Introduction

The YSU Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offers a wealth of productive studies for life and technical knowledge for career opportunities. Selected subjects can make an excellent minor complementing any career, and the major in philosophy or religious studies can be a sound preparation for a wide range of graduate programs. The department offers degrees in Philosophy, Religious Studies, Pre-Counseling (with either a Philosophy or a Religious Studies focus) as well as a number of minors. 

Welcome to Philosophy and Religious Studies

Welcome to Youngstown State University and the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies! Our department has a lot to offer on matters of central importance to the lives of our students and the mission of YSU. In addition to providing our wonderful course offerings, we have a vibrant student organization, organize a speakers series with world-class scholars, and are home to both the James Dale Ethics Center and the Center for Islamic Studies. I encourage you to explore our website to learn more about the offerings of the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department at Youngstown State University!

     -Alan Tomhave, Chair, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Contact Information

Alan Tomhave, Chair - aetomhave@ysu.edu - (330) 941-3447

For more information, call (330) 941-3448 or visit the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.

We are located in 401 DeBartolo Hall.

Specialized Centers

The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies houses The Dr. James Dale Ethics Center and the Center for Islamic Studies.

The Dr. James Dale Ethics Center

The Dr. James Dale Ethics Center was founded in 1993 to support the study and teaching of ethics and to promote moral reflection and conduct in personal and professional life. Its activities are guided by the conviction that institutions of higher education play a crucially important role in creating and sustaining a democratic people, concerned not only with private but also common purposes. To accomplish its mission, the Center:

  •  Sponsors ethics seminars, workshops, and conferences for regional professionals;
  •  Offers lectures to the University and general community;
  •  Provides ethics consultation for regional organizations;
  •  Promotes the scholarship of teaching and learning of ethics

The director of the Ethics Center is Dr. Mark Vopat, Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.

The Center for Islamic Studies

The Center for Islamic Studies is devoted to the scholarly study of Islam and to educating the community about Islamic religion, history, and culture. It was created through an agreement between the Youngstown Muslim community and Youngstown State University. To accomplish its mission, the Center:

  •  Offers lectures to the University and general community;
  •  Co-publishes (with the Iqbal Academy Pakistan) the Iqbal Quarterly, which aims to introduce the works of the South Asian poet-thinker Muhammad Iqbal to general readers in the English-speaking world;
  •  Participates in The Pluralism Project of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, which publishes E Pluribus, a newsletter devoted to interfaith activities in the Mahoning Valley and to events of general interest in the field of religious pluralism.

The director of the Center for Islamic Studies is Dr. Mustansir Mir, University Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.

Philosophy Circle

The Philosophy Circle is a group of more than 140 faculty, alumni, and friends whose donations support special departmental activities, including awards for outstanding student papers and funding for the Dr. Thomas and Albert Shipka Speakers Series. The Shipka Speakers Series has sponsored over 40 lectures by outstanding scholars, on topics related to philosophy and religious studies that are of wide interest to both the university and the larger  community. For videos of recent talks, see the Shipka Speakers Series page.

Departmental Scholarships

The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offers the following scholarships. Please contact the department office for more information.

  •  Evangelos Michelakis Meshel Scholarship in Philosophy
  •  Robert G. & S. Ann Berich Meigetter Scholarships in Philosophy
  •  Dr. Earl Eugene Eminhizer Scholarship in Religious Studies
  •  Sister Jean Gillespie Memorial Award in Religious Studies
  •  Bevan-Dillingham Scholarship in Philosophy and Religious Studies
  • Helen Pavlov Memorial Scholarship in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Philosophy and Religious Studies Club

The Philosophy and Religious Studies Club is a student-run group open to all persons interested in philosophy and religious studies. The club hosts an annual educational fundraiser that  showcases the interests of a department faculty member. Topics vary for this popular evening complete with music, food, and wine tasting. The students also organize bi-monthly "Eat Drink Think" events (EDT), which are social events focused on classic and modern texts held over food and drinks. EDT events provide a nice forum for majors, non-majors, and community members to delve deeply into persistent questions in philosophy and religion and their relation to public policy, national and global events, and academics. For more information, please visit Philosophy and Religious Studies website and join our Facebook group, "YSU Philosophy and Religious Studies Club," for updates about upcoming events.

Learning Objectives

The student learning objectives for the major in philosophy & religious studies are as follows:

Religious Studies Objectives

  •  Students will understand the various approaches to the study of religion under the field that is called Religious Studies. This is accomplished through enrollment in the two core course, “Introduction to Religious Studies,” and “Methods and the Study of Religion."
  •  Students will develop an appreciation of two discrete religious systems to allow for healthy comparisons. This is accomplished by fulfilling the requirement of taking one course from “Class A,” which addresses Christian and Jewish traditions, and “Class B,” which covers Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, and African-American traditions.
  • Students will accumulate two different methods to study religion. This is accomplished through the enrolment of one course from at least two different analytic groups: anthropology, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.

Philosophy Objectives

  •  Demonstrated reasoning ability (competently utilize principles of critical thinking, including assessment of definitions, recognition of fallacies, and application of the principles of good inductive and deductive reasoning).
  •  Demonstrated ability to articulate philosophical ideas and arguments (clarity, nuance, and sophistication of content) and knowledge of seminal figures in history who espouse them.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in charitable reading (willingness to consider alternative and plausible interpretations of an author’s work) and to consider arguments from the standpoint and experience of others (suspend one’s personal views).
  • Master the basics of theoretical writing, including the development of precise definitions, effective analysis of texts, traditions, and theoretical positions, and effective development, defense, and critique of arguments.
  • Demonstrated ability to revise beliefs, ideas, and arguments when presented with new sources, criticism, and evidence or to withhold judgment in the absence of reasons (reasonable disagreement and intellectual humility).

Pre-Counseling Objectives

  •  The student will competently analyze and critically evaluate his/her own beliefs and the beliefs and traditions of others. 
  •  The student will master the basics of theoretical writing, including the development of precise definitions, effective analysis of texts, traditions, and theoretical positions, and effective development, defense, and critique of arguments.
  • The student will exhibit knowledge of religious traditions and rituals, as well as cultural practices, beliefs, and values that guide behavior, decision-making, and social policy, and will demonstrate understanding of this diversity and skill in using this knowledge as a reference for understanding others.
  •  The student will exhibit a detailed understanding of personal yet timeless questions about spirituality, life after death, ethics, personal relationships, and well-being, and will competently use this knowledge to help others address similar questions and concerns.

Chair

Alan E. Tomhave, Ph.D., Chair


Professors

Michael K. Jerryson, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Mustansir Mir, Ph.D., Professor

Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor

Alan E. Tomhave, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Mark C. Vopat, Ph.D., Professor

Bruce N. Waller, Ph.D., Professor

Philosophy

PHIL 1560    Introduction to Philosophy    3 s.h.

The nature of philosophy and its relation to science, religion, and art; study of the philosophical approach and attitude, the basic problem areas in philosophy, and some typical philosophical viewpoints.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

PHIL 1561    Technology and Human Values    3 s.h.

An examination of the impact of technology and science on contemporary human values and investigations of social and political perspectives on modern technocracy, based on case studies in science, medicine, and engineering.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

PHIL 1565    Critical Thinking    3 s.h.

An examination of the logical skills needed for critical thinking in practical situations. Topics include procedures and guidelines for identifying and evaluating arguments, recognizing and eliminating informal fallacies, and writing and critiquing argumentative essays.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

PHIL 2608    The Examined Life    3 s.h.

Considers the nature of happiness and well-being and their relation to social institutions. Addresses the roles that civic and personal relations, morality, aesthetics, education, and religion play in providing happiness, purpose, and meaning in one's life. Cross listed as REL 2608.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

PHIL 2610    Global Ethics    3 s.h.

Examination of morality and justice from a global perspective, including such topics as war, terrorism, and states; poverty and the global economy; religion, gender, and identity; globalization and the environment; and markets and intellectual property. Cross-listed as REL 2610.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

PHIL 2612    Ancient & Medieval Philosophy    3 s.h.

An examination of philosophers and philosophical systems in Western civilization from the pre-Socratics until the Renaissance.

PHIL 2619    Introduction to Logic    3 s.h.

Introduction to syllogistic or classical logic, symbolic and inductive logic. Emphasis on the rules of syllogism, immediate inferences, propositional functions, classes, truth tables, Venn diagrams; the use of analogy, generalization, the verification of hypotheses, and scientific method.
Prereq.: MATH 1501 or at least Level 20 on the Mathematics Placement Test.
Gen Ed: Math Substitute.

PHIL 2625    Introduction to Professional Ethics    3 s.h.

An examination of the ideals and virtues central to professionalism; study of selected codes of professional ethics and their roots in classical ethical traditions; and analysis of selected ethical issues and problems in a variety of professions.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

PHIL 2626    Engineering Ethics    3 s.h.

An examination of ethical problems in the major fields of engineering and an explanation of the methodology needed to address them; an analysis of the rights and duties of engineers in their relations to clients, employers, the public, and the engineering profession.
Prereq.: One 2600-level PHIL course, or PHIL 1560 or ENTC 1505 or ENGR 1550.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

PHIL 2627    Law and Criminal Justice Ethics    3 s.h.

Examination of major theories in philosophy of law and justice, and the study of ethical issues and professional standards in criminal justice practice.
Prereq.: Any 2600-level PHIL course or PHIL 1560 or CJFS 2601, CJFS 2602 or CJFS 2603.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

PHIL 2628    Business Ethics    3 s.h.

Examines ethical problems in business, ethical responsibilities of business professional, and business as a global institution. Topics include the corporation, at-will employment, unions, technology, privacy, advertising, whistle-blowing, globalization, environmental impact, human rights, just distribution, affirmative action and cultural diversity.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

PHIL 2631    Environmental Ethics    3 s.h.

Application of ethical theories in evaluating human interaction with the natural environment, analysis of rights and duties regarding other species and future generations, the ethics of environmental activism, and philosophical and religious perspectives on environmental issues.
Gen Ed: Environmental Sustainability, Social and Personal Awareness.

PHIL 2635    Ethics of War and Peace    3 s.h.

Examines reasons for making war, for restraint on the conduct of war, and for rejecting war as an instrument of national policy as understood within a variety of moral traditions, both secular and religious.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

PHIL 2698    Introductory Individual Study in Philosophy    1 s.h.

Introductory study of a philosophical problem, movement, thinker, or the relationship of philosophy to problems in other disciplines. Intended to be an independent study course with subject matter dependent upon approval of the faculty member and student. May be repeated up to 3 s.h.

PHIL 3702    History of Modern Philosophy    3 s.h.

Study of major Western philosophical figures and movements from the Renaissance through the 19th century.
Prereq.: One 2600-level PHIL course or PHIL 1560.

PHIL 3708    Social and Political Philosophy    3 s.h.

A study of the philosophical foundations of democracy, dictatorship, and communism, especially their views of reality, knowledge, human nature, and morality, with attention to rights, duties, freedom, authority, dissent, censorship, crime and punishment, and religion.
Prereq.: PHIL 1560.

PHIL 3711    General Ethics    3 s.h.

Examination and evaluation of the major ethical theories in classical, dialectic, pragmatic and naturalistic, analytic and positivist, and existentialist thought.
Prereq.: PHIL 1560.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

PHIL 3712    Philosophy of Religion    3 s.h.

The philosophical investigation of religious questions such as existence and nature of the divine, the problem of evil, death and immortality, religion and science, and religious experience.
Prereq.: PHIL 1560 or REL 2601.
Cross listed with REL 3712.

PHIL 3713    Philosophy of the Family    3 s.h.

Examines the family from philosophical, political, and historical perspectives and considers issues of justice in familial relationships. Explores the relationship among parents, children, and the state, and reviews the evolving conceptions of childhood, child well-being, and children's rights.
Prereq.: ENGL 1551.

PHIL 3714    Language and Mind    3 s.h.

Introduction to the study of traditional philosophical problems in the analysis of linguistic structures and functions and of their implications for the nature of mind, including meaning, mental representation and causation, information processing, and psychological explanation.
Prereq.: One 2600-level PHIL course or PHIL 1560.

PHIL 3715    Philosophy of Science    3 s.h.

A philosophical consideration of some of the fundamental concepts and assumptions of the sciences: the nature of scientific knowledge; the relation of scientific to other kinds of knowledge and experience.
Prereq.: PHIL 1560.

PHIL 3719    Symbolic Logic    3 s.h.

The structure and properties of axiomatic systems; the theory of propositional and relational logic; the algebra of classes; related topics.
Prereq.: PHIL 2619.

PHIL 3723    Philosophy of Law    3 s.h.

Examination of the nature and limits of law, the justification of the legal system, the relationship between law and morality, state punishment of individuals, the justification for punishment, citizens' rights and issues of privacy, liberty, discrimination, and civil disobedience.
Prereq.: One 2600-level PHIL course or PHIL 1560.

PHIL 3725    Biomedical Ethics    3 s.h.

An examination of ethical issues posed by biomedical research and technology, including issues of informed consent, patients' rights, experimentation, genetic research and intervention, death and dying, and the allocation of scarce resources.
Prereq.: One 2600-level PHIL course or SOC 3703 or SOC 3745 or PSYC 3780 or admission to the NEOMED-YSU program or the BS in Nursing program.

PHIL 3735    Ethics and Scientific Research    3 s.h.

Definition and examination of the ethical basis of scientific conduct in reporting experimental results, using human and animal subjects, adopting protocols, and pursuing research with broad impact on human rights and social welfare.
Prereq.: PHIL 1560 or PHIL 2625.

PHIL 3740    Muslim Thinkers and Thinkers    3 s.h.

Examination of the theological, philosophical, legal, and political writings and ideas of major Muslim thinkers and mystics from the classical through the modern period, covering the continuities and differences.
Prereq.: any 2600-level REL course or PHIL 1560.
Cross listed with REL 3740.

PHIL 3798    Intensive Individual Study of Philosophy    1 s.h.

Intensive study of a philosophical problem, movement, thinker, or the relationship of philosophy to problems in other disciplines. Intended to be an independent study course with subject matter dependent upon approval of the faculty member and student. May be repeated up to 3 s.h.
Prereq.: One 3700-level PHIL course.

PHIL 4805    Direct Readings in Philosophy    3 s.h.

Independent study course with subject matter dependent upon approval of the faculty member in consultation with student.
Prereq.: Any 3700 level PHIL course.

PHIL 4820    Seminar in Philosophy    3 s.h.

Study in depth of a particular philosopher, topic, or area in philosophy, as determined by the instructor; may be repeated once with different course content.
Prereq.: One 3700-level PHIL course.

PHIL 4859    Capstone Cooperative Seminar    1 s.h.

The course aids capstone students in developing and following a schedule for timely completion of a major research project, provides general direction on effective methods for working on such a project, and encourages and facilitates cooperative work among advanced students by providing peers with whom to discuss their ideas, exchange drafts, and provide constructive comments on ongoing written work. Must be taken concurrently with PHIL 4861.

PHIL 4861    Senior Capstone Project    3 s.h.

Research and writing of a paper, or other committee approved project, on a philosophical topic, under the supervision of a full-time faculty member and in consultation with a committee of at least two other members of the department.
Prereq.: Philosophy major with senior standing and completion of at least 21 s.h. of PHIL courses.

PHIL 4870    Internship in Ethical Practice    1-3 s.h.

Students work with professionals in a local organization, thereby gaining direct access to the ethical issues involved in such an environment. Students will be supervised by an appropriate working professional and either a faculty member of the Dr. James Dale Ethics Center or another faculty member in the department selected for this purpose. The course grade shall be assigned by the YSU supervisor, based on the project journal, an evaluation of the student's on-site work by the participating professional and the YSU supervisor, and a final project paper. Registration by permit only. 1 s.h., repeatable to a total of.
Prereq.: One 3700-level PHIL or REL course.

Religious Studies

REL 2601    Introduction to World Religions    3 s.h.

A survey of the major world religions exploring their distinctive features and common threads. A study of their founders, systems of thought, symbols, and sacred literatures.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities, International Perspectives, Social and Personal Awareness.

REL 2602    Introduction to Religious Studies    3 s.h.

Examines the religious features of doctrines, myths or practices and surveys various methods by which religion is explored and scrutinized.

REL 2605    Myth, Symbol, and Ritual    3 s.h.

An introduction to the nature and function of myth, symbol, and ritual. Myth interpretation, the relationship between societies and their myths, and the cultural use of myths, symbols, and rituals in religious and spiritual contexts.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

REL 2608    The Examined Life    3 s.h.

Considers the nature of happiness and well-being, their relation to social institutions, and the roles that civic and personal relations, morality, aesthetics, education, and religion play in providing happiness, purpose, and meaning in one's life. Cross listed as PHIL 2608.

REL 2610    Global Ethics    3 s.h.

Examination of morality and justice from a global perspective, including such topics as war, terrorism, and states; poverty and the global economy; religion, gender, and identity; globalization and the environment; and markets and intellectual property. Cross-listed as PHIL 2610.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

REL 2611    Judaism Christianity and Islam    3 s.h.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Examines the origins, foundational texts, beliefs and practices, intellectual and spiritual dimensions, and cultural norms and values of each religion, as well as the structures of authority in the community founded by each religion and the factors that have promoted the survival of each.

REL 2617    Introduction to Asian Religions    3 s.h.

A survey of the religions of India, China, and Japan, their systems of thought, moral values, and methods of personal transformation.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities, International Perspectives, Social and Personal Awareness.

REL 2621    Religion and Moral Issues    3 s.h.

The relation of specific religious and moral issues to questions of personal conduct and social policy.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

REL 2621H    Honors Religion and Moral Issues    3 s.h.

The relation of specific religious and moral issues to questions of personal conduct and social policy.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities.

REL 2631    Religion and the Earth    3 s.h.

A cross-cultural survey of the religious beliefs and values that have shaped our thinking about the earth. An exploration of the shifts in religious thought called for by the ecological crisis of sustainability.
Gen Ed: Arts and Humanities, Environmental Sustainability, Social and Personal Awareness.

REL 2699    Introductory Individual Study in Religious Studies    1 s.h.

Introductory study of a religious studies problem, movement, thinker, or the relationship of religious studies to problems in other disciplines. Intended to be an independent study course with subject matter dependent upon approval of the faculty member and student. May be repeated up to 3 s.h.

REL 3708    African-American Religion    3 s.h.

Development of African-American religion and theology from the days of slavery to the present.
Prereq.: One 2600-level REL or AFST course.

REL 3710    African and Neo-African Religion    3 s.h.

A study of African religious traditions and their pivotal role in the formation of African civilizations and communities in the African diaspora, including their adaptations of Islam and Christianity.
Prereq.: REL 2601 or PHIL 1560 or AFST 2600.

REL 3712    Philosophy of Religion    3 s.h.

The philosophical investigation of religious questions such as existence and nature of the divine, the problem of evil, death and immortality, religion and science, and religious experience.
Prereq.: PHIL 1560 or REL 2601.
Cross listed with PHIL 3712.

REL 3720    The World of Islam    3 s.h.

The study of the origins and development of classical and modern Islam, including the Prophet Muhammad, the Quran, and Muslims in America.
Prereq.: REL 2601.

REL 3722    Popes Saints and Rebels    3 s.h.

The origin and development of Christianity; examination of the life and teachings of Jesus; Christian theology, liturgy, and symbolism; and divisions of contemporary Christianity.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing.

REL 3726    Buddhist Beliefs Practices and Debate    3 s.h.

An Introduction to Buddhist traditions, their historical development in countries like India, China, Tibet and Thailand, and Buddhist positions on contemporary issues. Special attention to practices, beliefs, and ethics.
Prereq.: REL 2601 or REL 2617.

REL 3728    Hindu Traditions    3 s.h.

Examines Yoga, meditation, karma, reincarnation, and major devotional and ceremonial traditions that have developed around Shiva, Vishnu, and the Goddess. A central part of the course is the study of the dynamics between popular worship and the contemplative traditions of Hindu culture.
Prereq.: REL 2601, REL 2617 recommended.

REL 3731    Hebrew Scriptures    3 s.h.

A critical analysis of the Hebrew scriptures in terms of historical background, textual development, and religious and ethical themes.
Prereq.: One 2600-level REL course or JUDC 1500.

REL 3732    Jesus and the Gospels    3 s.h.

The life and teachings of Jesus in their historical context. Examination of the ways in which Jesus is interpreted within the synoptic gospels. Prereq.: One 2600-level REL or PHIL course 3740. Muslim Thinkers. Examination of the theological, philosophical, legal, and political writings and ideas of major Muslim thinkers from the classical through the modern period, covering the continuities and differences.
Prereq.: any 2600-level REL course or PHIL 1560.
Cross listed with REL 3740.

REL 3733    Women And the Bible    3 s.h.

A study of Biblical interpretation utilizing narratives that portray women in Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. Students will learn analytical skills required for narrative interpretation and exegetical analysis.
Prereq.: One 2600-level REL course.

REL 3740    Muslim Thinkers and Mystics    3 s.h.

Examination of the theological, philosophical, legal, and political writings and ideas of major Muslim thinkers and mystics from the classical through the modern period, covering the continuities and differences.
Prereq.: any 2600-level REL course or PHIL 1560.
Cross listed with PHIL 3740.

REL 3743    Reform, Revolt, or Revolution in Islam    3 s.h.

Critical examination of the movements of change in Islam intended to (1) reassert the primacy of Islamic religious norms in society (reform); (2) challenge the dominant political structures (revolt); or (3) bring about a radical societal change (revolution). The course examines in depth the use of Islamic motifs and symbols in all these movements.
Prereq.: REL 2601 or POL 1550 or permission of instructor.

REL 3744    Islamic Culture and Literature    3 s.h.

Introduction to the diversity of Muslim culture and literature across the world. Emphasis on classical and premodern literature, art and architecture.
Prereq.: any 2600-level REL course.

REL 3748    Islam and the West    3 s.h.

Examination of the historical relationship between the and Islamic and Western worlds, as well as their interaction in modern contexts.
Prereq.: any 2600-level REL course.

REL 3750    Religion and Race    3 s.h.

Examines race theory and its relation to religious studies through consideration of immigration patterns and the ways in which religion has been affixed to markers of identity over the last two hundred years.
Prereq.: REL 2601 or SOC 1500 or ANTH 1500.
Cross-listed: SOC 3750 and ANTH 3750.

REL 3751    Liberation Theologies and Revolutionary Change    3 s.h.

Study of liberation theologies in the Third World and in minority communities in the West, in relation to questions of underdevelopment, poverty, and oppression.
Prereq.: REL 2601.

REL 3753    Religion and Violence    3 s.h.

Examines the various approaches to explaining religiously justified violence, focusing on examples from the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. A central element of the course explores the gap between religious ideals and practices and the importance of recognizing that distinction.
Prereq.: REL 2601 or POL 1550.

REL 3754    Feminism, Ecology and Religion    3 s.h.

Investigation of religious perspectives related to women and nature, the relationship of the sacred to the natural world, scriptural and theological influences, and deep ecology and other environmental movements from a feminist perspective.
Prereq.: REL 2601 or REL 2631 or WMST 2601.

REL 3756    Psychology of Religion    3 s.h.

Survey of developments in depth psychology that have shaped our understanding of religious experience and spirituality.
Prereq.: PSYC 1560 or one 2600-level REL course.

REL 3799    Intensive Individual Study in Religious Studies    1 s.h.

Intensive study of a religious studies problem, movement, thinker, or the relationship of religious studies to problems in other disciplines. Intended to be an independent study course with subject matter dependent upon approval of the faculty member and student. May be repeated up to 3 s.h.
Prereq.: One 3700 level REL course.

REL 4810    Directed Readings in Religious Studies    3 s.h.

Independent study course with subject matter dependent upon approval of the faculty member in consultation with student.
Prereq.: Any 3700 level REL course.

REL 4825    Methods and Study of Religion    3 s.h.

This course explores the principal methodological issues in the scholarly study of religion and enables students to expand and synthesize disciplinary knowledge.
Prereq.: REL 2601.

REL 4850    Seminar in Religious Studies    3 s.h.

Study in depth of a particular figure, topic or area in religious studies, as determined by the instructor; may be repeated once with different course content.
Prereq.: One 3700-level REL course.

REL 4860    On-Site Studies in Religion    3-9 s.h.

An on-site investigation of the beliefs and practices of a particular religion or sect through readings, lectures, interviews, and travel to locations vital to its origin or development.
Prereq.: Two 3700-level REL courses.

REL 4869    Capstone Cooperative Seminar    1 s.h.

The course aids capstone students in developing and following a schedule for timely completion of a major research project, provides general direction on effective methods for working on such a project, and encourages and facilitates cooperative work among advanced students by providing peers with whom to discuss their ideas, exchange drafts, and provide constructive comments on ongoing written work. Must be taken concurrently with REL 4871.

REL 4871    Senior Capstone Project    3 s.h.

Research and writing of a paper, or other committee approved project, on a topic in religious studies, under the supervision of a full-time faculty member and in consultation with a committee of at least two other members of the department.
Prereq.: Religious Studies major with senior standing and completion of at least 21 s.h. of REL courses.