Courses for Credit Toward the Major
Students wishing to take related courses for their major or minor outside the department must obtain approval of their advisor in advance. Majors and minors are encouraged to take courses in other departments and programs, including Jewish Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, South Asian Studies, and East Asian Studies.
Requirements for the Major
For students entering in the Fall of 2011 and later, the major consists of a minimum of nine units, at least two of which must be at the 300-level, including a seminar in the area of concentration and REL 380 “Seminar: Advanced Topics in the Study of Religion,” taught by different members of the department and required of all Religion majors in their senior year, and no more than two 100-level courses. A maximum of three courses taken outside the department may be counted toward the major, no more than two of which may be taken at an institution other than Wellesley.
For students who entered in the Fall of 2010 and earlier, the major consists of a minimum of nine units, at least two of which must be at the 300-level, including a seminar, and no more than two 100-level courses. A maximum of three courses taken outside the department may be counted toward the major, no more than two of which may be taken at an institution other than Wellesley.
The major requires both a concentration in a specific field of study and adequate exposure to the diversity of the world’s religions and cultures. To ensure depth, a major must present a concentration of at least four courses, including a seminar, in an area of study that she has chosen in consultation with and approved by her departmental advisor. This concentration may be defined by, for example, a particular religion, cultural-geographical area, canon, period of time, or theme. To promote breadth, a major must complete a minimum of two courses, also to be approved by her departmental advisor, devoted to religious cultures or traditions that are distinct both from each other and from the area of concentration. All majors are urged to discuss their courses of study with their advisors before the end of the first semester of their junior year.
Requirements for the Minor
The minor consists of a minimum of five courses, including at least one seminar and no more than two 100-level courses. Three of the five courses, including a seminar, should be within an area of concentration chosen by the student in consultation with and approved by her departmental advisor. It is strongly recommended that Religion minors elect REL 380.
For some students, studies in the original language of religious traditions will be especially valuable. Majors and minors interested in pursuing language study should consult their advisors to determine the appropriateness of such work for their programs.
The only route to honors in the major is writing a thesis and passing an oral examination. To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all work in the major field above the 100 level; the department may petition on her behalf if her GPA in the major is between 3.0 and 3.5.