Bachelor of Arts Program

Program Description - Comparative Religion

The Comparative Religion Program is one of several interdisciplinary programs in the Jackson School of International Studies. Students completing the program requirements receive a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Religion.

The availability of a large number of courses in a broad range of religious traditions underscores the distinctive nature of the Comparative Religion curriculum at the Jackson School. Course offerings introduce students to several approaches to the study of religions, e.g., historical, textual, anthropological, philosophical, psychological, and sociological. Drawing from programs within the Jackson School as well as from other units on campus, the curriculum is highly international and trans-cultural in character.

The faculty of the Comparative Religion Program includes appointments not only in the Jackson School, but in several other units of the University (History, Sociology, Anthropology, Music, Art History, Psychology, Philosophy, Political Science, Asian Languages and Literature, Near East Languages and Civilization, and Classics). The University's Language and Literature/Civilization programs offer excellent resources for students interested in the comparative study of religion, particularly in areas represented by the various regional programs within the Jackson School of International Studies. The expertise represented on the faculty covers a wide variety of religious traditions and issues.
-James Wellman, Chair

Admission to Major - open major

Any undergraduate admitted for study as a matriculated student in the College of Arts and Sciences may declare Comparative Religion as a major.

Major Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 55 credit hours from the Comparative Religion curriculum.


Required Courses:

  1. JSIS C 201/Introduction to World Religions: Western Traditions (5 credits) (Autumn)
  2. JSIS C 202/Introduction to World Religions: Eastern Traditions (5 credits) (Winter)
  3. JSIS C/CHID 380/Theories of the Study of Religion (5 credits) (Spring)
  4. JSIS 201/The Making of the 21st Century (5 credits) (Winter & Spring)

Other Course Work:
Students must complete 35 credits in courses chosen from among the following rubrics:

Students must take at least five credits in each rubric, but no more than 20 in any particular rubric. At least 15 credits of the 35 must be at the 300 level or above. The list of approved courses under the three rubrics is available in THOM 111, or online by clicking the boldface links above, or by clicking here.

Honors Program

Comparative Religion offers an honors program for students with a high level of scholarly achievement (3.5 GPA in the courses for the major). In addition to fulfilling the same basic requirements as other majors, honors students must complete two years of a scriptural language and write an honors essay under faculty supervision.

Minor Requirements

30 credits, to include the following:

  1. JSIS C 201 (5) and JSIS C 202 (5)

  2. 15 additional credits in approved JSIS religion courses or joint-listed equivalents

  3. 5 additional credits chosen from approved JSIS religion courses or from an approved list of electives*

*For a list of approved electives, follow this link

Revised 9/4/2014

Jackson School
Office of Academic Services
111 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-6001