Our M.A. program is designed to involve students in independent research from the very start, beginning with required foundations courses to provide them with the skills necessary not only to apply social theory to topics in the study of religion but also to use a variety of digital skills to more effectively convey their findings to wider readerships. (Learn more about the requirements here.)

Throughout the degree students are encouraged to follow their interests, enrolling in directed, one-on-one reading courses along with graduate seminars, all aimed at developing the knowledge and research methods necessary for the thesis they tackle in their final semesters — whether a traditional research paper or digital project.

But graduate students in the study of religion are also presented with opportunities to travel to regional or national conferences (with the latter opportunity reserved for students in their final year who are aiming to apply to Ph.D. programs), to chair panels at our annual undergraduate research symposium, to participate in a regular journal group, to review academic books at nationally recognized sites and peer review journals (such as here, here, or here), and even to co-author and publish peer reviewed papers with faculty members (as happened in 2018 with a member of our first cohort).

Whether hoping to enroll in a Ph.D. upon leaving UA or seek employment in any number of fields where critical thinking and digital skills are a desired combination, our students are trained to independently follow their interests and create new knowledge abut how society works.