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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Religious Studies

Other 6

Graduate Degrees

Master's Degree

Our 45-credit master's program provides you with the research, knowledge and skills to enter a doctoral program.

Or, use the cross-cultural analytical skills you will hone with this degree to build a professional career in a variety of private or nonprofit fields, such as journalism, government, nonprofit work or human resources.

  • I am interested in exploring the avenues of doctoral study, however, I am not locked into that track. Religious studies provides a valuable lens to engage a world in which religion continues to be front-page news.

    There are many ways in which the issues of religious studies intersect our world and the job market. For example, I could apply this MA degree to writing, or partnering with nonprofits engaged in ethical and social justice issues, or working for a government organization with international scope, or perhaps, even teaching.
    Timothy Isaacson, current MA student

Our newly designed areas of specialization emphasize both breadth and depth. Deepen your understanding of a particular area of religious interest by choosing one of six tracks:

Biblical Studies

Immerse yourself in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the evolution of Christianity in the British Isles, or the role of the body in biblical religion. Ground yourself with introductory coursework on Judaism, Christianity and/or Islam. Gain an interdisciplinary perspective with courses from the departments of Anthropology, and Art and Art History, and the Center for Judaic Studies, while you focus on working with original texts.

Hone your language skills in Hebrew or Koine Greek. We offer language support as well as the opportunity to take a language competency exam at our Center for World Languages and Cultures.

The priority deadline for all MA application materials to be received in the Office of Graduate Studies is February 1. Apply today.

Theory of Religion

Ground your understanding of the multifaceted dimensions of religion with your concentration in the theory of religion.

Immerse yourself in the three theoretical areas of the study of religion: philosophy of religion, psychology of religion, anthropology of religion.

Choose from an assortment of approved courses such as Nietzsche and the Death of God, Political Theology, or Religion and Psychoiography.

Priority deadline for all MA application materials to be received in the Office of Graduate Studies is February 1st. Apply today!

International and Multicultural Studies

Focus on the role of religion in the context of the globalization process with our international and multicultural studies track. You'll devote particular attention to a region of your choice, such as the Americas, Europe or Asia.

You'll take at least one course in a specific religious tradition beyond the core requirements, as well as one course in the theory of religion that pertains to international and multicultural studies.

Language Specialization: Improve your language fluency. Our Center for World Languages and Cultures offers opportunities to practice, engage in and demonstrate competency in a language that is relevant to your program of study.

International experience: Cultivate direct international experience through coursework at a location outside of North America. As part of your degree program, you will choose an independent study, service learning or fieldwork opportunity that meets your curricular and long-term professional goals.

Priority deadline for all MA application materials to be received in the Office of Graduate Studies is February 1st. Apply today.

Philosophy of Religion

Delve into the philosophy of religion at the University of Denver. With us, you will study one or more philosophers from each of the two historical periods: ancient and modern (Plato to Kant), late modern and postmodern (Hegel to the present). We encourage you to draw from coursework both within our Department of Religious Studies and our Department of Philosophy.

  • I am pursuing the concentration track "Philosophy of Religion" in my program. This allows me to study the writings of Nietzsche, Freud, Derrida and Hegel, and consider what they have to contribute to the conversation about religion.
    Timothy Isaacson, current MA student

The priority deadline for all MA application materials to be received in the Office of Graduate Studies is February 1. Apply today.

Islamic Studies

Ground yourself in the historic and contemporary manifestations of Islam, exploring the cultural, political, gender, and sectarian dynamics of the Muslim world. Engage with the textual foundations of Islamic theology and legal reasoning, while keeping a focus on issues of reform and fundamentalism so central to current debates. Gain practical knowledge interacting with Denver-area Muslim communities, while researching major issues in Islamic traditions or Muslim societies in your course work.

Immerse yourself in the study of Islam with coursework on pilgrimage, the Qur'an and hadith, contemporary Islam, and Islamic fundamentalisms. Enrich your study with courses at the Korbel School of International Studies, the University of Denver's Anthropology Department, or another DU department.

Language specialization: As part of this specialization, you will also develop proficiency in Arabic or another Islamic research language with coursework or through a competency exam. Our Center for World Languages and Cultures is one of many ways in which you can increase your language fluency. Program faculty will also work with you to identify language study programs and apply for funding.

International Experience: While not required for the degree, this specialization encourages students to spend time abroad. Program faculty and staff from the Office of Internationalization are happy to work with you to find a study abroad program, language study program, internship, or fieldwork opportunity to enhance your learning.

Priority deadline for all MA application materials to be received in the Office of Graduate Studies is February 1st. Apply today!

World Religions

Immerse yourself in studying each of the world's major religious traditions, as well as in the study of comparative religions.

Develop broad competencies in the study of world religions by taking all of our five major world religious traditions courses, and then work with your adviser to develop a course program that allows you to study the aspect of world religions that interests you most.

International experience: Develop a comparative focus through coursework at a location outside North America.

Priority deadline for all MA application materials to be received in the Office of Graduate Studies is February 1st. Apply today!


More information

Review our MA program overview to get a better sense of our degree options.

View the religious studies MA bulletin (PDF) to get the full scope of coursework for our degree programs, as well as admission requirements for the MA program.

Are you interested in deeper interdisciplinary study? Consider a dual degree by pairing your religious studies master's degree with a complementary discipline offered at DU:

The priority deadline for all MA application materials to be received in the Office of Graduate Studies is February 1. Apply today.