B.A. in Religious Studies

(formerly Comparative Religion - CPRL)

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The Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies (the official name of the major at all Cal State campuses) consists of 36 units. All courses listed below are three (3) units each.

The degree can be completed via fully face-to-face classes and also through a combination of face-to-face classes and online classes. The courses listed below are offered fully face-to-face unless noted as "WEB."

LOWER DIVISION REQUIREMENTS (9 UNITS)

1.   Introduction to the Study of Religion (3 units):

(All courses are usually offered every semester)

  • RLST 100 Introduction to the Study of Religion or
  • RLST 105 Religion and the Quest for Meaning or
  • RLST 110 Religions of the World (WEB and face-to-face)

 

2.  Introduction to Western Religious Traditions (3 units):

(At least two courses are usually offered every semester)

    • RLST 200 Introduction to Christianity  (WEB every semester;  face-to-face most semesters) or
    • RLST 201 Introduction to the New Testament  (WEB every semester;  face-to-face random rotation) or
    • RLST 210 Introduction to Judaism  (most springs) or
    • RLST 250 Introduction to Islam (most falls)

 

3.  Introduction to Non-western Religious Traditions (3 units):

(One course is usually offered every semester -- rotated every semester)

    • RLST 270T Introduction to the Asian Religions  (WEB every fall; face-to-face random rotation) or
    • RLST 280 Introduction to Buddhism (WEB every spring; face-to-face random rotation)

UPPER DIVISION REQUIREMENTS (27 UNITS)

4.  Core Requirements (6 units):

    • RLST 300 Methods of Studying Religion  (every fall) AND
    • RLST 485T Major Religious Thinkers and Concepts (every spring)

 

5.   The Development of Western Religious Thought (6 units/2 courses from the following list):

(At least three courses are usually offered every semester)

    • RLST 350T Major Christian Traditions (random rotation)
    • RLST 351 History and Development of Early Christian Thought  (every semester)
    • RLST 352 History and Development of Modern Christian Thought  (every semester)
    • RLST 361 History and Development of Jewish Thought: Biblical and Rabbinical Eras (most falls)
    • RLST 362 History and Development of Jewish Thought: Medieval and Modern Eras (most springs)
    • RLST 371 History and Development of Islamic Thought: The Beginning to 1258 (most falls)
    • RLST 372 History and Development of Islamic Thought: 1259 to Modern Times (most springs)
    • HIST/RLST 412A History of the Christian Church to the Reformation (scheduled by History department)
    • HIST/RLST 412B History of the Christian Church from the Reformation to the Present (scheduled by History department)
    • HIST/RLST 412C History of the Jews (scheduled by History department)
    • HIST/RLST 417B Roman Empire (scheduled by History department)
    • HIST 420 The Byzantine Empire (scheduled by History department)
    • HIST/RLST 425B The Reformation (scheduled the History department)
    • HIST 435A The Holocaust (scheduled by History department)
    • HIST/RLST 466A Islamic Civilization: Arab Era (scheduled by History department)
    • HIST/RLST 466B Islamic Civilization: Imperial Age (scheduled by History department)

 

6.  The Development of Non-western Religious Thought (6 units/2 courses from the following list):

(At least two courses are usually offered every semester)

    • AFAM/RLST 325 African-American Religion   (most springs)
    • AFAM/RLST 337 American Indian Religions and Philosophy   (random rotation)
    • RLST 341 Hindu Tradition to 400 B.C.E.  (WEB every fall)
    • RLST 342 Hindu Tradition from 400 B.C.E.  (WEB every spring)
    • RLST 346 Vietnamese Buddhism (random rotation)
    • PHIL 350 Asian Philosophy (scheduled by Philosophy department)
    • RLST 354T Buddhism outside India (random rotation)
    • RLST 370 New Religious Movements in the U.S.A. (random rotation)
    • HIST/RLST 465A History of India (scheduled by History department)
    • HIST/RLST 465B History of India (scheduled by History department)

 

7.  The Experience of Religion (6 units/2 courses from the following list):

(At least two courses are usually offered every semester)

    • RLST 302 Religion and Ecology (random rotation)
    • RLST 306 Contemporary Practices of the World's Religions (random rotation)
    • RLST 311 Religion and Film (random rotation)
    • CPLT/RLST 312 The Bible as Literature   (scheduled by Comparative Literature department)
    • RLST 320 The End of the World (random rotation)
    • RLST 321 Psychology of Religion (every semester)
    • RLST 333 Religion and Sexuality (random rotation)
    • RLST 335 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Compared (random rotation)
    • PHIL/RLST 348 Philosophy of Religion (scheduled by Philosophy department)
    • RLST 358 Comparative Mysticism (random rotation)
    • RLST 367 Religion in Latino/a Life  (random rotation)
    • RLST 373 Women in Islam (random rotation)
    • RLST 374 Issues in Contemporary Islam (random rotation)
    • RLST 375 Conceptions of the Afterlife (WEB most semesters;  face-to-face random rotation)
    • RLST 380 Religion and Violence (every semester)
    • RLST 381 Religion and Politics in the U.S.A. (random rotation)
    • RLST 397  Religion and Science (random rotation)
    • RLST 400 Religion, the Media, and Contemporary Culture (random rotation)
    • SOCI/RLST 458 Sociology of Religious Behavior (scheduled by Sociology department)

 

8.  Textual Studies (3):

(One course is offered every spring -- random rotation)

    • RLST 330T  Hebrew Scriptural Studies  (random springs)
    • RLST 331T  New Testament Studies  (random springs)
    • RLST 332 Islamic Scriptural Studies (random springs)
    • RLST 401T Studies in Religious Texts  (random springs)

WRITING REQUIREMENT:

The course requirement for the university upper-division baccalaureate writing course is met through RLST 300.

DOUBLE COUNTING GE AND B.A. IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES

As a general rule, you cannot double count courses in your major with GE. However, the following  courses in the Religious Studies major may also double count with G.E. (because RLST is not the "home" department for these courses).

  • AFAM/RLST 325, D5 Explorations in the Social Sciences & Z Cultural Diversity
  • AFAM/RLST 337, C3 Explorations in the Humanities & Z Cultural Diversity
  • PHIL 350, C3 Explorations in the Humanities & Z Cultural Diversity
  • CPLT/RLST 312, C3 Explorations in the Humanities

 

All other RLST courses in GE cannot be double counted with a B.A. in Religious Studies. However, double majors who list Religious Studies as their second major may double count a total of 9 RLST units with GE (plus RLST 325, 337, and/or 312).

DOUBLE MAJOR

Because the major consists of 36 units of course work (less than some other majors), it may be possible to add a second major, for example, Communications, History, Philosophy, Psychology, or English. Such double majors may improve a student's job preparation or background for graduate studies.