Academic Programs

The Comparative Religion Program is an interdisciplinary program within the Jackson School of International Studies offfering a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Religion Masters of Arts in International Studies and a Ph.D. which combines a cross-disciplinary approach with intensive area studies.

The availability of a large number of courses in a broad range of religious traditions underscores the distinctive nature of the Comparative Religion curriculum at the Jackson School. Course offerings introduce students to several approaches to the study of religions, e.g., historical, textual, anthropological, philosophical, psychological, and sociological. Drawing from programs within the Jackson School as well as from other units on campus, the curriculum is highly international and trans-cultural in character.

The faculty of the Comparative Religion Program includes appointments not only in the Jackson School, but in several other units of the University (History, Sociology, Anthropology, Music, Art History, Psychology, Philosophy, Political Science, Asian Languages and Literature, Near East Languages and Civilization, and Classics). The University’s Language and Literature/Civilization programs offer excellent resources for students interested in the comparative study of religion, particularly in areas represented by the various regional programs within the Jackson School of International Studies. The expertise represented on the faculty covers a wide variety of religious traditions and issues.

This Master’s program provides a particularly strong foundation for those students headed toward PhD programs in religion. For those interested in Ph.D. work in religion only at the University of Washington, doctoral-level study is available through the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Near and Middles Eastern Studies, Asian Languages and Literature, and in other related departments such as Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, Political Science, History and Sociology. For details, interested students should contact those units directly.


-James Wellman, Chair