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What Can You Do with a Degree in Religious Studies?

Some students concentrate in Religious Studies as a first step toward obtaining a Ph.D. in order to teach in this field at the college or university level. For others, a degree in Religious Studies provides a foundation for a service-oriented career in ministry, psychological counseling, or social work.

A degree in Religious Studies can also be excellent preparation for careers in other fields. Students who concentrate in Religious Studies gain skills in reading analytically, thinking critically, and writing fluently. Because classes are often smaller than in other disciplines, students get more individual attention and assistance in developing these skills. These skills are essential for success in a variety of careers, such as law, medicine, government, and business.

Because of its interdisciplinary character, Religious Studies can be combined effectively with other majors. Many students have combined a concentration in Religious Studies with a major in another discipline, such as Anthropology, International Studies, Foreign Languages, English, Political Science, History, Economics, Business, and even Biology and Physics.

A number of Religious Studies students who have graduated since 2000 have gone on for further education. For example, three entered Ph.D. programs in biblical studies, one at Notre Dame, another at Johns Hopkins, and another at the University of Erlangen. Five went to seminaries (Duke, Emory, Princeton, SMU, and GTU at Berkeley) for a Master of Divinity degree. Five went to schools of social work (LSU and Denver) for a Master’s degree in social work. Four went to law schools (LSU and Tulane) to obtain a law degree. Two went to nursing school (ULL and LSU).

Other students have gone directly into the job market, finding employment as high school teachers, as an analyst for the Office of Naval Intelligence, as a Director of Special Programs for the Organization of American States, as a direct service professional for United Cerebral Palsy, as a manager for Abercrombie and Fitch in Las Vegas, as an entrepreneur in the computer games industry, as a community organizer, and as employees in the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office, in the Social Security Administration, and in a bookstore.