BA Religious Studies (Religion, Culture and Public Life)

Look around and you will see religion everywhere. By studying a variety of materials, you gain an understanding of the role of religion in shaping the past, present and future of human societies and cultures, an understanding which will aid you in any field you decide to pursue.

Program Description

The BA in religious studies with a concentration in religion, culture and public life approaches religion as a mode of human culture, as constituted in intellect, language, emotion, practice, art and everyday life.

The program focuses on the role religions play in the formation of cultural identities, traditions, norms and memories, and it examines in particular the impact religions have on culturally specified ways people reason, communicate, socialize, work, entertain, dress, eat, live and die. Special consideration is given to the influence of religion on gender roles and sexual norms; the formation of images of the body and the moral assessment of medical practices; and the reflection and reproduction of religion in film, popular culture, and conventional, digital and social media.

The concentration addresses present-day interests and prepares students for jobs in a variety of professions, including education, journalism, media studies, gender studies, health care, politics, law, education, migration and international studies.

Students currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in religious studies (religion, culture and public life) may not pursue a concurrent degree with the BA in religious studies or the BA in religious studies (religion, politics and global affairs) due to the high level of overlap in curriculum. Students should speak with their academic advisor for any further questions.

Required Courses (Major Map)

Major Map

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What if: See how your courses can be applied to another major and find out how to change your major.

At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus, or online
  • Additional Program Fee: Yes
  • Second Language Requirement: Yes
  • First Required Math Course: MAT 142 - College Mathematics
  • Math Intensity: General program math intensity general

Admission Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.

Freshman Transfer International Readmission

Transfer Options

ASU is committed to helping students thrive by offering tools that allow personalization of the transfer path to ASU. Students may use the Transfer Map search to outline a list of recommended courses to take prior to transfer.

ASU has transfer partnerships in Arizona and across the country to create a simplified transfer experience for students. These pathway programs include exclusive benefits, tools and resources, and help students save time and money in their college journey. Students may learn more about these programs by visiting the admission site:

Change of Major Requirements

A current ASU student has no additional requirements for changing majors.

Students should refer to for information about how to change a major to this program.

Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

Next Steps to attend ASU

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Affording College

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Financial aid

Career Outlook

Religious studies majors seek jobs in many professional areas, including:

  • chaplaincy
  • diversity management
  • education
  • foreign service
  • health care
  • journalism
  • law
  • mental health and counseling
  • nonprofit organizations
  • nongovernmental organizations
  • public policy
  • public service
  • publishing

Religious studies is an excellent foundation for graduate and professional studies in:

  • anthropology
  • gender studies
  • health care
  • history
  • law
  • justice studies
  • philosophy
  • political science
  • sociology
  • theology

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:


  • Growth: 16.4%
  • Median Salary*: $33,120
  Bright Outlook

Counselor (General)

  • Growth: 14.3%
  • Median Salary*: $43,370
  Bright Outlook


  • Growth: 8.2%
  • Median Salary*: $119,250

Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

  • Growth: 23.4%
  • Median Salary*: $48,790
  Bright Outlook

News Reporter

  • Growth: -10.0%
  • Median Salary*: $39,370
Green Occupation


  • Growth: 7.1%
  • Median Salary*: $25,630

Religion Professor

  • Growth: 12.3%
  • Median Salary*: $69,590
  Bright Outlook

Religious Education Director

  • Growth: 7.1%
  • Median Salary*: $38,980

Religious Leader

  • Growth: 8.2%
  • Median Salary*: $47,100

Social Worker

  • Growth: 14.2%
  • Median Salary*: $44,380
  Bright Outlook

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs.

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will contact you directly.