The Yale Department of Religious Studies, established in its present form in 1963, provides opportunities for the scholarly study of a number of religious traditions and disciplines. At the undergraduate level, the Department offers a wide array of courses that cover the major religions of the world, with a strong emphasis on their history and their intellectual traditions.
At the graduate level, the Department is organized into ten fields:
American Religious History
Old Testament/ Hebrew Bible
Philosophy of Religion
Courses are offered in both Yale College and the Yale Graduate School, with a strong interdisciplinary emphasis. Religious Studies courses at the undergraduate level in Yale College lead to the Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.); courses at the graduate level lead to the Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.). The Department of Religious Studies does not offer a terminal Masters. If you are interested in obtaining a Masters of Arts in Religion (MAR) or a Masters in Divinity (M.Div) please contact the Yale Divinity School.
The Department of Religious Studies maintains strong ties to a number of other departments in Yale College and the Yale Graduate School, including American Studies, Classics, East Asian Languages and Literatures, History, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and Philosophy. A number of faculty members in Religious Studies hold joint appointments in other departments.
Faculty and students in Religious Studies programs are able to take advantage of Yale's rich resources, including six major libraries. One of the world's finest libraries for the study of religion is located at the Yale Divinity School. The Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies share some faculty, and have strong ties, but are distinct entities with different students and separate degree programs (the Divinity School offers courses leading to three degrees—Master of Arts in Religion, Master of Divinity, and Master of Sacred Theology).