Comparative Religion Major

Individuals interested in taking a class in the Department of World Religions and Cultures at Western Michigan University as an undergraduate may follow one of two pathways:

  1. Apply as an undergraduate student if you are seeking a degree.
  2. Apply as a transfer student if you have taken courses elsewhere.


Catalog information for the comparative religion major.

There are three tracks within the major:

Track 1: World Religions, Society, and Culture

This track is designed to prepare students for careers in academia, education, government, law, and politics. Students receive training to be culturally competent global citizens. Students receive a grounding in academic study of religion as well as in the teachings, practices, and history of major world religious traditions.

Track 2: Religion, Spirituality, and Health

This track provides students with a cultural understanding of the body, illness, and health; and emphasizes practical tools for addressing religious, spiritual, and cultural diversity. It provides a firm foundation for students interested in understanding religion and the cultural aspects of medicine and healthcare.

Track 3: Religion in America

This track seeks to provide students with an understanding of the diverse religious history of, and issues in, religious practice in the U.S. Students also receive a grounding in the academic study of religion. Students interested in this track will be well prepared for careers in academics, law, politics, and government in the U.S.

 Many students combine a major in Comparative Religion with another major from within the Humanities or Social Sciences. The Comparative Religion program emphasizes development of students’ writing and research skills. Comparative Religion courses provide knowledge and skills relevant to and useful in a large and growing range of careers and professions, including health care, non-profit and public sector careers, culture and the arts, religious vocations, and business and marketing.

Essential Studies requirements

Many comparative religion courses satisfy essential studies requirements at Western Michigan University.

Other requirements:

  • A minimum grade of C is required in all courses to be counted toward the major or minor.
  • At least half of all credit hours to be counted toward the major or minor (14 and eight credit hours, respectively) must be taken in the Department of Comparative Religion.

Undergraduate comparative religion courses