The MA degree program is designed to give students a strong foundation in scholarly study, providing the broadest preparation for research and teaching in the field of religion and religious studies. Successful completion of the MA program readies students to pursue PhD studies in religion and related fields, as well as for various roles and service in religious communities.
Both the General and Specialized MA degree programs require a minimum of 48 semester units of credit, though as many as 10 units may be transferred from an accredited graduate institution. General MA students must complete a minimum of 12 units in three different areas, while those in the Specialized MA program must have taken at least 28 units within their specialization and 8 units outside of it.
All MA students must take REL 362, Theories of Religion (4 units), an introduction to the major approaches to the study of religion in the Modern and Contemporary West.
Primary Text Language Requirement
The specialized MA degree program in Comparative Scriptures requires the completion of courses in a primary text language. Other specialized degree programs may, at the discretion of the area faculty, require a primary text language depending upon the nature of a student's research plan. Students may count up to 12 units of courses in a primary text language toward the required minimum of 28 units of credit in their area of specialization.
Secondary Research Language Requirement
All MA students must demonstrate reading proficiency in another language by taking a language translation exam administered by the School of Arts & Humanities. Language instruction taken to meet the Secondary Research Language Requirement does not count toward the required 48 units.
An MA Thesis is to be prepared in consultation with the student's advisor or advisory committee (advisor and second reader) and is normally 60-85 pages in length. Students may take a minimum of two units and a maximum of 10 units for thesis credit (REL 399, Thesis Research).
Students have five calendar years from the first semester of registration to complete all MA degree requirements. A student may petition for an extension of time (normally granted in one year increments).