Graduate Program

About our graduate programs:

Three degree-granting graduate programs are offered:
Our programs emphasize the cross-cultural comparative study of religions and employ interdisciplinary approaches as appropriate to the academic study of religion, including history, political science, anthropology, sociology, comparative literature, philosophy, and intensive language training.  Undergraduate and master’s programs provide a general orientation toward religious studies, while the doctoral program offers specialized training leading to academic professions in teaching and research.

M.A./Ph.D. degree program

This program is for appropriate for students applying with a B.A whose career path includes university teaching and research or other professions for which a doctoral degree in religious studies is desirable.

Ph.D. degree program

This program is appropriate for students coming to UCSB having already earned a Master’s degree in Religious Studies or its equivalent and preparing for university teaching and research or other careers for which a doctoral degree is desirable.

M.A. Plan II degree program

This one-year program is designed to offer flexible and rigorous exposure to the academic study of religion for professional or career development in other fields (for example, public school teachers, journalists, museum professionals, NGO and non-profit staff).   Additionally, applicants who are interested in pursuing the academic study of religion but hold a B.A. or B.S. outside of the humanities will find this program helpful for preparing them for further study in religion by taking advantage of the department’s rich resources in language training, foundational theoretical offerings, and rigorous coursework across religious traditions and geographic areas.  Note:  This is a terminal Master’s degree program.  It does not lead to Ph.D. work in Religious Studies at UCSB.

For more information:

Graduate Division Website: