graduate Program


General Information

The Department of Religious Studies offers a graduate program leading to a Master of Arts degree in Religious Studies.  This two year program will concentrate on method and theory in the study of religion. The M.A. is designed to give students from a variety of backgrounds a solid grounding in the methods used in the contemporary study of religion.


Application Process

Applications are reviewed on an on-going basis throughout the year.  Students seeking financial aid must submit their completed application by March 1 before the Fall the semester to which they are applying.  To apply on-line please go to If you apply on-line and have additional materials you wish to include¬†with your application, you can send them by email to or you can send them through the mail to:

Case Western Reserve University
Department of Religious Studies
Tomlinson Hall 243
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7112

A completed application includes:
On-line Application
A Statement of Objectives
Letters of Recommendation (minimum of 3)
Academic Transcripts
Test Scores (GRE, TOEFL, etc.)
Application Fee ($50)


Program Curriculum

FIRST SEMESTER (minimum 9 credits)
1. RLGN 401 (3 credit hrs)-- A reading course based on the major formative works of the field. Bibliography to be worked out by grad advisor in consultation with the student. Student will demonstrate familiarity with the literature through written examination.
2. RLGN 4xx (3 credit hrs)
3. An elective (3 credit hrs) dealing with method and theory in the study of religion.

 SECOND SEMESTER (minimum 9 credits)
1. RLGN 4xx (3 credit hours)
2. An elective (3 credit hrs) dealing with method
and theory in the study of religion
3. Independent Study (3 credit hours) with thesis
advisor to prepare proposal. To be approved by
the Graduate Faculty by the beginning of the third

THIRD SEMESTER (minimum 9 credits)
1. RLGN 4xx (3 credit hours)
2. Elective or RLGN 651 (Thesis Research and Writing) (3 credit hours)
3. RLGN 651 (Thesis Research and writing) (3 credit hours)

FOURTH SEMESTER (minimum 3 credits)
1. RLGN 651 (Thesis Research and Writing)
(3 credit hours)



Available Courses include:

RLGN 401- Foundational Reading in Religious Studies

RLGN 410- Cognitive Science of Religion

RLGN 420- Structuralism and the Anthropology of Religion

RLGN 430- Genealogies of Otherness

RLGN 433- Philosophy of Religion

RLGN 440- Insiders and Outsiders in the Study of Religion

RLGN 441- Jewish Urban History

RLGN 445- Religion and Horror

RLGN 449- Biocultural Approaches to religion

RLGN 450- Jewish Ethics

RLGN 452- Languages, Cognition and Religion

RLGN 460- Approaches to the Study of Urban Religion

RLGN 488- Topics in Religion


Financial Aid

Tuition grants through the Department covering full or partial tuition are available for a limited number of students.                  CWRU has various forms of financial aid available to graduate students. Students interested in being considered for assistantships through their programs must indicate their interest by checking the appropriate box on the application. U.S. citizens can also apply for Federal financial aid and receive student loans.