College of Letters & Science


Bradley Memorial Building
We're located in the Bradley Memorial Building, 1225 Linden Drive


About the Religious Studies Program

Religious studies is an academic discipline that looks at religious phenomena worldwide from a variety of angles in order to achieve an understanding of the many roles that religion plays in human life.

Students of religion use different methods for different goals. These include historical methods to understand how religions change in time; critical literary methods to understand religious ideas; aesthetic methods to understand religious art; social-scientific methods to understand the relationship between religion and society and culture. Some ways of studying religion emphasize understanding religions on their own terms, other ways use comparative methods to discern differences and similarities between religions. Above all, the field of religious studies assumes a willingness to learn different ways of thinking and interpreting human life.

The Religious Studies Program offers a BA, a BS, and a Certificate in Religious Studies, along with a PhD minor.

Learn more about our undergraduate and graduate programs.


Welcome Back and Fall Updates

Welcome Back RS Students! One of the great things about summer is hearing from alums who visit Madison or send us news. This summer we heard from former RS majors and certificate students from Arizona to Atlanta. Their careers are equally wide ranging, from academic administration to audiology. Pictured here is Alison Hyde, who is putting both her RS major and Information Sciences degree to work at CNN Headquarters. RS can help you forge many paths and go many places. All the best as you take steps toward your own path in your classes this term!

Affiliate Professor Mark L. Louden Named Alfred L. Shoemaker, J. William Frey, and Don Yoder Professor of Germanic Linguistics

We would like to extend our congratulations to RS affiliate professor Mark L. Louden, recently named the Alfred L. Shoemaker, J. William Frey, and Don Yoder Professor of Germanic Linguistics.

Prof. Louden teaches the only religious studies course on the Amish in the United States. We will be offering this course in Fall 2018. Stay tuned!