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Bachelor of Arts

Online BA in Religious Studies

College of Arts, Sciences & Education

Overview

With a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from FIU Online, you'll earn an interdisciplinary degree that provides a thorough study of the history, beliefs and practices of the world’s religions. You'll explore eastern and western religions, learn to think critically, and develop exceptional skills as a researcher and writer. The curriculum is comparative and cross-cultural, with a focus on peace and conflict, and gaining a deeper understanding of communities of multiple religious faiths. The fully online degree is an excellent preparation for master's studies as well as those students interested in a career in education, counseling, business, politics, law, or medicine.

With FIU Online, you can learn anywhere, anytime. Our interactive technology enables you to watch lectures, get real-time feedback from your instructors, and collaborate with classmates on projects. Plus, we provide you with a personal success coach who will provide you with one-on-one guidance every step of the way.

Why Apply?

Religion is intertwined in every aspect of our world, and a bachelor's in religious studies prepares you for any career in which you work and interact with people from other cultures and faiths. The study of religion sharpens your analytical thinking and research abilities, which are in-demand skills in a variety of industries. While some graduates continue their study in religion and theology, most go on to pursue careers in government, education, business, or human services. 

You'll learn from widely respected professors who are leading scholars in their fields, and the Religious Studies department is closely linked to number of interdisciplinary programs, including African-New World Studies, Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, Judaic Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Women's Studies.

Religious Studies Career Opportunities

With a degree in religious studies, you can apply your skills and knowledge in a variety of settings. Depending on your interest and experience, jobs can include being an educator, multicultural consultant, cultural center coordinator, community relations officer, humanitarian relief worker, religion teacher, or counselor. Employers include religious organizations, nonprofits, social services, foreign service, mental health organizations, government and public policy institutes, international aid organizations, and educational settings where you can teach or counsel people about religious faith.

For those interested in teaching beyond the high school level, a master's degree is generally required. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job prospects for postsecondary teachers are expected to grow at a rate of 19% through 2022, faster than the average for all other occupations.  Wages for postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers is expected to grow by over 26% in the state of Florida and by 17% nationally.  The median income for such a degree is $66,200 in Florida and $64,990 nationally.

Courses

Program Completion Requirements

A total of 120 credits are required for the Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies.

The major in religious studies requires 36 credit hours with a grade of 'C' or better.  

  • Foundation Course (3 credits), a course that introduces students to the world's great religious traditions as well as various multicultural approaches and interdisciplinary approaches in the study of religion:  
    • REL 3308 – Studies in World Religions 
  • Area Courses (12 credits), one course in each of the following areas in order to develop an awareness of the breadth of the field and provide a foundation for more specialized studies: 
    • Abrahamic Religions 
    • Asian Religions 
    • Indigenous and Other Religious Traditions 
    • Society, Culture, and Ethics 
  • Focus Courses (18 credits), including at least 12 or more credits in Religious Studies and up to 6 credits in related studies, aimed at building in depth knowledge of a particular area, theme, or tradition. Related studies are selected from courses in: 
    • Art History 
    • English, History 
    • Humanities 
    • International Relations 
    • Philosophy 
    • Psychology 
    • Sociology/Anthropology 
    • other appropriate departments 

Capstone Course (3 credits), a senior or capstone seminar covering advanced methodology in the study of religion: 

  • REL 4030 – Methods in the Study of Religion 

This course examines a number of the most important methods used in the academic study of religion, together with representative examples of the use of these methods. 

 *Prerequisites: Religious Studies major status or permission of the instructor .

Requirements

To ensure every student’s success, we have certain admissions requirements for each of our programs. To help you through the application process, our enrollment advisors are here to answer your questions and guide you every step of the way.

Applications are accepted for Spring, Fall and Summer terms.

Steps to Apply:

Freshman Students

Please submit the following:

  • Online application
  • $30 application fee.
  • Official SAT or ACT scores.
  • Official high school transcripts

Transfer Students

Please submit the following:

  • Online application
  • $30 application fee.
  • Official college transcripts.
  • If you have less than 60 transferable college credits, you must also submit official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores in addition to any transcripts from postsecondary schools to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

International Students

In addition to the above requirements, international applicants should submit:

  • Official English Language Proficiency exam scores (TOEFL or IELTS).
  • NACES official course-by-course evaluation and translation of college transcripts.
  • If you have less than 60 transferrable college credits, you must also submit official high school transcripts with translation.

Program Admission Requirements

  • Candidates must first be accepted into the university. Students admitted to Florida International University are admitted directly to their chosen major.

Program Completion Requirements

A total of 120 credits are required to complete the fully online undergraduate degree. Students must complete the University Core CurriculumUniversity requirements and College of Arts, Sciences & Education requirements while satisfying requirements toward their Religious Studies major and are expected to make good progress based on critical indicators, such as GPA in specific courses or credits earned. In cases where students are not making good progress, a change of major may be required.

The College of Arts, Sciences & Education's advisors work to redirect students to more appropriate majors when critical indicators are not met. For specific course requirements, visit the Courses tab on this program page.

Tuition

Tuition Information

Pursuing your degree is one of the best investments you can make – one that will open doors to personal and professional opportunities. Our tuition costs represent some of the best value in higher education, and we also offer financial aid support you need to reach your goals.

Students enrolled in a fully online bachelor’s degree program at FIU will not be charged many of the fees applicable to on-campus students, saving fully online student hundreds of dollars per semester. Please note fully online students do not have free access to FIU’s on-campus resources such as: computer labs, sporting events, recreational facilities, parking, etc.

FLORIDA RESIDENTS

TUITION + FEES

Florida Residents Tuition
  • Tuition per credit hour: $130.42
    The total cost per credit includes tuition in the amount of $105.07, as well as the following fees: Financial Aid Fee ($5.25), Tech Fee ($5.25), and the Activity & Service Fee ($14.85).
  • Tuition Differential Fee per credit hour: $52.29
  • Distance Learning Fee per credit hour: $30.00

TUITION & FEES ESTIMATES

BASED ON COURSE LOAD

IF YOU TAKE:
1 COURSE
3 CREDITS
2 COURSES
6 CREDITS
3 COURSES
9 CREDITS
4 COURSES
12 CREDITS
$391.26 $782.52 $1,173.78 $1,565.04
$156.87 $313.74 $470.61 $627.48
$90.00 $180.00 $270.00 $360.00
TOTAL COST:
$638.13
TOTAL COST:
$1,276.26
TOTAL COST:
$1,914.39
TOTAL COST:
$2,552.52

NON-FLORIDA RESIDENTS

TUITION + FEES

Florida non Residents Tuition
  • Tuition per credit hour: $247.48
    The total cost per credit includes tuition in the amount of $216.56, as well as the following fees: Financial Aid Fee ($5.25), Out-of-State Financial Fee ($5.57), Tech Fee ($5.25), and the Activity & Service Fee ($14.85).
  • Tuition Differential Fee per credit hour: $52.29
  • Distance Learning Fee per credit hour: $30.00

TUITION & FEES ESTIMATES

BASED ON COURSE LOAD

IF YOU TAKE:
1 COURSE
3 CREDITS
2 COURSES
6 CREDITS
3 COURSES
9 CREDITS
4 COURSES
12 CREDITS
$742.44 $1,484.88 $2,227.32 $2,969.76
$156.87 $313.74 $470.61 $627.48
$90.00 $180.00 $270.00 $360.00
TOTAL COST:
$989.31
TOTAL COST:
$1,978.62
TOTAL COST:
$2,967.93
TOTAL COST:
$3,957.24

*Total tuition and fees are estimates and are subject to change. Other costs such as lab fees, proctored exam fees, books, supplies and other materials are not included in this calculation.

Top Faculty

Iqbal Akhtar

Dr. Iqbal Akhtar is an Professor with a dual appointment in the departments of Religious Studies and Politics & International Relations within the School of International and Public Affairs. He completed his doctorate at the University of Edinburgh’s New College School of Divinity. His current work explores the origin of the Khōjā peoples in the Subcontinent through extant oral traditions known as the kahaṇī in Sindhi, Gujarati, and Hindustani.

Daniel Alvarez

Professor Alvarez's teaching and research interests have been primarily in the areas of Christian theology and world religions, with emphasis on Protestantism, Evangelicalism and 19th century liberal theology. Having been raised as a Fundamentalist Christian, he has developed a life-long interest in the varieties of religious Fundamentalisms. Outside of Christianity, Buddhism and Islam are the religions with which he is best acquainted and those that have exercised his thinking the most. 

Whitney Bauman

Professor Bauman's teaching and research interests in Religious Studies fall within the broad field of "Religion and Ecology." The driving question of his interests and commitments to the field is: How do religious beliefs, insights, doctrines, and practices shape the material-physical worlds around us? This question assumes that some sort of "religious sentiment" is part of what it means to be a human being in the world. He is interested in analyzing how these "big questions" are changed by forces such as global climate change and globalization. 

Ana María Bidegain

Dr. Ana María Bidegain was born in Colonia Suiza, Uruguay. She studied History in Uruguay and Belgium, where she earned her PhD, with great distinction at the Catholic University of Louvain. She developed her academic career in Colombia, where she lived and taught for more than 20 years. Dr. Bidegain founded the History Department in the University of Los Andes and opened the field of Religious Studies at the National University of Colombia. In the 2003-2004 biennium, she directed the Social Sciences Research Center of the National University of Colombia. Prior to joining us here at Florida International University, Ana Maria was a Visiting Professor in Harvard’s Women’s Studies in Religion Program.

Erik Larson

Dr. Larson's interest focuses on the interaction between religion, language and culture began when he was an undergraduate student at the American University of Beirut.  At FIU, he teaches classes on the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, Biblical Archaeology, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, Early Christian History, Islam, and World Religions. He also teaches language classes on Biblical Hebrew, New Testament Greek, and Classical Arabic.

Tudor Parfitt

Dr. Tudor Parfitt founded the Centre of Jewish Studies at SOAS and was its director from 1993 to 2006 and from 2010-11. He was also Chair of the Middle East Centre at SOAS for 4 years and Chair of the SOAS Senior Common Room for 15 years. In 2012 he was Distinguished Visiting Scholar, (Global Engagement Program) at the University of Pennsylvania, Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow (Spring Term) at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute Harvard University (where he gave the Huggins Lectures in 2011) and Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research, Cape Town, South Africa. In 2012 he was appointed President Navon Professor of Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies and SIPA Research Professor at FIU.

Samani Unnata Pragya

Professor Pragya has been teaching since 2004 as an Assistant Professor in Jainology Department in JVBU. She is also an Adjunct Faculty at Florida International University teaching courses like ‘Meditation & Spiritual Development’, Intro to Asian Religions, Religion Life & vegetarianism, Healing in Asian Religions since 2007.  Her advanced stidues include the study of Jainism and other philosophies under the spiritual guidance of the Anushasta of the JVBI, H.H. Acaraya Mahaprajna. The study included Jain Scriptures, Indian Philosophy,Western Philosophy & others by H.H. Acharya Mahapragya himself as well as other scholars including: Prof. Dayanand Bhargava, Aruna Kumar Mukharji, Pandit Vishwanath Mishra.

Oren Baruch Stier

Professor Stier's main area of interest is Jewish Cultural Studies, with a special emphasis on the contemporary period and all aspects of present-day Jewish life and thought. His ongoing current research concerns Holocaust memory and representation: He has published one book on this topic, Committed to Memory: Cultural Mediations of the Holocaust (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2003), which addresses the roles the contemporary media and modes of cultural mediation play in shaping consciousness of the legacy of the Holocaust, especially in the form of its institutionalized memory. He is currently working on a second book in this area of research, Holocaust Symbols: The Icons of Memory, which deals with the historical and memorial contexts of several fundamental images associated with the Holocaust.

Steven Vose 

Dr. Vose's main areas for research and teaching are the religious traditions of South Asia, primarily in Jainism and secondarily in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Islam.  Dr. Vose is interested in devotional practices as public religious expressions, especially pilgrimage and temple ritual; and the place of “tantra” and alchemy in medieval Indian society. Dr. Vose also works on the development of vernacular literary traditions, especially in Old Gujarati, and the interaction of Sanskrit, Prakrit and vernacular languages and literatures.  

Erin Weston

For her undergraduate work, Professor Weston received a BA in Religious Studies, a BA in Philosophy, and a Certificate in Women’s Studies from FIU. She has a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies (1999) and a Master’s Degree in Asian Studies (2006) both from FIU. Her Religious Studies thesis focused on a contemporary Japanese religion named Mahikari in the Caribbean island of Martinique. For her final paper in Asian Studies, she wrote about changes in the Shakyamuni Buddha’s iconography as Buddhism spread throughout various locations in Asia.

Albert Wuaku

Professor Wuaku holds a Ph.D. degree in Religious Studies from the Center for the Study of Religions at the University of Toronto in Canada. He went to the University of Toronto after completing a BA at the University of Ghana, a Certificate in Peace studies at the University of Oslo in Norway and a MA in Religion and Society at McMaster University in Canada. 

@ A Glance


120Credits Required

$21271/ $32977
In-stateOut-of-state
Tuition per Credit
  • Fully online degree
  • Every online undergraduate student is paired with a success coach
  • Excellent preparation for any career where you interact with people of other cultures and faiths
  • Program Starts: Fall, Spring and Summer
  • Become part of an exceptional community and make the most of your education. Join the Honors College.
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