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Majors Detail

Cornell University Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences Cornell University

College of Arts and Sciences, Liberal Arts at Cornell University


Religious Studies

The Religious Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary major drawing from the resources of a variety of departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. The academic study of religion stands apart from a purely confessional approach in that it draws upon a diverse array of humanistic and social scientific disciplines in an effort to situate religious practice and belief within an historically and theoretically critical context. What this means is that students are neither asked to adhere to nor explain away particular religious stances. Instead they are asked to develop the intellectual tools that will enable them to understand how normative claims about human beliefs and practices concerning the supernatural are implicated in constructing and contesting various social identities. Religious Studies majors pursue a variety of career paths, including academia, medicine, law, theology, business, and non-profit organizations.

Interesting Classes

  • Intro to Asian Religions
  • Intro to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
  • Black Religious Traditions: Sacred and Secular
  • Religion, Colonialism, and Nationalism
  • Meditation in Indian Culture
  • Mysticism in Chinese Religion
  • Myth, Ritual, and Symbol


Students went on to...

  • Study social work at the University of Washington in St. Louis
  • Pursue biblical studies at Drew University
  • Study medicine at Saint Eustatius

More Information

More information for the Religious Studies major, Religious Studies minor, is available in the Cornell University Course Catalog.

Visit the the department/program website for faculty and research information.