Our doctoral program offers instruction in methods and theories along with specialized training in one of three areas of graduate study:

Asia Pacific Religions

Trains students in the foundational texts, histories, worldviews, socio-political and cultural impact of religions in the pre-modern and modern Asia Pacific. These religious traditions include Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religious movements in the region as well as their global manifestations.

Mandatory courses for students in the Asia Pacific Religions track include REL 545, 645, and a one course from the 652/653/654/655 series.

Download the flyer

Christian Studies

Trains students in the vast global range of historical and contemporary Christian traditions often grouped together homogeneously as Christianity. Rather than focusing exclusively on textual and intellectual traditions, this track integrates the social, cultural and material dimensions of religion in its study of plural Christianities, and challenges students to frame their research in transnational and transhistorical terms as a matter of course.

Mandatory courses include REL 535, 635, and 651.

Download the flyer

Global Islam

Trains students in the “global” dimensions of the Islamic tradition, from the traditional confines of the Middle East, Africa and South and Southeast Asia to include Islam, Islamic thought, Muslim culture and Muslim communities in the modern Western world.  In addition to the acquisition of traditional skills for the study of religious texts, doctrine, and spiritual life of believers, students will learn how Muslims negotiate concrete spaces and contexts they inhabit in the modern world.

Mandatory courses for students in the Global Islam track include 525, 625, and 650.

Download the flyer

In addition to instruction within the department of Religion, students are encouraged to pursue interdisciplinary study in related disciplines. Students may also take advantage of our faculty’s participation in the many research centers and institutes at USC, which sponsor lectures, seminars, and fellowships.

We support all of our doctoral students with a five-year funding package (typically a combination of fellowship and teaching assistantship.)  Students in our program gain professional training and mentoring aimed at employment as well as scholarly credentials.

For information about our doctoral degree program, click here.

Religion offers Graduate Certificates for doctoral students in other disciplines. 

Ready to Experience USC?

For More Information

General Questions
Linda Wootton
825 Bloom Walk
ACB 130
(213) 740-0272


Prof. Lisa Bitel

ACB 126
(213) 740-0272

Director of Graduate Studies

Prof. Cavan Concannon

ACB 426

Administrative Assistant II
Linda Wootton

Project Specialist
Johnna Tyrrell

USC School of Religion

825 Bloom Walk, ACB 130
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Sheila Briggs

Director of Graduate Studies
Cavan Concannon