COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

Religious studies give students the opportunity to investigate and reflect on the world's religions in an objective, critical, and appreciative manner. Though there is emphasis in religious studies on the wide variety of religious phenomena as well as on the various methods in the study of religion, the aim is to help students develop their own integrated understanding of the nature of religion and its role in individual and social life.

Graduates of the religious studies program have knowledge of the religious diversity in the United States and the world. They have the ability to interpret religion empathetically and critically and to compare and contrast historical and contemporary differences and similarities of religious systems. They understand ways in which religion influences and is influenced by the historical, social, and cultural contexts in which religious systems function. Graduates often pursue careers in non-profit, community organizations; apply to professional schools or graduate programs; or enter seminaries to prepare for ministry.

The major in religious studies seeks to provide both breadth and depth. Breadth is provided through the exploration of the world's various religious traditions and through exposure to a variety of theoretical approaches and methodologies in the academic study of religion. Depth is achieved through specialized courses in particular religious traditions and particular issues in the study of religions, culminating in research seminars. The objective is to expose the student to various components of the discipline of Religious Studies and by doing so develop skills that are valuable in a number of careers and that provide the necessary foundation for pursuing graduate studies.

Which department am I in?

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
$26,140.00 (19,44,011) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

23 August 2021


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

202 Catt Hall,

2224 Osborn Dr,



50011, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Students must have completed a high school or equivalent qualification.

For international students

Students must meet the requirements for admission as indicated below: 4 years of English or your native language; 3 years of science (including at least two years of laboratory science courses which emphasize elements of biology, chemistry, or physics); 3 years of math (including algebra and geometry); 2 years of social studies; SAT or ACT test scores are not required for admission, but providing them will speed up your admission decision. SAT or ACT is required for freshman scholarship consideration.

English Language Requirements:

TOEFL - Internet-Based TOEFL (IBT) score of 71 with a minimum score of 17 in both the Writing and Speaking sections and Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT) score of 530

IELTS - Overall band score of 6.0 with no sub score below 5.5

PTE - Score of 48

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About Iowa State University

There are eight distinct colleges with more than 300 programs, where passionate faculty are challenging some of the world’s most pressing issues.

  • Scholarships available for freshmen and transfer students
  • Eight colleges offering over 300 programs
  • Based in Ames, at the heart of Iowa
  • Stunning campus with plenty of student-run activities