Located at the largest public university in Louisiana, the Religious Studies program at LSU is non-confessional and focuses on the study of religion as an academic discipline. As a field within the humanities, the study of religion seeks to investigate this significant and universal expression of the human experience, whether in the great religious traditions of the world (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam), or in the religions of smaller, more traditional societies and cultures.
The Religious Studies program at LSU is housed in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. Through this department, students can obtain a B.A. in Philosophy with a concentration in Religious Studies. This concentration is actually the equivalent of an undergraduate major in Religious Studies and requires no courses in philosophy. The department also offers an undergraduate minor in Religious Studies. Requirements in both curricula allow students to tailor their program to suit their interests within certain broad parameters. Particular strengths within the Department include major religions of the world, biblical studies, religion and gender studies, and religion in America. With a small student-to-faculty ratio, the program permits students to work closely with faculty members to design their course of study.
Courses in Religious Studies bring together perspectives and approaches from a variety of disciplines -- including history, philosophy, literature, and anthropology -- in order to allow students to explore fully and to appreciate better this multidimensional component of human life. Since the study of religion can be fruitfully approached by any number of methods, interested students may wish to consider a double major in Religious Studies and another field, such as history, philosophy, English, classics, or anthropology. Such a double major is facilitated by the fact that the Religious Studies concentration requires only 27 hours of REL courses.
Related minor programs offered by LSU include Women and Gender Studies, Jewish Studies, Asian Studies, and Classics (offered by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures). Religious Studies students may also take courses in biblical Hebrew, classical Greek, and Latin through the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.