Major in Religious Studies


The departmental major consists of 12 courses in the department:

  • Religion 170 (or 171): Introduction to Religion
    • Required of all majors and minors as a foundational or “gateway” course to be taken as early as possible in the course of study. There are no substitutions for this course, so please plan ahead.
  • Religion 395: Theories of Religion
    • A capstone course designed for senior majors or well-advanced juniors
  • Ten other religion courses
    • Of these 10 courses, at least 5 must be at the 300 or 400 level
  • Religion 396-1,2
    • Senior Thesis Seminar (not required for major, but precondition for departmental honors)
      In the fall and winter terms of the senior year, majors may enroll for 396-1,2 and will write a senior thesis of approximately 30-50 pages. Students who wish to take 396-1,2 must take these courses in addition to the 12 courses normally required for the major.

Course Substitutions

Students may substitute as many as 2 courses on religion from outside the department. These must be taken from the list of approved courses below, or with approval from the departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Mira Balberg [], Crowe Hall 4-137, 1860 Campus Drive.

  • Anthro 350: Anthropology of Religion
  • Hist 270: Islam in History
  • Hist 355: Islam in Africa
  • Hist 371: Islamic Institutions
  • Hist 374: Historical Background of Jewish-Muslim Relations
  • Phil 266: Philosophy of Religion
  • Soc 314: Sociology of Religion and Ideology

To propose another course for substitution approval, please submit a course description and syllabus, accompanied by a written request, to Professor Mira Balberg at her departmental box [Religious Studies office, 4th floor, Crowe Hall 4-134].

Double Counting Rules

Many courses offered at Northwestern fit more than one requirement. In some situations, a Weinberg student taking such a course can count it toward multiple requirements; in other situations, such “double-counting” is not allowed.

The Registrar's website provides a useful summary of Weinberg College double-counting rules for specific majors and minors.