The Graduate Certificate in Religious Studies is designed to provide students with a solid grounding in the academic study of religion, including exposure to key theoretical and methodological issues within the interdisciplinary field of Religious Studies. The certificate program enables students to integrate Religious Studies methodologies, as well as deeper knowledge of particular religious traditions, into their own academic interests or professional training.


Completion of the certificate in Religious Studies represents an additional credential for graduate students from a variety of academic disciplines and fields of study. The certificate will enhance the qualifications of students seeking careers in research and teaching, journalism, the nonprofit sector, government, the arts, or any other field in which understanding the breadth of human cultural diversity is useful.


Enrollment in the program is open to students admitted to a regular KU graduate program as well as students who are not currently enrolled at KU.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Eligibility criteria for admission to the graduate certificate program follow Graduate Studies' admission policyNon-native speakers of English must meet English proficiency requirements as described hereA Bachelor's degree in Religious Studies is not required for admission, but the department expects applicants to show on their transcripts significant exposure to the humanities and social sciences.

For all applicants (current graduate students and non-KU students), please check the application requirements through the Religious Studies certificate page

Potential students must submit a complete online graduate application. For additional questions regarding program requirements and application processes, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Jackie Brinton. Applicants may also contact the department directly: 

The University of Kansas
Department of Religious Studies
Smith Hall, Room 109A
1300 Oread Ave. | Lawrence, KS 66045

785-864-4341 | rstudies@ku.edu

The Graduate Certificate in Religious Studies requires 12 hours of coursework:

  • REL 601 Approaches to the Study of Religion (3 hrs);
  • 9 additional hours of graduate-level coursework in Religious Studies. Up to 3 hours of appropriate coursework in other departments may be substituted in consultation with the Graduate Director.