General Skills

    Work at the exciting intersections of the many disciplines used to study religion: history and art history; archaeology, literary and textual studies; religious law and theology; sociology, anthropology, and psychology; regional and international studies; gender, race and ethnicity; and philosophy.

    Think critically, write clearly, and argue effectively.

    Evaluate the arguments of others judiciously.

    Contribute to solutions of some of the most vexing problems facing human communities by analyzing complex social, historical, and textual phenomena thoughtfully and with nuance.

    Gain confidence in public speaking and communication.

    Research Skills

    Practice designing research projects that synthesize evidence from a variety of disciplines and sources.

    Learn the bibliographical tradition in the study of particular religions.  Draw on a variety of different perspectives, theories, methods, and technologies (including archival research online or in institutional settings) in constructing compelling and relevant research projects.

    Religion and Cultural Literacy

    Develop a fluency in major world traditions, their core beliefs and practices, their primary spheres of influence, and their thematic and other continuities and discontinuities from the pre-modern past to the modern present.

    Explore themes and issues that cut across the world’s religious traditions, such as ritual, belief, pilgrimage, canon, sacred, and asceticism.

    Acquire insight into the ways in which studying religious thought and practice sheds light on broader cultural patterns in human societies. How can religion help us understand history, art, philosophy, literature, and film, alongside the events that pop up in the headlines each day?

    Analyze the roles that religious ideas and practices have played and continue to play in politics and law, race and gender relations, economics, international affairs, business, science, and medicine, and how those fields of human inquiry have shaped and continue to shape religious communities.

    Ethics, Law, and Society

    Explore the blurred lines between religion and law, paying attention to how religions develop their own legal practices and how state laws are shaped by religion.

    Analyze the ways in which religious traditions have both contributed to ethical thought and introduced ethical problems.

    Delineate the issues surrounding religious accommodation in contemporary legal scenarios.

    Explain why awareness of and sensitivity to religious and cultural diversity is necessary in civic, legal, medical, and business situations, and take action to foster such awareness and sensitivity.

    Career Preparation

    The Religion degree prepares students for careers in a broad range of fields. Many of our students go on to professional degree programs in law, medicine, business, public policy, international affairs, and journalism. Others work for non-profits, in education, or in the arts. Many others choose to continue their study of religion in divinity or theological school Master’s programs, or to go on to doctoral work in religious studies, area studies (such as Middle Eastern Studies or Asian Studies), history, archaeology, classics, etc.

    Undergraduate Programs

    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