Religious Studies

University of California, Riverside

M.A. On Campus
24 months
17696 USD/year
17696 USD/year
7628 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Department of Religious Studies at University of California, Riverside admits only a small number of graduate students each year in order to offer a focused graduate program that is designed to train advanced students in the critical study of religious traditions through close study with our faculty. 


The program engages religion as a political and social force on the international stage, critically appraising the impact of religions in contemporary global cultures, contacts, and conflicts.

Students in the Religious Studies program at the University of California, Riverside applying to study in our graduate program are therefore expressing an interest in delving into particular ways of studying religions: through the political, cultural, ideological, and interpretive lenses by which people understand themselves and others. This view of religious discourses not only describes the academic approach of our faculty, but also provides critical interfaces with scholarly work conducted through the University, and in many other areas of humanistic studies.

Because of the diversity of interests among our faculty and the rich interdisciplinary connections available both at UCR and across the University of California system, students in our program are able to pursue a wide variety of interests. 

Our strengths include, but are not limited to:

  • Pan-Pacific religions
  • Transnational religions in the U.S.
  • Religions in South, East, and Southeast Asia
  • Religion, sexuality, and gender, including queer and transgender studies in religion
  • Religion, race, colonialism, and decolonization
  • U.S. religions, historical and contemporary
  • Religion and culture

Programme Structure

Students gain a broad perspective on the methodological and theoretical aspects of religious studies through two courses that are required in all of the department’s graduate programs and that are offered in alternating years:

  • Thinking about Religion: Classic Theories in the Study of Religion
  • Contemporary Theories and Theorists in the Study of Religion.

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines




60 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA Your GPA, or Grade Point Average, is a number that indicates how well or how high you scored in your courses on average. Usually a GPA scales between 1.0 and 4.0, however different countries and universities can have different grading systems.

English requirements

TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at designated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).
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Other requirements

General requirements

  • A bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, from an accredited institution. The degree must represent the completion of a program equivalent in subject matter and scholarship to that offered by the University of California.
  • A minimum of a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or B-equivalent (if GPA is not on a 4.0 scale). We recommend that you check with the graduate program as they may have a higher standard for their GPA requirements. If your GPA is below this, follow up with the graduate program you are interested. Applications are reviewed in their entirety and the program can look at your other components and advise you on potential admission.
  • All applications are initially reviewed by the graduate program before a recommendation is submitted to the Graduate Division for final approval. Please visit your the graduate program's website you are interested in for any program specific requirements.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    17696 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8848 USD per semester and a duration of 24 months.
  • National

    17696 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8848 USD per semester and a duration of 24 months.
  • In-State

    7628 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 3814 USD per semester and a duration of 24 months.


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.

Fresh content

Updated in the last year

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

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Religious Studies
University of California, Riverside


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