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The faculty in religious studies offer a graduate program leading to the MA in religious studies. Candidates are offered an opportunity to develop knowledge of various religious traditions in their historical and cultural contexts and to learn research methods. Although students often concentrate upon a single religious tradition for their thesis work, the program seeks to provide a broadly comparative understanding of religions, not simply a specialist's training in a single tradition.
30 credit hours including the required applied project course (REL 593) and a foreign language exam, or
30 credit hours, a thesis and a foreign language exam
This option is recommended for students intending to seek admission to a doctoral program upon completion of the master's degree or planning to teach in the discipline at community colleges. For the thesis option, the student must satisfy the following requirements:
- an oral defense of the thesis
- reading knowledge of all languages relevant to the proposed thesis topic
- a thesis that earns six credit hours of 599 Thesis credit
- 24 credit hours of course work, including six credit hours in methods and theory (REL 501 and 502), six credit hours of graduate seminar (REL 591), offered each semester on varying topics within the academic study of religion and three credit hours of research (REL 592) to prepare the thesis proposal
Applied Project Option:
This option is recommended for students intending to augment their primary area of expertise and professional training in fields such as:
- K-12 education
- social work
- the ministry
For the applied project option, the student must satisfy the following requirements:
- an oral defense of the applied project
- three publishable papers: one on theory and method, one on the student's minor area of study, and one on the major area of study
- reading knowledge of a foreign language relevant to the proposed area of concentration
- 30 credit hours of course work, including six credit hours in methods and theory (REL 501, 502), six credit hours of graduate seminar (REL 591), four courses in a major area of concentration and two courses in a minor area
- When considering the Religious Studies MA program at ASU: please be aware that during the admissions process, we look for students whose research interests can be well served by the members of our Graduate Faculty at ASU. We have a very diverse faculty with a wide range of interests, which you can explore on our website. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the faculty member(s) they may want to work with during their time at ASU.
Regular acceptance normally requires an undergraduate GPA of 3.5, and GRE scores of at least 600.
Provisional acceptance may be based on a weak undergraduate record or GRE scores, and require that the student complete 9 graduate hours in religious studies with a B (3.00) or better during the first semester. For applicants whose background in Religious Studies is weak (fewer than 15 hours of undergraduate course work in Religious Studies), but who have a strong undergraduate record and good GRE scores: you may receive an acceptance letter that stipulates deficiencies to be met (deficiencies can be met by taking undergraduate courses in the first year of the program in addition to the regular M.A. requirements).
APPLICATION DEADLINES ARE JANUARY 15 AND MAY 1
- Online Electronic Application: Fill out Graduate Admissions application.
- References: The name, institution/company, and exact email addresses of three (3) electronic references from faculty or others qualified to provide an accurate evaluation of your potential as a graduate student.
- GRE: Official GRE Scores are sent to ASU code 4007 (leave department code blank). Scores should be no more than five years old.
- Statement of Purpose: Upload a statement of purpose of about 1,000 words (3-4 pages double-spaced) describing your academic background, reasons for wishing to pursue an M.A. in Religious Studies, the proposed area of specialization, and specific research topics you plan to engage in at Arizona State University.
- Writing Sample: Upload a sample of your original scholarly writing. The sample should be between fifteen and thirty pages in length and should represent your best academic writing.
- CV: Upload your current curriculum vitae.
- Transcripts: Send official transcripts to Graduate Admissions Services.
- TOEFL: The score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) from students whose native tongue is not English. The minimum TOEFL requirement is 550 (PBT) or 80 (iBT). TOEFL scores should be sent electronically through ETS to ASU.
- Teaching or Research Assistantships
- Global Education