Western Kentucky University

Graduate Studies

The Department of Philosophy and Religion offers two graduate options in the study of religion.

Application Materials and Deadlines

The MA programs in Religious Studies requires the following elements in all applications:

The applicant must provide all materials required by Graduate Studies, complete the online application process, and meet the minimum GAP score (undergraduate grade point average multiplied by GRE score) requirement. Please visit the Graduate Studies website at www.wku.edu/graduate/ for more information and to complete the application. In addition, applicants must forward to the Department Head of Philosophy and Religion (eric.bain-selbo@wku.edu) the following documents:

  • Personal Statement: This 2-3 page document (typed, double-spaced) should help the Admissions Committee understand how the applicant became interested in religious studies, what areas of religious studies the applicant would like to study, and how the program can help the applicant achieve his or her goals.
  • Writing Sample: An undergraduate or graduate paper (minimum of eight pages) that reflects the applicant's intellectual and communication skills.
  • Two letters of recommendation.

The priority deadline for admissions will be March 15. While applications will be reviewed after the deadline, only those applications submitted by March 15 will be guaranteed full consideration. Applications submitted before the deadline will be reviewed periodically, allowing for early admissions decisions in some cases.

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available. These awards include a stipend, health insurance, and a tuition waiver (partial or full). To learn more about assistantship, please visit the Graduate Studies website at www.wku.edu/graduate/. Students who want to be considered for an assistantship in Religious Studies should express their interest in an e-mail to Dr. Eric Bain-Selbo at eric.bain-selbo@wku.edu. The priority deadline is March 15.

Masters of Arts Degree

The M.A. program in Religious Studies requires a minimum of 35 graduate credit hours. No more than 12 hours may be in 400G courses. Students may take up to six hours in graduate courses in other departments. Students must complete a thesis or a culminating project. Students considering further doctoral study in religious studies are encouraged to take the thesis option.

Required Courses: All students must complete RELS 500 (Theory and Method in the Study of Religion, four credit hours), two offerings of RELS 601 (Graduate Seminar in Religious Studies, four credit hours), RELS 602 (Thesis and Project Development Seminar, one credit hour), and RELS 603 (Thesis and Project Colloquium, one credit hour). These required courses total 14 credit hours.

Thesis : Students on the thesis track may take up to six credit hours of Thesis Writing (RELS 599). Students completing an alternative project will take additional coursework in lieu of RELS 599. Students must petition to not complete a thesis, and provide a proposal for the alternative project by the end of their second semester.

Electives: The student’s remaining credit hours may be taken in further RELS 601 courses, other RELS graduate courses, RELS 400G courses, independent studies, or graduate courses in other departments (with consent of adviser).

Research Tool: Appropriate language work in the student’s area of emphasis is recommended (e.g., Hebrew for students doing work in Jewish scripture). Graduate level language courses may count for as many as six credits toward completing the degree. If not completing the research tool requirement in any other way, students must pass a reading examination in either French or German.

 

Thesis Option:

First Year/Fall Semester

RELS 500: Theory and Method in the Study of Religion (4 credit hours)

Elective (3 credit hours)

Elective (3 credit hours)

First Year/Spring Semester

RELS 601: Graduate Seminar in Religion (4 credit hours)

RELS 602: Thesis and Project Development Seminar (1 credit hour)

Elective (3 credit hours)

Second Year/Fall Semester

RELS 601: Graduate Seminar in Religion (4 credit hours)

Elective (3 credit hours)

RELS 599: Thesis Writing (3 credit hours)

Second Year/Spring Semester

RELS 599: Thesis Writing (3 credit hours)

RELS 603: Thesis and Project Capstone Colloquium (1 credit hour)

Elective (3 credit hours)

 

Project Option:

First Year/Fall Semester

RELS 500: Theory and Method in the Study of Religion (4 credit hours)

Elective (3 credit hours)

Elective (3 credit hours)

First Year/Spring Semester

RELS 601: Graduate Seminar in Religion (4 credit hours)

RELS 602: Thesis and Project Development Seminar (1 credit hour)

Elective (3 credit hours)

Second Year/Fall Semester

RELS 601: Graduate Seminar in Religion (4 credit hours)

Elective (3 credit hours)

Elective (3 credit hours)

Second Year/Spring Semester

RELS 603: Thesis and Project Capstone Colloquium (1 credit hour)

Elective (3 credit hours)

Elective (3 credit hours)



Graduate Certificate 

The Graduate Certificate in Religious Studies is a program designed for individuals seeking personal or professional development through the academic study of religion. The certificate program requires students to take RELS 500 (4 credits), two sections of RELS 601 (Graduate Seminar in Religious Studies, 4 credits each), and one RELS elective determined in consultation with the assigned advisor (this may be a 400G course, 500- or 600-level course, graduate course in another department, or a course transferred from another institution).

       Category

                                                                   Course(s)          

I. Theory and Method

RELS 500: Theory and Method in the Study of Religion (4 credit hours)

II. Seminars

Two offerings of RELS 601: Graduate Seminar in Religious Studies (4 credit hours each, total of 8 credit hours)

III. Elective

One course from RELS 400G courses, 500, or 600 level courses (3-4 credit hours) or other approved course.

 

 

 

 

 

 Last Modified 7/23/13