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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Religious Studies

Other 4

Department of Religious Studies

Areas of Study

Undergraduate Program

The University of Denver's undergraduate religious studies program offers students the opportunity to study religion in ways not found at other universities. The religious studies BA is a thoroughly interdisciplinary liberal arts program providing graduates with an excellent basis from which to pursue careers requiring imagination, problem-solving, communication skills and an awareness of human diversity.

Students pursuing a BA in religious studies learn about many of the major religious traditions of the world and investigate how theories of religion can help interpret the religious phenomena that surround us. They focus on lived experience through observation of local religious communities, engage with local communities through service learning and prepare for a wide variety of careers through the development of excellent writing skills.

Master's Degree

Founded in 1979, the University of Denver's religious studies MA program prepares students for PhD work or for teaching, careers in journalism, government and nonprofit organizations in which cross-cultural analytical skills are important. The program emphasizes both breadth of knowledge in several religious traditions as well as room for specialization in select areas of faculty expertise.

Graduate certificate in religious studies

Our 24-credit hour Graduate Certificate provides students with graduate-level exposure to the academic study of religion and to several of the major world religious traditions. This certificate program allows students to develop an introductory, graduate-level understanding of two major world religious traditions, gain a grasp of pertinent theoretical approaches to the study of religion, and engage major issues in a particular religious tradition or aspect of religion.  


Our 24-credit-hour Religion and International Affairs Graduate Certificate offers students already pursuing MA degrees in the Department of Religious Studies or the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, and those enrolled in the DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program, the opportunity to enhance their scholarly and professional credentials by providing them with specific competencies in the area of religion and international affairs.

Drawing equally on Religious Studies and International Studies course offerings, this program enables certificate students to develop demonstrable competencies that will help them position themselves for academic, policy, or non-profit careers.

Specialized Graduate Certificate in world Religions 

Our 16 credit-hour Specialized Graduate Certificate in World Religions offers students the opportunity to cultivate graduate-level understanding of three of the world's major religious traditions, grounded in an understanding of how religion works in today's globalizing world. It aims to complement students' professional and scholarly knowledge with an understanding of the many ways that religion, politics, economics, culture and society intersect, in the United States and around the world.

This certificate is designed for working professionals who want to enhance their credentials or expand their expertise, as well as students currently enrolled in graduate programs in fields other than religious studies. This certificate can be applied to the 45 credit-hour Religious Studies MA program.

DU-Iliff Joint PhD Program in the study of religion

Founded in 1981 through a joint partnership between the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology, the Joint PhD program in the study of religion offers an intellectually rich, academically rigorous program of study for students pursuing doctorates in religious and theological studies. Admission to the Joint PhD program requires a MA in religious studies or theological studies.

The JDP has a separate administrative structure, although the Religious Studies Department acts as an anchor department on the DU side. 

Students interested in applying should contact the JDP's program coordinator for further information.