Religion is without a doubt one of the most potent influences on the lives of millions of people around the world. It is also a fascinating field of academic inquiry, which is most likely why so many schools throughout the United States offer various graduate programs in the study of religious bodies. This article, the first in a series, will detail religious studies programs that can be found in the northeast.
The Master of Arts degree at Boston University is an excellent choice for those that have a strong idea of which field of religious inquiry they would like to pursue. Students in this program have a number of choices for emphasis, broken into four tracks: Texts and Traditions, Religious Thought, Religion and Society, and Religion and Science. This program is also very flexible in terms of allowing its students to take classes in departments across the university, including Classics, English, and Anthropology. There is little available in the way of financial assistance for Masters students, however, so applicants should keep this in mind when applying.
The masters program in religion at Columbia University is one of the most prestigious programs in the country, and so is an excellent choice for students who want to gain the best education possible. Students that enter this program work closely with faculty in order to design a program of study that closely mirrors their own interests in the field. In addition to examination requirements, students in this program are are also required to demonstrate comptetency of at least one language other than English. However, those who are interested in applying should note that masters students are not funded through the department, and should therefore look into other sources of funding.
The Religious Studies program at Brown University is also one of the strongest in the country, and inculcates in graduate students a variety of skills and abilities that enhance the understanding of rleigion in cultural context. However, it should be noted that this particular university only offers a terminal masters degree in Religion under extraordinary circumstances. Those who do enroll in the program are required to have mastery of either German or French, and a thesis is required to complete the program. Eight graduate-level courses are also required.
Regardless of whether you want to pursue graduate study in Religion for persona enrichment or as preparation to pursue further study at the doctoral level, any one of these masters programs in the Northeast would be an ideal choice. Future articles in this series will detail some of the other Religion programs available in the Northeast.