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Degree Requirements

Course Requirements - Majors

Required Courses (6 credits): 

Reli 1000, Introduction to Religion

(also is Non-Western & Cultural Context Humanities CH)

Reli 4000, Theories of Religion

Concurrent Concentration I (9 credits)

Students should acquire a focused concentration by taking three courses (1) on a single religion, or (2) on the religions of particular region or culture. Courses may be from a limited time period or spread across history. Students may choose from established concentrations or create their own concentration in consultation with their advisor. [Six credits must be upper level.]

Concurrent Concentration II (9 credits):

Students should take three courses in a religion, region, or culture differing significantly from that of the concentration. [Six credits must be upper level.]

Electives (9 credits):

Three courses in Religious Studies (RELI) chosen in accordance with the student’s interests. [Six credits must be upper level.]

 Language Requirement (12 credits):

 A minimum of 2 years of the same foreign language

Honors:

If a student wishes to pursue an Honors designation in Religious Studies, two additional requirements must be fulfilled:

  • A three-credit Thesis Seminar or Internship, during which a research paper is written, or other suitable research project is carried out.
    • [Usually taken during the Senior year.]
  • Demonstration of competency in a foreign language equivalent to a fourth-semester college-level course.

 

Course Requirements - Minors

The minor in religious studies requires a student to complete 18 hours of relevant courses, all with a grade of C or higher. These should consist of courses as set out below:

  • RELI 1000, Intro to Religion
  • Reli 4000, Theories of Religion (capstone course)

Twelve hours of courses focusing on issues in the study of religions, nine of which should be at the 3000-level or higher. These courses should focus on aspects of individual religions or of several religions at once. They may be chosen from: (1) any RELI course, (2) the Religious Studies list of approved courses in other departments, OR (3) selected in consultation with the Religious Studies Advisor. 

Approved List of Courses (Approved 2/1/2007):


ANTH 1200 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 2210 North American Indians
ANTH 4300 Anthropology of Religion
ART 2720 Introduction to Art and Culture of Classical Islam
ENGL 2170 The Bible as Literature
ENGL 2340 Native American Culture and Literature
ENGL 4190 Milton
PHIL 2300 Ethics in Practice
PHIL 2310 Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 3300 Ethical Theory
PHIL 3320 Eastern Thought
PHIL 4560 Metaphysics
SOC 3200 Sociology of Religion

Student Learning Outcomes - Majors

A student who majors in Religious Studies at the University of Wyoming will be able to:

Demonstrate critical thinking about religions.

  • Describe and compare the key features of five world religions.
  • Explain in detail how the key features compare in two world religions.
  • Delineate the key features of a religion and discuss how they interact.

Delineate how scholars have variously defined “religion” and its key components, including cultural contexts, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of those definitions and their historical contexts, and analyze the methodologies arising from theories of “religion.”

  • Describe how different scholars have defined “religion” and the histories of those definitions; evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of those definitions; discuss cultural assumptions embedded in definitions.
  • Explain how the definitions relate to the features of at least two of the world’s religions.
  • Demonstrate understanding of different theories of what constitutes a religion and how those theories relate to actual religions.
  • Articulate how different definitions and/or theories provide insights into religious phenomena.
  • Apply in-depth knowledge of a theory of religion to religious phenomena.

Analyze how a religion’s components interact with the culture to which it belongs, explaining how it shapes and is shaped by the surrounding society.

  • Articulate how religions shape aspects of people’s everyday lives. Discuss aspects such as: family organization and relationships, social structure, food choices, clothing choices, ethical behavior, or gender roles.
  • Analyze how religions interact with popular culture (as evidenced by literature, visual arts, film, music, TV, the Internet, etc.) and how that interaction functions to influence public opinion and belief.
  • Analyze how non-religious aspects of societies shape religions and vice versa.

Use standard, neutral, and objective scholarly terminology to explain and critique religions. This includes speaking and writing about religions in a balanced way, without prescription or prejudice, advocacy or polemics, or devotional or apologetic perspectives.

  • Demonstrate the use of academic and analytical terminology relevant to the field of Religious Studies.
  • Use neutral, descriptive terminology in papers, oral presentations, and class discussions.
  • Discuss religions and their features using the language of academic discourse.
  • Develop critical empathy in the evaluation of ambiguous and/or controversial phenomena.
  • Distinguish between analytical representations of religion and truth-claims that require belief.
  • Synthesize in-depth knowledge of the features of at least one religion using theories of religion.

Student Learning Outcomes - Minors

A student who minors in Religious Studies at the University of Wyoming will be able to:

Describe several world religions and compare their key features.

  • Delineate the key features of a religion and discuss how they interact.
  • Describe and compare the key features of five world religions

Analyze how a religion's components interact with the culture to which it belongs, explaining how it shapes and is shaped by the surrounding society.

  • Articulate how religions shape aspects of people's everyday lives. Discuss aspects such as: family organization and relationships, social structure, food choices, clothing choices, ethical behavior, or gender roles.
  • Describe how religions interact with popular culture (as evidenced by literature, visual arts, film, music, TV, the Internet, etc.) and how that interaction functions to influence public opinion and belief.
  • Explain how religions are shaped by non-religious aspects of everyday practice, popular culture, and public debates.

Delineate how scholars have variously defined "religion" and its key components, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of those definitions, and discuss the methodologies arising from the definitions.

  • Articulate how different scholars have defined "religion," and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of those definitions.
  • Explain how the definitions relate to the characteristics of the world's actual religions.
  • Understand different theories of what constitutes a religion and how the elements of those theories relate to the components of actual religions.
  • Articulate how different definitions and/or theories provide different insights into real-world religions. 

Use standard, neutral, scholarly terminology in describing and analyzing religions. This includes being able to speak and write about religions neutrally, without prescription or prejudice, advocacy or polemics.

  • Know and use the academic and analytical terminology used in the field of Religious Studies.
  • Use neutral, descriptive terminology in papers, speeches and class discussions.
  • Communicate about religions without using language indicating preferences or dislikes, pro or con.
  • Articulate how the academic study of religions focuses on questions of how religions impact societies, cultures, and individuals, rather than on truth claims.
Contact Us

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Ross Hall Rm. #223

1000 E. University Ave.

Dept. #3392

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-3204

Email: relstudies@uwyo.edu

Email: philosophy@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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