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For Prospective Students

Why We're Different

Religious studies courses help students develop a deeper awareness of their own cultural location, values, and practical commitments. This deepened self-understanding empowers them to live and act with greater purpose, clarity, and confidence in their personal and professional lives. Religious studies is different because it makes a real difference!

A major in Religious Studies will allow you to consider a variety of human experiences, intellectual pursuits, and ritual practices within different cultural and historical contexts. Our major includes multiple methodological and theoretical perspectives used in the humanities and social sciences. By journeying together through seminal texts, rituals, art forms, myths, ethics, philosophies, and experiences of the sacred, we arrive at a deepened understanding of religion in the world. We invite you to join us in the Religious Studies project of exploring our own cultural assumptions as we investigate the religious worlds of people near and far.

Degree Programs

Course topics include biblical studies, Asian religion, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, religious ethics, and American religion. See the Undergraduate Catalog to explore the complete list of Religious Studies courses.


Students interested in deeper exploration of a single topic often complete Independent Studies with a professor of their choice, or write an Honors thesis in their last two semesters. Some professors are involved in research that students can assist with — W&M provides funding for such work.


Rigorous study of the arts and sciences prepares our majors to pursue a wide range of careers, including medicine, law, divinity, teaching, government, and international service, as well as business. Our graduates also find jobs in social work, research, and the military.

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