Interdisciplinary Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Other Concentrations

Religion, Culture, and Values Concentration

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Students pursuing this degree must successfully complete 36 credits of graduate course work in one of the concentrations below. Students must submit a curriculum worksheet that has been approved by their faculty adviser and the director. 

Courses applied to the degree are subject to the following restrictions: a maximum of 6 credits may be earned through independent study or directed readings and research courses; a maximum of 6 credits may be taken through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area; a maximum of 15 credits may be transfer credits; a maximum of 6 of the transfer credits may be from other accredited institutions.

Transfer credits include credits taken before first enrolling as an admitted degree-seeking student (at another institution, in another Mason graduate program, or in Mason nondegree status) or credits taken at another institution after admission to the degree program through study abroad or study elsewhere (which requires prior written approval of the director and the dean). Additional information may be found in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

All students complete their work in the program with a project or thesis. Students are required to take MAIS 796 - MAIS ProSeminar (1 credit), MAIS 797 - Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal (1 credit), and either MAIS 798 - Interdisciplinary Studies Project (1-4 credits) or MAIS 799 - Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (3-4 credits). Students electing to complete the concentration in community college teaching with a thesis will complete 38 credits.


◊ Concentration in Religion, Culture, and Values (RCV)

The concentration in religion, culture, and values is particularly relevant for students who are interested in careers in law, national and international government, print and media journalism, library sciences, archives and museums, public and social service, teaching, advanced graduate studies, and religious communities and institutions. The Washington, DC metropolitan area is rich in the presence of many major religious traditions and their places of worship.

The core courses introduce students to the study of religion as a unique and rigorous intellectual discipline. Students learn to evaluate a variety of perspectives on religion and gain a clear understanding of the dimension of the sacred in all aspects of human life including those commonly designated "secular". Students discover how religious perceptions of the sacred respond to an evolving world and relate to and influence cultures, institutions, and values.

Students also examine the effects of historical crises and the forces of change on religions including contemporary religious pluralism and inter-religious dialogue. Students gain a deeper knowledge of specific traditions and a more profound understanding of values and worldviews from the viewpoint of cultural diversity and religious pluralism.

One required course of proseminar (1 credit)

MAIS 796 - MAIS ProSeminar

Two core courses (6 credits) chosen from:

RELI 630 - Approaches to the Study of Religion

RELI 631 - Sacred as Secular in Modern Spirituality

RELI 632 - World Religions in Conflict and Dialogue

RELI 635 - World Religions in Transition and Transformation

Two or three courses (6 to 9 credits) in religious studies chosen from:

RELI 591 - Special Topics in Religious Studies (may be repeated for credit)

RELI 633 - Ethical Perspectives of World Religions

RELI 636 - Religion and the Natural Environment

RELI 642 - Sacred Language, Scripture, and Culture

One course in research methodology (3 credits) chosen from:

HIST 610 - The Study and Writing of History

SOCI 634 - Qualitative Research Methods

Two or three courses in a specialization (6 to 9 credits)

Specialization in religion, culture, and communication

Students take the course below and one or two other relevant courses chosen in consultation with an advisor.

COMM 605 - Intercultural Communication

Specialization in religious traditions and conflict analysis and resolution

CONF 695 - Selected Topics (if appropriate)

CONF 702 - Peace Studies

CONF 722 - Conflict and Religion

Specialization in religion, culture, and ethics

RELI 633 - Ethical Perspectives of World Religions

PHIL 640 - History of Ethical Theory

PHIL 643 - Environmental Ethics

Specialization in religion, values, and international politics

GOVT 540 - International Relations

GOVT 741 - Advanced Seminar in International Politics (if appropriate)

One to four elective courses (3 to 12 credits)

Students choose electives in consultation with their advisor, bearing in mind their specialization, project, or thesis topic. Any of the courses under the specializations listed above or courses from other disciplines listed below may be used as electives.

ANTH 535 - Anthropology and the Human Condition: Seminar I

ANTH 615 - Ritual and Power in Social Life

ANTH 684 - Independent Study in Sociocultural Anthropology

COMM 605 - Intercultural Communication

CONF 695 - Selected Topics

CONF 702 - Peace Studies

CONF 722 - Conflict and Religion

EDUC 537 - Introduction to Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Learners

ENGH 591 - Topics in Folklore Studies

GOVT 540 - International Relations

GOVT 741 - Advanced Seminar in International Politics

HIST 510 - Approaches to Modern World History

PHIL 617 - Movements and Issues in the History of Political Philosophy

PHIL 640 - History of Ethical Theory

PHIL 643 - Environmental Ethics

SOCI 614 - Sociology of Culture

WMST 640 - Women and Global Issues

Proposal (1 credit)

MAIS 797 - Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal

Project (1-4 credits) or thesis (4 credits)

MAIS 798 - Interdisciplinary Studies Project


MAIS 799 - Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)

Total: 36 credits

Print Friendly and PDF