University of Southern California

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences


Undergraduate Degrees

Major Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Religion

The department major requires REL 301 Introduction to the Study of Religion (preferably taken at the beginning of the student’s major courses) and REL 401 Seminar in Religious Studies. Further, students must take six additional courses from the list below. At least four of the six must be upper-division courses.

Lower-division Options: REL 111, REL 112, REL 114, REL 115, REL 121, REL 125, REL 132, REL 134, REL 135x, REL 136x, REL 137, REL 138, REL 141, REL 147

Upper-division Options: CLAS 323, COMM 425, COMM 426, EALC 431, HIST 482, JS 321, JS 361, JS 382, JS 467, REL 302, REL 311, REL 312, REL 314, REL 315, REL 316, REL 317, REL 319, REL 325, REL 326g, REL 329, REL 330, REL 331, REL 332, REL 333, REL 334, REL 335, REL 336, REL 338, REL 339, REL 340, REL 341, REL 360, REL 364, REL 366, REL 370, REL 394, REL 402, REL 414, REL 415, REL 417, REL 433, REL 435, REL 440, REL 441, REL 442, REL 455, REL 460, REL 462, REL 468, REL 469, REL 471, REL 473, REL 474, REL 475, REL 479, REL 481, REL 483, REL 493, REL 494, REL 495, REL 499

Students who intend to do graduate work in some area of religious studies are encouraged to concentrate their course selections in the area of their preference and to begin learning the languages that are essential for study in that area. This includes modern languages such as Arabic, Chinese, French, German or Japanese, and perhaps an ancient language.

Religion Major with Honors

Majors who wish to graduate from the university with honors in religion must achieve a minimum 3.5 grade point average in the major at the time of graduation. In addition to completing the required 32 units listed above, candidates for honors must register for REL 491x Undergraduate Honors Research, in which they must complete an acceptable senior honors project in religion. The total unit requirement to graduate with honors is 36 upper-division units.

Honor Society

Theta Alpha Kappa is a national honor society for those involved in the study of religion at the undergraduate and graduate level. It is open to declared majors who have completed at least three semesters of college and at least 12 units of religion courses. Students must have a GPA of at least 3.5 in major courses and an overall GPA of at least 3.0.

Judaic Studies Emphasis Major

A Bachelor of Arts in Religion with an emphasis in Judaic Studies is offered cooperatively with the School of Religion and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Students will complete all requirements for the bachelor of arts in religion. In fulfilling these requirements, students who choose the Judaic Studies emphasis will select any three of the following courses: REL 312; JS 321, JS 361, JS 382, JS 467.

As a prerequisite for participation in the Judaic Studies emphasis, students must enroll in either JS 100 Jewish History or JS 180 Introduction to Judaism. In addition, students who elect the Judaic Studies emphasis must complete HEBR 120, HEBR 150, and HEBR 220, which may be used to fulfill the college’s language requirement.

The total number of units to graduate with the Judaic Studies emphasis major is 36 units. This does not include the Hebrew language requirement.

Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Archaeology

Director: Lynn Swartz Dodd, Ph.D.

Archaeology deepens our understanding of peoples and societies across space and time, in all parts of the world, while expanding our knowledge of issues relevant in contemporary society. Archaeologists interpret material culture and action from our shared human past using a range of tools and approaches whether the discovery occurs with trowel in hand, or through laboratory analysis, artifact study, remote sensing, or by documenting heritage.

Archaeology majors strengthen their skills in critical thinking, assessing evidence, and formulating clear and persuasive arguments, both oral and written. Students from a wide range of disciplines will gain perspective on their own intellectual and professional interests through the study of the past.

In addition to the general education requirements, the following courses are required:

Required Lower Division (4 units) units
ANTH 202 Archaeology: Our Human Past 4
Additional Lower Division Requirements (4 units) units
One course from the following (4 units):
AHIS 201 Digging into the Past 4
ANTH 140 Mesoamerican Cosmovision and Culture 4
CLAS 212L Archaeology: Interpreting the Past 4
HBIO 200L The Human Animal 4
LING 295 The Ancient Near East: Culture, Archaeology, Texts 4
One course from the following area specializations (4 units):
AHIS 120 Foundations of Western Art 4
AHIS 125 Arts of Asia I: Antiquity to 1300 4
AHIS 126 Arts of Asia II: 1300 to present 4
AHIS 127 Arts of the Ancient Americas 4
AHIS 128 Arts of Latin America 4
CHEM 105bL* General Chemistry 4
CLAS 150 Greeks and Legacies 4
CLAS 151 Civilization of Rome 4
CLAS 280 Classical Mythology 4
ENST 100 Introduction to Environmental Studies 4
HIST 101 State and Society in the Ancient World 4
MASC 110L Materials Science 4
REL 111 The World of the Hebrew Bible 4
REL 112 Religions of Ancient Egypt and the Near East 4
REL 114 The Mediterranean: A Religious History 4
REL 115 Jerusalem, City of Three Faiths 4
REL 121 The World of the New Testament 4
REL 132 Origins of Western Religions 4
REL 135x Chinese Religions and Culture 4
REL 137 Introduction to Islam 4
SSCI 265L The Water Planet 4
*Prerequisite required

Upper Division Requirements (28 units) units
Five courses from the following three lists (20 units):
AHIS 321 Greek Art and Archaeology 4
AHIS 322 Roman Art and Archaeology 4
AHIS 330 Medieval Art 4
AHIS 381 Visual Culture of Asia 4
AHIS 384 Early Chinese Art 4
ANTH 310 Archaeology of the Americas 4
ANTH 311 Old World Archaeology 4
ANTH 314 The Nature of Maya Civilization 4
CLAS 323 Aegean Archaeology 4
CLAS 324 Late Antique Art and Archaeology 4
CLAS 328 Archaeology of Religion in the Greco-Roman World 4
REL 302 Religions of Ancient Egypt and the Near East 4
REL 325 Religious Experience in the Greco-Roman World 4
REL 326 Historical Jesus 4
REL 394 Archaeology of Egypt and the Near East 4
AHIS 420 Studies in Ancient Art 4
ANTH 304 Prehistoric Archaeology 4
ANTH 329 Archaeology and Global Cultural Heritage 4
ANTH 337 Anthropology of Warfare 4
ANTH 360 Symbolic Anthropology 4
ANTH 372 Interpretation of Myth and Narrative 4
CLAS 338 Warfare, State, and Society in the Ancient World 4
CLAS 339 Ancient Science 4
CLAS 349 Ancient Empires 4
JS 378 Jewish Magic in the Ancient World 4
REL 402 Cultural Heritage, Religion and Politics in the Middle East 4
REL 475 Religion, Material Culture and the Senses 4
REL 493 The Art and Archaeology of Religion 4
ANTH 376 Scientific Analysis in Archaeology 4
ANTH 481L* GIS for Archaeologists 4
CHEM 300L* Analytical Chemistry 4
ENST 320ab Water and Soil Sustainability; Energy and Air Sustainability 4-4
GEOL 305L Introduction to Engineering Geology 4
GEOL 320L* Surficial Processes and Stratigraphic Systems 4
GEOL 412 Oceans, Climate and the Environment 4
HBIO 300 Evolution, Ecology, and Culture 4
HBIO 308 Origins and Evolution of Human Behavior 4
SSCI 301L Maps and Spatial Reasoning 4
SSCI 382* Principles of Geographic Information Science 4
SSCI 483L* Spatial Science Practicum 4
Two courses from Theory and Methods (8 units):
AHIS 325 Roman Archaeological Excavation: Methods and Practice 4
AHIS 415 Object-Worlds: Histories and Theories of Things 4
AHIS 425 Interdisciplinary Studies in Classical Art and Archaeology: Research and Methodology 4
AHIS 427 Archaeological Theories, Methods, and Practice 4
ANTH 400 Maya Resilience: Conducting Past and Present Identities 4
ANTH 440 History of Anthropological Theory 4
ANTH 450 Field Research in Maya Archaeology 4
ANTH 481L* GIS for Archaeologists 4
REL 303 Exploring Ancient Ways of Living: Experimental Archaeology 4
REL 494 Lab Methods and Theories in Archaeology 4
REL 495 Field Methods and Theories in Archaeology 4
*Prerequisite required

Capstone course
CLAS 465 Archaeology and Society 4
Total requirements: 10 courses (40 units)

Minor in Interdisciplinary Archaeology

The minor in interdisciplinary archaeology is available to students in all schools and departments. Students from a wide range of disciplines will gain perspective on their own intellectual and professional interests through the study of the past.

Lower-division Requirements: ANTH 202 and one course from the list of lower-division electives (8 units).

Upper-division Requirements: four courses (16 units) as follows:

Archaeological Theories and Methods – one upper-division course (4 units)

And either:

one additional upper-division course from the Archaeological Theories and Methods list and two upper-division courses from those listed in Topical/Thematic and Culture/History – three courses (12 units), or

one upper-division course from Culture/History and Thematic/Topical and two upper-division courses from the Applied/Analytical lists – three courses (12 units)

Total requirements: 6 courses (24 units)

Religion Minor

Students taking the religion minor must enroll in REL 301 Introduction to the Study of Religion. In addition, they must complete four additional religion courses, at least three of which must be upper-division courses.

The total unit requirement for the minor is 20 units; 16 of those units must be upper-division.

Students who wish to focus their minor in Jewish studies must minor in Judaic Studies.

Judaic Studies Minor

See Judaic Studies for a full description of the minor.

Critical Approaches to Leadership Minor

See the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies for a full description of the minor.