San Diego State University

Department Name: 
Religious Studies
Approximate Enrollment (entire institution): 
Number of Religion Majors: 
Number of Full-Time Departmental Faculty: 
Public Institution?: 
Related to a religious denomination or body?: 
Which best describes the institution?: 
Grants bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees
Department offers undergraduate coursework in ministerial preparation (either a track, a minor, or a major)?: 
Department or institution offers masters programs in religious studies or theological studies?: 
Department or institution offers doctoral programs in religious studies or theological studies?: 
Description of Undergraduate Major: 

The academic study of religion is central to the creation of a
community of world citizens. Our program is designed for students
who live in a pluralistic society and who wish to investigate the role
religions play in human life and society. Because religion has shaped
the human story of almost every culture, it is difficult to understand
human behavior or to interpret world events without grasping how
religion has helped to determine them. As United States Supreme
Court Justices Clark and Goldberg wrote in their decision allowing the
study of religion in public schools, “one’s education is not complete
without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and
its relationship to the advancement of civilization.” Part of the liberal
arts, religious studies employs critical analysis and methods from a
variety of disciplines to understand religious traditions as well as to
question the dogmas, stereotypes, and prejudices that may surround
those traditions. In addition to investigating religious symbols, texts,
practices, and belief systems, the study of religion examines the
relationship of religion to ethics, contemporary social issues, politics,
history, psychology, science, literature, and the arts.