Graduate Program - Degree Requirements
The completion of thirty course credits is required of all students pursuing a Master's Degree in Religion.
M.A. Students are required to take ten courses that comprise these thirty credits:
- All students are required to take "Theory and Method in the Study of Religion" (16:840:501).
- To encourage both comparative breadth and specialization in a particular field, students will take courses in at least four of the following eight fields: Buddhist Studies, Judaic and Christian Studies, Hinduism, Islam, Religion and Conflict, Contemplative Studies, Religions in America, and relevant language study. Language study credits require the approval of graduate director in consultation with the student's thesis supervisor.
- A combined maximum of two content courses may be taken at other Rutgers departments and other universities, subject to the approval of the Graduate Director (this applies to courses taken at another department at Rutgers or another university (e.g., through the Princeton arrangement)).
- 400-level courses taught by full time department faculty may be counted toward graduate credit, provided that additional work is performed (additional readings and a 25-page term paper).
- Subject to the approval of the Graduate Director, a maximum of two upgraded undergraduate courses (300 level) may be taken toward the M.A.*
- Only one independent study course is normally allowed.
- a) A 3-credit capstone project taken in the last semester of study, which combines knowledge acquired in the Theory and Methods compulsory course taken beforehand with an area of inquiry in the study of a particular religious tradition. The Capstone project requires close consultation with the adviser, but no formal application to a committee.
b) a 6-credit thesis taken during the last two semesters and for which students must apply to the Thesis Proposal Committee thirteen months before completion of the M.A. (for full-time students on the 2-year program, this will mean the second semester of study). See schedule.
*300 and 400 level language courses on relevant research languages are exempt from these maximum limits.
Acquisition of a foreign language is not required for the M.A. degree. However, to encourage language learning which is especially important for those who want to pursue a Ph.D. in a top graduate program, we count relevant language study as one of the eight areas for students to choose from. Students need to consult with their thesis supervisors to determine what language(s) to study and at what level. Only 300 or 400 level language courses can be counted toward the master's degree.
Our faculty members work with texts written in Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Pali, Persian, and Sanskrit as well as other classical and vernacular languages, and can direct independent readings in these languages. Languages regularly taught at Rutgers include Arabic, Bengali Persian, Sanskrit Hebrew, Hindi, French, German, Greek, Latin, Italian, Chinese, Japanese.