About Us

The Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of specializations within the study of religion. With particular strengths in the study of Christianity, Judaism, American religions, Islam, secularism, Buddhism, and other Asian religions, the department emphasizes descriptive, historical, and theoretical approaches to the study of religion.

The department maintains close ties with a large number of other programs and institutes at the University of Pennsylvania and beyond, and provides students with access to a wealth of library, museum, and linguistic resources. At the same time, Penn’s Department of Religious Studies is a small body in which students receive a significant amount of individual attention from faculty members.

Graduate students work closely with their advisors to design a customized course of study, while having the opportunity to interact with students from a range of subfields. The combination of personalized guidance and extensive resources provides for a course of graduate training that is both uniquely tailored and broad-based.

...it might well be said that one's education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion.”


—United States Supreme Court Justices Clark and Goldberg in Abington v. Schempp (1963)