Department of Religion
At Cornell, we understand that the study of religion is a journey of mind, body, heart and soul. We therefore endeavor to bridge the gap between the scholarly and the personal, the theoretical and the practical, as we explore traditions from around the world, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and more.
Our students develop skills of careful reading and clear writing as they wrestle with fundamental questions of human life and the powers that shape our destiny. These investigations are further enriched by drawing upon insights and approaches from related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities.
Our flexible degree requirements allow you a great deal of freedom in charting your own path and our courses can help you explore traditions from around the world. You can study individual religions, study the intersection of art and religion, or examine contemporary religious practice. A number of interdisciplinary courses are offered as well, including art history, literature, and philosophy.
Benefits of One Course At A Time
Cornell's One Course At A Time curriculum allows the department to explore topics in depth, through discussion-based classes where every student's voice contributes to the movement of the course. Students and professors take the time necessary to discuss and examine religious texts, allowing students to engage with the text in new ways.
The One Course calendar gives students unparalleled opportunities for off-campus learning, internships, and independent study. Students can move beyond the textbook for a block or longer to observe and experience a variety of cultures and belief systems in countries such as Mongolia, Morocco, Israel, India, and Japan.
Students of religion have the flexibility to undertake month-long internships in settings such as hospital and college chaplaincies, churches and other religious organizations, and social service agencies.
Majors dedicate their full attention to their senior capstone projects, which offer the opportunity for students to work closely with a faculty member to undertake research. You'll explore advanced issues in the study of religion, with an emphasis on your individual research. You will conduct high-level work in preparation for graduate school in the humanities, law, medicine, or theatre.