Whatever you think of it, whether you are devoutly religious or are somewhere in-between, religion is a very big deal. It shapes the people we are and the communities we live in. It influences how we interact with our sexualities and the natural environment. While religion can fill our personal lives with meaning, it can also foster intolerance, ignorance, and even hatred and violence on a social level.

It affects our sensibilities around ethnicity, class and race; our attitudes about medicine, contraception and the end of life; and our approaches to poverty, immigration, social justice and war. Religion is everywhere.

The Department of Religion engages students in the study of diverse religious phenomena and their historical, social, political, economic and cultural contexts. From small seminars to large lectures, students gain exposure to a fascinating range of religious traditions, texts, peoples, and practices and disciplinary approaches to studying religion that hone their critical, comparative and communicative skills.

Religion at Rice features an undergraduate major and minor that both bring undergraduates into a dynamic community with distinguished faculty and their distinctive lines of research. Religion undergraduates collaborate with faculty advisers to construct individualized concentrations of study close to students’ interests and faculty expertise. They also talk regularly with faculty and graduate students at monthly teas, majors’ dinners, open houses and alumni guest lectures. With 10 courses for the major, and six courses for the minor, students construct their own concentrations with minimal requirements. 

Training in the study of religion equips majors to think critically, creatively and comparatively about religious practices, beliefs and traditions. Engaging in discussions with faculty, undergraduate peers and graduate students, majors come to hone their academic interests and see how the knowledge and skills they build in the major contribute to myriad professions and shape them as religiously literate individuals. So, what exactly do religion majors do after graduation? They go on to professions across the fields of medicine, law, journalism, education, politics, public policy, nonprofits and even the academic study of religion.

Major: Religion

Minor: Religion

Learn more about Religion in the School of Humanities >