Career Paths

What Can I Do With a Major in Religious Studies?

A major in Religious Studies offers intellectual excitement. It also offers broad access to many career options. Indeed, the study of religion has broad value because it has an international component, deals with values, and speaks to contemporary issues. All these make it very meaningful as preparation for a variety of vocational and professional opportunities.

Students choose to major in Religious Studies for many different reasons. Most do not intend to pursue a professional career in ministry or in the academic study of religion.

A 2007 survey of graduates who have majored in Religious Studies shows that they have pursued diverse careers. This underscores the fact that a Religious Studies major is valuable in its own right but can also function as excellent preparation for a variety of occupations.

Careers of Religious Studies Majors
  • Ministerial Professions (19%) include clergy, directors of religious education, etc.
  • Professionals (35%) include a wide variety of positions such as city managers, bankers, engineers, journalists, etc.
  • Educators (14%) include teachers and college professors
  • Medical Professionals (18%) include doctors, dentists, or other health professionals
  • Legal Professions (8%) include attorneys and judges
  • Other Fields (6%) include a wide range of those occupations not listed above

About two-thirds of the majors graduating in 2007 were planning to attend graduate or professional school; and nearly one-half of the majors were headed to medical school.