What will I learn?

The Department of Religious Studies uses a variety of methods (historical, textual, ethnographic, philosophical and social scientific) to study of the religious dimensions of world cultures and traditions. Its program offers concentrations in a variety of religious traditions: (Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Native American and indigenous) and areas, with particular strengths in South and East Asia, the Middle East, the ancient and medieval Mediterranean world, and North America. Faculty teach, research and publish in the study of sacred textual traditions, religion in public life, sacred space and pilgrimage, healing systems, race/ethnicity and pluralism, religious experience, religious movements, religious violence, and the implications that nationalism, globalization, science and the new media hold for the development of religion in the modern era. Cross-cultural research and interdisciplinary approaches - involving disciplines such as history, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, psychology, gender studies, art history, comparative literature, and political science - are especially encouraged by the Department and supported by faculty affiliates across the university.

Which department am I in?

College of Letters and Science

Study options

Full Time (A total of 36.0 units are required for the M.A. degree; PhD: 4 years to advance to candidacy, 7 years to complete the degree)

Tuition fees
US$15,102.00 per year
Application deadline

Expected December 2022

Start date

Expected September, October 2022


College of Letters and Science

2217 Cheadle Hall, MC 2080,

University of California, Santa Barbara,



93106, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Students must have a paper-based TEOFL score of 550.

For international students

To be considered for admission to UCSB, applicants must have received a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent (with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better) from an accredited university prior to the quarter for which admission is sought.

TOEFL scores 550 Paper-Based Test (PBT), 80 Internet-Based Test (IBT) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Overall Band score of 7 or higher (if applicable).

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


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