Religious Studies

Religion is a complex topic with personal, spiritual, and sociocultural dimensions. It can be a topic studied in its own right, or as a lens through which to view the human condition, contemporary human societies, intellectual and social history, spirituality, and ethics. The Religious Studies Program is an interdisciplinary unit within the College of Arts & Sciences, with participation from faculty and students from across all of UNM. We train undergraduate students in the academic study of religion, with a particular emphasis on religion in a rapidly globalizing world, in U.S. American life, and in the rich diversity of New Mexico. 

Our purpose is to help students develop knowledge of major world traditions and to understand how these traditions have shaped human culture. Our undergraduate program provides both an introduction to the scholarly study of religion and broad training in the liberal arts. Students major or minor in religious studies in order to pursue careers as educators or scholars of religion, to work toward becoming clerical or lay ministers in a variety of traditions, to prepare for professional school, to pursue graduate education in allied humanities or social science disciplines and/or to explore their own deepest interests. We ask that students focus on at least two major religious traditions to get a broader understanding of the function of religion in culture, society, and thought. How do the interpretation and mobilization of religious symbols and narratives change over time and across communities?

Religious Studies is one of the oldest humanistic disciplines and teaches critical reading and thinking skills that are essential to a liberal arts education. Religious Studies is an excellent preparation for law, medicine, education, or the ministry - as well as a foundation for graduate school in many disciplines… and for life! 

In addition to the B.A. degree offered by the program, we are pleased to offer a Departmental Honors Thesis for students who wish to work closely with a faculty member on developing an original research project. This is a great opportunity to prepare for graduate study, or to simply dive deep into an area of your interest.  

Undergraduate Program

Departmental Honors

UNM Catalog

Programs of Study


  • B.A. Religious Studies
  • Religious Studies

Contact Information

Undergraduate Academic Advisor(s): 
Advisor office locations vary. Please click on your advisor's name below to learn more.
Advising Email:
Department Location:
Humanities (Bldg 81), Suite 425

Department/Program Website