Concentrators draw up a concentration plan and statement of focus under the supervision of the Director of Undergraduate Studies and their adviser in consultation with appropriate members of the Committee on the Study of Religion. There are five concentration options – all require general, methodological, or comparative courses outside of the major religious tradition(s) being studied. These courses provide analytical tools and knowledge of other traditions that enable students to think with comparative and theoretical imagination about diverse phenomena in religion.
Option A. Two Major Traditions in Comparative Context
Option A allows students to study two traditions, or one tradition and one theme, in depth. Students are required to take a small number of "General, Comparative, Methodological" courses. Students might examine comparative categories (e.g., pilgrimage, ritual, myth and so on) or interreligious contact and change across two traditions, or they might designate one tradition and one of the approved themes. Ideally, Option A students who choose to write a senior honors thesis will combine both of their two traditions (or their tradition and theme) in the thesis.
Option B. One Major Tradition in Comparative Context
Option B allows students to focus on one major tradition; the “General, Comparative, Methodological” requirement here is augmented slightly to ensure that students are exposed to comparative themes and different methodologies.
Option C. Joint Concentration with Religion as the Primary Field
Students will have a joint concentration with religion as their primary field. This option requires that a senior honors thesis be written.
Option D. Joint Concentration with Religion as a Secondary Field
Students will have a joint concentration with religion as their secondary field. This option also requires that a senior honors thesis be written.
Option Religion as a Secondary Field
Religion as a Secondary Field does not require the writing of an honors thesis. The secondary field does require a combination of a) focused work in one area (a tradition or theme); and b) comparative or methodological courses that provide a broader framework for considering the tradition on which a student will focus. Students pursuing a Secondary Field in Religion are also asked to complete a Plan of Study and discuss it with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
At the beginning of each semester, students are asked to complete a Plan of Study and discuss it with their advisers.