Religious Studies Associate in Arts (Associate in Arts, 2020-2021)

Program Info

Year Established
Program Code
Degree Type
Associate in Arts

Program Description


Provides both broad overviews and focused study of the world’s religious traditions. Students explore the histories, religious beliefs, philosophies, practices, mythologies, arts, and other aspects of religions using methodologies from the social sciences and humanities. The program provides a foundation for the transfer of earned credits to colleges and universities where students can continue their studies in religion or other academic disciplines. Foundations of the program include courses in Religious Traditions of the World, Introduction to the Academic Study of Religions, Eastern Religions, and Western Religions. Additional classes offer more focused explorations of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Native American Religious Traditions. Other key courses include The Bible as Literature, African American Religious Experience and Expression, and Myths and Symbols. Supporting and elective courses provide students with opportunities to study cultural anthropology, art, history, and philosophy. Special topics and directed study courses are also available—allowing a student to examine religious studies topics of personal interest, above and beyond those in the catalog.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students should be able to:

  1. Distinguish between academic and theological approaches to studying Religion.
  2. Compare the institutional aspects (myths, symbols, rituals, values, and practices) and the material expressions (art, music and dance, clothing, architecture, texts, and ritual objects) of the world’s major religions.
  3. Compare and contrast the major characteristics of religions generally identified as “Eastern” and “Western.”
  4. Describe the primary personalities, events, beliefs and practices associated with the world’s major religions.
  5. Compare and contrast the histories, beliefs, and practices of major branches in the world’s major religions.
  6. Describe the role of religion in the formation and maintenance of personal and community identity.
  7. Describe ways in which religious thinkers have addressed important philosophical questions.
  8. Analyze geo-political implications of modernization on religious activity.

General Education

Category 1: English Composition
Complete any one.
Category 2: English Composition or Communications
Complete any one course from the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) list.
Category 3: Mathematics
Complete any one course from the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) list.
Category 4: Social Sciences
Complete any two, from different disciplines.
Category 5: Humanities and Fine Arts
Complete any one, from a different discipline (other than WR).
Category 6: Natural Sciences
Complete any two, including one with laboratory experience, from different disciplines.
Credit Hours

See General Education Requirements for details.

Degree-Specific Requirements

Computer Technology: Complete any one
Credit Hours

Program Requirements

Required Support Courses

Complete additional 100-level, or higher, credits to complete this degree.

Elective Hours
Minimum Total Credit Hours
Requirements are subject to change. The information represented here is effective starting Fall 2020 and applies to the current catalog year. If you were admitted prior to this year, please check your requirements under the My Progress section of HFC Self Service.