The Master of Arts in Religion and Culture provides a solid introduction to the graduate study of Religion and Culture. The strength of the program lays in its interdisciplinary nature and flexibility in terms of individual concentration.

In addition and specific to the general requirements for obtaining a civil degree, the Religion & Culture area requires the following:


For the Master of Arts degree, 30 hours of coursework is required, distributed as follows:

  • TRS 780A: Introduction to the Study of Religion
  • Either TRS 760: Theological Foundations or TRS 660: History and Method in Theology, or a comparable course as approved by the area director
  • Nine credits in religion and culture courses, including three credits devoted to the cross-cultural study of religion or the study of a religious tradition other than Christianity
  • Nine additional credits from courses offered by academic areas other than Religion and Culture within the School of Theology and Religious Studies
  • Six credits in directed research, either in two 800-level seminars (at least one of which should be in the area of Religion and Culture), or a master's thesis

Course selection requires the approval of the area director.

At least one full year of residence is required of M.A. candidates.

Comprehensive Exams

The purpose of the M.A. comprehensive examination is to enable the student to develop a synthesized understanding of issues and problems in the area of religion and culture. The examination consists of two parts administered on separate days, the first dealing with foundational questions in the study of religion and the Catholic tradition, and the second addressing more specialized topics in the field of religion and culture. The questions for the exam are based on area reading lists corresponding to its two parts as well as on the student's coursework. The M.A. comprehensive examination is normally taken in the final semester of coursework, on dates designated in that semester's academic calendar.