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Religious Studies (BA), 4-Year

Professor teaching a class in liberal arts

Our compact, 36-credit Religious Studies major allows you to develop an advanced religious literacy as you design an education personalized to your career goals.

Overview & Distinctions


D’Youville’s Bachelor of Arts program in Religious Studies allows students to examine and explore one of the most pervasive and influential forces in society. From world religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism – to major ethical issues – abortion, LGBT rights, stem cell research, social justice, and poverty – students will develop the analytical writing and comprehension skills necessary for advanced careers.

Our compact, 36-credit program offers students the opportunity to cater their studies to their personal preferences as they plan for careers in law, education, ministry, and government, or to continue their education through graduate programs. Students are encouraged to explore a double major in fields such as Psychology, Philosophy, History, Dietetics, and more.

Why Choose D'Youville?

  • Compact, 36-credit program allows you to explore your interests and plan your career through a double major and an education designed to meet your goals.
  • Convenient courses offer you opportunities for online, on-campus, and hybrid learning.
  • Gain research experience by working with D'Youville faculty on a research topic in either theoretical or social values in your senior year.
  • Get individualized attention in small classes taught by faculty with national reputations in the field.
  • Build your resume with professional internships at nonprofit agencies, corporations, or federal, state or local government offices, while gaining perspective on a future career.
  • D'Youville's long commitment to a liberal education means that you'll receive the kind of interdisciplinary education that will give you a rock-solid foundation. Gain skills like problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and written, visual, and oral communication as you explore paths in:
    • Graduate degrees in Religious Studies, Theology, Law, and Education
    • Ministry
    • Education
    • Law
    • Journalism
    • Non-profit Organizations
    • Government

Automatic Merit-Based Scholarship Consideration

When you apply for admission at D’Youville, we’ll automatically consider you for our merit scholarships. Undergraduate scholarships can cover as much as 50% of your tuition, and there is no need to fill out a separate application!

Transfer students can qualify for scholarships, as well. And unlike other schools, maintaining your scholarship is easier at D'Youville because we use a realistic 2.25 GPA requirement to determine your eligibility for merit-based scholarships each year. 

Check out the chart below to see if you qualify:
Scholarships SAT (M & EBRW) or ACT* / GPA Scholarship Amount
President's 88/1170 or 24 $13,000 + $3,000 Room and Board Waiver
Founder's 83/1080 or 21 $10,000 + $2,000 Room and Board Waiver
Dean's 80/980 or 18
Anyone with a 90 GPA can receive this award without test score consideration.
Transfer 3.5+ $5,500
Transfer 3.25 - 3.49 $5,000
Transfer 3.0 - 3.24 $4,500
Transfer 2.75 - 2.99 $4,000

*D'Youville only requires that you submit the results from one test.

Find more information and additional scholarships on our scholarships page.

View All Scholarships

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

First Time Freshmen

D'Youville selects students who are academically well-rounded and committed to meeting the challenges of a high-quality education. If you have been successful in a traditional college preparatory program in high school, you should be well-prepared for the academic challenges at D'Youville.

Students entering D'Youville as a freshman must meet the following minimum entrance criteria:
High School Average SAT + (or) ACT
80 980 19

+ Score is based on the new SAT score format which went into effect in March 2016.

Our admitted freshman class profile:

High school average: 85% attained a B or better
Class rank: 87% of students in the top 50 percent of their class or higher
Test Scores 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Median
SAT Evidence-based Reading and Writing* 460 590 530
SAT Math* 510 590 550
SAT Composite* 1010 1180 1090
ACT Composite* 21 25 23

*These scores reflect the new SAT score format, which went into effect in March 2016.

Transfer students

Students entering D'Youville as a transfer student must meet the following entrance criteria:

Criteria for Admission: Transfer students with a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher will be considered for admission.

Average Cumulative GPA: 3.26

Review the steps to apply for admission to D'Youville as a transfer student.



Religious Studies
Degree: B.A.

Course Requirements for the Major:
In the Specific Area of Concentration
Course Number Course Name Credits
RS 101

Introduction to the Bible

This course is a study of the sacred literature of the Jewish and Christian religions. Key concepts and great themes of both testaments are studied.

Prerequisites: None

RS 102

Belief & Unbelief in the Brave New World

This introductory course in the phenomenon of religious faith examines the classic examples of the case for and against living in faith,with the view of enabling students to evaluate their own attitudes toward religion. Faith traditions of Western and Eastern cultures provide additional data for this evaluation.
Offered in: Spring Only
Prerequisites: None

RS 209

Major Western Faiths

This course surveys the main elements of the history, thought and practice of the major religious traditions of the Western world:judaism,christianity and islam.

Prerequisites: None

PHI 308

Eastern Philosophy

This course explores themes and issues in Eastern philosophy and religion through a reading of primary source texts in Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. The course addresses such issues as the nature of the self, the path to enlightenment, and the proper means of moral education. Special emphasis is placed on the importance of compassion and selfless action in the Eastern philosophical and religious traditions.

Prerequisites: None

RS 211

Catholicism Today

This is a systematic study of the foundational beliefs of catholicism; where they came from,how they have changed and how they are interpreted today.

Prerequisites: None


Six Religious Studies Electives

Electives can come from any of the Religious Studies course offerings. However, at least three courses must be at the 300 or 400 level. Students are encouraged to pursue study abroad, internship opportunities, and senior theses as part of their electives.


One Internship Elective

One Internship Elective

Total 36
Requirement Credits
Major 36
Core Requirements and Electives 84
Total 120



The internship component of the Religious Studies degree allows students to build on and extend their learning beyond the classroom experience. Students will further their career aspirations with practical experience in meaningful, religious settings.

Students will participate in a minimum of 160 hours of internship – approximately 10 hours per week – as they further the institution's mission of leadership and service in a wide variety of institutional and business roles directly related to their studies.

Students can seek internships in: