The Department of Religious Studies promotes original research among its undergraduate students, whether majors and minors or students enrolled in its various classes. From acquiring the skills needed to engage in original work to carrying out independent research and writing persuasively — from blog posts to specialized research essays — undergraduate students in REL are routinely challenged to create new knowledge about the world around them.
Many REL classes culminate in both oral seminar presentations and research papers, in which students have an opportunity to delve more deeply into topics that interest them and which intersect with the class’s theme. Students are also encouraged to submit their work for public presentation, whether as part of the Department’s own undergraduate research symposium (established in 2013-14), various wider venues on campus, or as part of our regional scholarly association, where, over the years, REL undergrads have often participated. Working outside class, students also work on-on-one with REL faculty in independent study courses, where the class is customized to the student’s own interests.