Jun 22, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Religious Studies Pathway Guide

Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.

Preparation for Transfer as a Religious Studies Major

The following sequences are suggested courses to take in your semesters prior to transferring to SMU as a religious studies major. For students attending a Texas public community college or university, Texas Common Course Numbers (TCCNS) are listed.  If you are transferring from a college or university outside of Texas, click on the SMU course for a course description which may be used to select/compare courses at your current institution.

UC listings refer to SMU’s University Curriculum, which all undergraduates are required to complete. Refer to the University Curriculum Transfer Guide for a list of courses satisfying UC components. Interactive equivalency guides organized by transfer institution are available on the Transfer and Transition Services’ website.

Save all of your course syllabi! 

B.A. in Religious Studies

Semester I

Semester II

Semester III

Semester IV


*The second language requirement may be satisfied by (1) transferring two terms of college courses in the same world language, (2) placing out of four terms of a world language by taking an SMU placement test or through AP or IB credit, or (3) being literate in a native language other than English.

The Religious Studies Program

The Department of Religious Studies  is committed to fostering greater understanding of the roles of religion in the contemporary world and throughout history. Its approach is interdisciplinary, employing methods drawn from across the humanities and social sciences to examine the world’s religious traditions as social, cultural and historical phenomena. In addition to exploring the development, practices and beliefs of different religions, courses emphasize analytical skills, critical reflection, persuasive argumentation, and strong writing. Challenging courses employ one or more of the following methodological approaches: philosophical, historical, social, scientific, and literary. The requirements of both the major and minor are flexible, allowing students to tailor their programs of study to their own needs and interests. Class sizes are usually limited to 35 or fewer students.  Many students double major in religious studies and another field.

Possible Career Paths

Students graduate from this program with a global perspective, sensitivity to cultural diversity, and a strong liberal arts background. They pursue careers in a variety of fields, such as law, education, social services, medicine, ministry, journalism and business.  Recent graduates have accepted positions in the Peace Corps, Teach for America, denominational publications and church ministry. 

Majoring or Minoring in Religious Studies

A Major in Religious Studies  requires 30 semester hours of work in the department, 24 of which must be in courses numbered 3000 or above.  Students planning to pursue graduate studies are strongly encouraged to complete 12 hours of either French or German as early as possible.  

To Minor in Religious Studies , 15 semester hours must be completed in the department, nine of which must be in courses numbered 3000 or above.  The minor has no specific required courses, allowing students to tailor their plans of study to individual needs and interests.

Preparing for a Smooth Transfer

A seamless transfer to SMU and the Religious Studies major requires planning. This guide is designed to assist you in planning your transition. Transfer students who take time to prepare for their move to SMU are some of our most successful students. The following are a few important points to remember:

  • The second language requirement of the University Curriculum may be satisfied by 1) transferring two terms of college courses in the same world language, 2) placing out of four terms of world language by taking an SMU placement test or through AP or IB credit, or 3) being literate in a native language other than English.
  • SMU accepts AP scores of 4 or 5.
  • Work on the University Curriculum prior to transfer is highly encouraged.
  • Compare Course Descriptions found in SMU’s University Catalog to course descriptions at your current institution to maximize your awarded transfer credits.
  • For additional information on the Religious Studies major, visit the department homepage or call 214-768-2095.
  • For more information about transferring to SMU, click here or call 214-768-3417.

SMU Degree

A degree from SMU is typically comprised of a minimum of 122 hours, 60 of which must be completed through SMU, 42 of which must be in courses at the 3000 and higher levels. Components of the degree include:

  • Courses in your major.
  • Courses required for the University Curriculum (UC).  
  • Elective courses.  These electives may be used to add a second major or minor.

The University Curriculum (UC)

The University Curriculum is required of all undergraduate students and consists of three main components: 

  1. Foundations - 6 hours of Discernment and Discourse courses, 3 hours of Quantitative Foundation courses, 2 hours of Personal Responsibility and Wellness courses, proficiency in a second language and 3 hours of a Ways of Knowing course (offered only at SMU)
  2. Breadth and Depth - 7 Breadth and 3 Depth courses which may double count with majors and minors
  3. Proficiencies and Experiences - 6 Proficiencies and Experiences requirements, met through Breadth and Depth coursework or approved, noncredit activities.

Apply Now!

Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.