Students might naturally ask: What does a religion major prepare me for?

The study of religion embodies the enduring liberal arts ideal that before locking into a job niche in a world defined by public or local perceptions, it is good to first have the opportunity to study ways of interpreting the world itself and thus to develop informated judgments about what is valuable to know and to do.

The field of religion has its own specific educational outcomes. Majors will have:

  • an enhanced understanding of cultural diversity and the naturalness of diverse world views
  • international and historical perspectives that will (a) provide the wider context for students' understanding of their own culture, and (b) provide preparation for careers in international relations, development, and commerce.

Because of the broad interdisciplinary focus of the College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate program, religion majors are equipped with many other transferable skills, enabling them to succeed in any profession.

Advanced studies in religion

Some religion majors choose to go on to graduate work in religion and eventually on to academic careers. UVM's religion professors are products of some of the best religion programs in the country (Boston University, University of California Santa Barbara, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Indiana University Bloomington, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, and Yale) and will be glad to speak with you about not only programs of interest, but also what it is that advanced students of religion do.

  • Rebecca Friedlander

    Integrating the Humanities

    Besides her suitcase and backpack, Rebecca Friedlander ’17 had a lot of intellectual interests to unpack when she arrived at UVM as a first-year student in 2013. She was curious about psychology and archaeology—her family paid regular visits to the Chicago Science Museum and she participated in archaeological digs near her native Chicago.

    To fully explore her options, she enrolled in UVM's Integrated Humanities Program, which studies topics in-depth, from several different disciplinary perspectives. Participants live and learn together. By sharing the same intellectual journey under the same roof, she developed close relationships with her peers and faculty mentors.

    It was just the sort of academic experience Friendlander was looking for. She had attended Stevenson High School in North Chicago and was interested in pulling up stakes and exploring a new environment. UVM popped up as an option during her college search, and a visit to campus confirmed her early impression—a substantial research university that projected a friendly, progressive vibe. “I ended up meeting a lot of professors on Admitted Student Day,” she recalls. “They were really impressive people, but also very down to earth.”

    Read more of Rebecca's story.

Careers and jobs after a religion major

Religion majors also gravitate to the same kinds of professions and work opportunities as do those who major in history, English, or even biology. For example, they may eventually go into medicine (many medical schools actually prefer that their applicants major in humanistic fields), law, business, education, social work, or ordained ministry. Current department graduates pursue the following careers:

  • teaching, both high school and higher education
  • medicine
  • film production
  • counseling
  • business
  • broadcasting
  • publishing
  • web design
  • computer sciences
  • performance, visual, and literary arts
  • international relations and development
  • ministry
  • social services