Written by Dr. Molly Bassett
In May of 2020, the department faculty met in a series of workshops aimed at drafting a department mission statement that reflected our current faculty composition and research focuses. Carolyn Medine, Wabash Consultant and UGA Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Institute of African American Studies, facilitated the conversations by asking us to reflect on what makes our program distinct. We co-authored a mission statement and program-wide objectives, and as we concluded our conversations in late spring, we recognized that revisions in our curriculum would be the next step.
In the fall, the faculty overhauled the MA curriculum for the first time in nearly a decade. Gone are the requirements in History of Religions (Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic), Ethics/Politics, and Comparative/Thematic. In their place, you’ll find Religion and Public Life and Applied Religious Studies requirements. The Religion and Public Life rubric includes subject areas that reflect the current and future faculty members’ research agendas and course offerings.
Graduate students enrolling in Fall 2021 and beyond will be required to take classes in:
- The Study of Religion
- Religion and Public Life:
- Religion, Race, and Change;
- Religion, Gender, and Sexuality; and
- Religion, Health, and Humanity.
- Applied Religious Studies
The entire curriculum will be available when the new GSU catalog posts online, but for now, take a look at the draft text for the Coursework Intensive Track approved by the department. We’re excited to see the MA curriculum reflect the department’s mission and future directions.
Degree Requirements–Coursework Intensive Option
- Minimum of thirty-six hours of non-thesis course work.
- Distribution requirements:
- Theory and method requirement (3 hours): RELS 8200 Pro-Seminar in Advanced Theory and Method
- Religion and Public Life requirement (12 hours). Three courses in the Study of Religion OR Religion, Race, and Change OR Religion, Gender, and Sexuality, OR Religion, Health, and Humanity. Courses must be distributed among at least three areas of study.
- Applied Religious Studies requirement (3 hours): RELS 6789 Applied Religious Studies: Internships, Projects, and Papers
- Six additional graduate-level electives from either Religious Studies or affiliated courses to bring the total to 36 hours. See the list below for affiliated courses.
- A paper that reflects graduate-level research and writing in fulfillment of the College of Arts and Sciences degree requirement. A committee of at least three members of the faculty will pass on the acceptability of the paper or project. Two-thirds of the committee must indicate approval. This approval must be submitted in writing to the Office of Graduate Services by the appropriate deadline (cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/admissions/application-deadlines/).