and lectures at the university. This program does not pursue sectarian religious instruction. Instead, it promotes analytic and comparative study within the framework of a general education. The diversity of religious systems and world views is stressed, as are methods of study in the humanities and social sciences.


1. A minimum of six courses related to the study of religion (with a total of 18 credits) is required with a grade of B or better in each. No courses may be taken Pass/Fail. The grade requirement applies only to these six courses.

2. One of the six courses must be HISTORY 112 Introduction to World Religions to be offered each fall. 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).

3. 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.

4. Students may receive up to six transfer credits for work done elsewhere, based on an evaluation of such work by the undergraduate adviser.

5. Upon completion of the above requirements, a certificate will be awarded at the time of graduation from the university.

A complete course listing is available at