MA Concentrations


All students must complete at least 36 credits in addition to fulfilling the language requirement. Generally this program is completed within two years.

Language Requirement

Students must complete the third year of a language appropriate for utilizing primary sources in the chosen concentration as well as develop a first-year reading knowledge of a secondary foreign language necessary for reviewing published research in the chosen area (e.g., German, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish).

Basic Competency Certification

Students must achieve a basic competency in the history of world religions. This can be done either through examination or by completing JSIS B 201 and 202 or their equivalents.

Required Coursework

JSIS B 501
The Study of Religion. Examines scholarly approaches used in the study of religion.

JSIS B 502
Religion in Comparative Perspectives. Comparative study of several religious traditions, organized around a specific theme or topic, e.g., “ritual,” “gender,” etc.

Historical Relations Between Religious Traditions- Elective

Selected from courses on the history of regions where two or more religious traditions have come into contact with one another.

Other Coursework Requirements

Major Concentrations – Students complete 4 to 5 courses in a chosen concentration. Primary concentrations are available in:

Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East
Religion and Culture

Minor Concentration – Students complete two or more courses in a chosen secondary concentration. Secondary concentrations are available in the following, and others by special arrangement:

Religion in America
African religions
East Asian religions
Greco-Roman religions


Final Exam and Paper(s)

Students submit either one or two research papers to a supervisory committee, which also oversees both a written and oral exam.

For more information, contact the Comparative Religion Graduate Adviser.