Minor in Religious Studies

Religious Studies minors may go on to pursue graduate studies in religion, while others enter various professions such as law, medicine, grant writing, and much more. Religious Studies students find that the interpretive writing and problem solving skills they learned studying religion give them a unique edge in their work.

Requirements & Areas of Study

The major requires completion of 8 lower-division units and 20 upper-division units;  about 7 courses total. Students should consult the General Catalog or meet with the undergraduate advisor about course distribution requirements.

The Religious Studies minor requires students to pick 1 area of emphasis (2 courses in a single category) and two electives (from any category). Students may concentrate in several areas of study including:

Area A-1: South Asian, Central Asian, and East Asian traditions
Area A-2: Near Eastern, Jewish, and Islamic traditions
Area A-3: Mediterranean, European, and Christian traditions
Area A-4: Traditions of the Americas

Students may also pursue a unique emphasis under the following category:

Area A-5: Comparative & Thematic Studies. 

Comparative & Thematic Studies

By petition, students may combine courses from upper-division Areas A and B* to create
a custom comparative or thematic course of study. While this emphasis may be crafted by the student in conjunction with a faculty mentor or major advisor, pre-approved tracks do exist.

Examples of potential thematic tracks emphases include but are not limited to:

  • Religion, Gender & Sexuality
  • Religion, Ethics & Politics
  • Religious Art, Media & Iconography

Pre-approved courses for these 3 tracks can be found on this webpage.

For more information on examples of approved tracks and how to apply courses towards this Area, please reach out the the Undergraduate Program Coordinator/Advisor (contact information provided below).

*Students pursuing this option will still need to complete their Area B credit independent of their emphasis.


The department’s undergraduate advisor helps students plan their course of study. The department chair and other faculty members also assist students with academic planning.

Contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Kailee Lencioni.

Minor FAQs

How do I declare a minor?

The student must initiate the process by consulting with the sponsoring department (Religious Studies).
To receive recognition for completing the minor, the student must notify the sponsoring department early in the final quarter – when candidacy for the bachelor’s degree is declared. You should bring an annotated version of the minor requirements sheet, highlighting all courses you intend to put towards your minor.

Is there a deadline for filing the minor?

You must declare degree candidacy no later than the 2nd week of your final quarter. Your minor declaration should be complete prior to declaring degree candidacy. When graduation approaches, the department will prepare a minor clearance form for you and send the form to the Registrar. Be sure to inform the department early in your final quarter, even if you are still completing courses toward the minor!

Can I request an exception/substitution to one of the requirements for the minor?

Yes! You can request a minor credit petition (contact: klencioni@HFA.ucsb.edu) If the request is approved, it will be noted on your minor clearance form.

Will the minor appear on my diploma?

The minor will appear on your diploma and transcript after the Registrar has processed your minor.

Who should I contact about the minor?

Please contact our Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Kailee Lencioni.