Admission to the Master of Arts program
Students seeking admission to the Master of Arts program in religious studies must meet the general Graduate College requirements for admission as degree-seeking students. In addition, students must have the following:
Accelerated degree program requirements
The accelerated master’s program option in religious studies provides an opportunity for outstanding undergraduate students to begin their graduate course work during their junior and senior years.
Religious studies students from Drury or Evangel universities in Springfield may also qualify for admission into the accelerated program through a cooperative agreement.
Accelerated Master's Degree option
Eligible undergraduate majors in Religious Studies or an equivalent department from an accredited institution may apply for early admission to the Master of Arts in Religious Studies. Once accepted for early admission, students will be able to take up to twelve (12) credit hours at the 600- and 700-level that apply to both their undergraduate and graduate programs. Before enrolling in courses to be counted for both undergraduate and graduate credit, an undergraduate student must be accepted into the accelerated master’s program AND receive prior approval from the General Graduate Advisor, Department Head, and the Graduate College Dean (on a Mixed Credit Form).
Traditional degree program requirements
When completing the Master of Arts in religious studies traditional track, you will be able to choose courses from across the discipline.
Degree requirements (minimum of 30 hours)
Core Requirements - 18 or 21 hours
|Course Code||Course Title||Credit Hours|
||Seminar: South Asian Religions
||Seminar: Biblical Studies
||Seminar: History of Judaism and Christianity
||Seminar: Religion and Culture
All students must take at least one seminar in each of the four areas of emphasis. Students choosing to write a thesis for their research component must take two additional seminars distributed across two of the four areas for a core of 18 hours. Students choosing to create a research portfolio for their research component must take three additional seminars distributed across three of the four areas for a core of 21 hours.
2. Electives. Additional elective hours to total 30 hours. At least six of the hours must be taken in the Religious Studies Department. The student's Advisory Committee must approve these courses.
3. Advisory Committee. Initially each student will be advised by the General Graduate Advisor. As soon as possible, the student will select a faculty member to chair a graduate advisory committee consisting of at least three persons. This committee will supervise the remainder of the candidate's graduate program.
4. Program of Study. The candidate's program will be structured by the Advisory Committee in consultation with the student.
5. Comprehensive Examination. The written and oral comprehensive examination will be administered by the student's Advisory Committee upon the completion of at least 12 hours of course work, normally at the beginning of the third semester. This examination must be passed before the student begins writing a thesis or creating a research portfolio.
6. Research. In addition to completing their course work, students must complete either a thesis or a research portfolio in a manner acceptable to the student's Advisory Committee. Students writing a thesis will enroll in REL 799 for 3 credit hours upon the completion of at least 12 hours of course work, normally at the beginning of the third semester of study. Students will normally take another 3 hours of REL 799 in the following semester to complete the thesis. Either the thesis or research portfolio constitutes the student's research component and will be defended orally before the student's Advisory Committee.