Requirements for the Major
There is a minimum of ten courses. Religion 101 (Introduction to Religious Studies) is required. At least six courses must be numbered 200 or above. One course must be a Religious Studies independent study taken in the junior or senior year, a small group learning experience/seminar taken during the junior or senior year, or a Religious Studies honors project. The student will select, from a list of appropriate courses, at least one course apiece for each of three different religious traditions.
In addition, the student, also in consultation with his or her advisor and with the advisor's approval, will choose a set of four courses that constitute a thematic or methodological focus on a particular aspect of religion. Only two approved Study Abroad courses can count towards the major. Only one Divinity School course can count towards the major, and that course cannot be equivalent to a course offered by the Department of Religious Studies. Students interested in taking Divinity School courses should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies about which ones may count toward the Religious Studies major.
Advising of Majors
Upon notification of a student's declaration of a Religious Studies major, the department will assign the student to a faculty member for regular advising. It is usually—though not always—possible for a student to select a particular faculty member as her or his advisor. The advisor must approve the student's course selections at each pre-registration period. This requirement allows the Department to keep students apprised of their progress toward fulfilling both University and major requirements. The advisor is a resource person, someone who can help the student plan a coherent and satisfying individual curriculum and who can provide information on course offerings and opportunities in the Department.
Advice for career planning can be sought from the career counseling services provided at the Career Center of Trinity College’s Division of Student Affairs. However, some faculty members may be of help in this respect either because of their specific knowledge of particular vocational areas or by virtue of their general familiarity with different careers. Students are encouraged to consult with their advisors about their future plans, and their advisors will help them to the best of their ability while also recommending that they use other university resources.
Some faculty members post "office hours" when they are available to meet with students without specific appointment. Otherwise, students are encouraged to contact faculty by e-mail or phone to arrange meetings.
Foreign Language Study
Students intending to pursue the study of religion in graduate school are urged to complete at least four courses, or the equivalent, of a modern foreign language. MA and PhD programs often require examination in one or two foreign languages. Those planning to do graduate work in Asian religions, medieval or world Christianity, or biblical studies should begin appropriate language study as part of their undergraduate preparation. Students planning to attend a theological seminary or divinity school should note that knowledge of biblical languages may be a required part of their theological education; and they may wish to begin the study of Hebrew or Greek as undergraduates.