M.A. On Campus

Religious Studies

University of California, Santa Barbara

12 months
12570 USD/year
12570 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara is nationally and internationally recognized as one of the world’s leading centers for the analytic study of religion and is renowned for its cross-cultural and multidisciplinary approach to the study of religions.


The department in Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara offers training in the religious dimensions of the human experience in diverse cultures and traditions around the world and through the course of history. We embrace both humanistic and scientific approaches to the study of religions and emphasize the importance of advanced study of relevant languages. 

Our faculty members employ a diverse array of methods in their research and draw from a broad range of theoretical perspectives. Indeed, a rigorous multidisciplinary and analytic approach to the study of religions, often involving comparative perspectives across traditions, has been one of the enduring hallmarks of UCSB’s Department of Religious Studies since its founding more than fifty years ago, in contrast with our peer institutions whose programs have been founded on a seminary model rooted in ministry.

Programme Structure

  • Our graduate program is designed to provide students with an understanding of classical and contemporary theories of religion, with the linguistic and methodological skills to conduct cutting-edge research, and with in-depth specialist training in particular cultural areas and religious traditions. 
  • The department has particular strengths in five cultural areas: South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka), Central Asia (Tibet and Mongolia), East Asia (China and Japan), the Americas (North America and the Caribbean), and the Mediterranean and West Asia. 
  • We offer training in a range of religious traditions within and across these cultural areas—including Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Daoist, Shinto, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Native American, and Black Atlantic traditions—along with traditions and communities that complicate this type of classification. 

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines


30 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Applicants are admitted on a competitive basis based on transcripts, scores on the verbal and writing portions of the Graduate Record Examination, letters of recommendation, personal statement of research interests, and fit with the resources of the department. 
  • In addition to departmental requirements for admission, applicants must fulfill university requirements for admission to graduate status described in the chapter “Graduate Education at UCSB.”

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    12570 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 12570 USD per year during 12 months.
  • National

    12570 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 12570 USD per year during 12 months.

Living costs for Santa Barbara

1640 - 2480 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Due for update

Updated over a year ago

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

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Religious Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara


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