What is the academic study of religion?
Religion, defined loosely as the beliefs and practices by which people relate to what they perceive as transcendent, is a major part of human life around the globe. It has historically been one of the most important components of the identities we build as individuals and as communities. Moreover, religion has a profound influence not only on issues like politics and nationality and economics, but on seemingly more mundane aspects of life like the clothes one wears and the food one eats. The extreme diversity we find both between and within religious communities means that this influence is far from uniform, but instead takes many forms.

Here at UWG, we study religion from a comparative and philosophical perspective. Rather than advocating for any particular religion, or for or against religion more generally, we instead seek to better describe and explain diverse examples of religious beliefs, texts, practices, and traditions, and to understand the role they play in shaping the areas of human life mentioned above.

Why study religion? 

Working knowledge of some of the world's religious traditions is a valuable asset for someone in any career, especially in today's globalized world. Throughout your career, you are sure to work with persons of varied religious backgrounds as both your colleagues and customers. Additionally, like all humanities courses, courses in religion help you to develop the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills essential to success in any field. Finally, whatever your own religious convictions or views about the status and value of religion, studying religion from a philosophical perspective enables you to think more critically about those views and develop them in a more sophisticated way.

For more information, please see the Academic Catalog. A program map, which provides a guide for students to plan their course of study, is available for download in the Courses tab below.

  • Overview

    In addition to Core and elective hours, the B.A. in philosophy with a concentration in religion requires 33 hours of upper-level (3/4000) coursework in philosophy. Students engage in the academic study of religion and philosophy in courses such as Theories of Religion, Christian Thought, Islamic Thought, and Philosophy of Religion. To complete their degree, students may choose from among a variety of other classes covering the history of philosophy and a wide range of philosophical questions and issues.

    Program Location

    Carrollton Campus

    Method of Delivery

    Most courses are face to face

    Accreditation

    The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    Credit and transfer

    Total semester hours required: 120

  • Cost

    This program may be earned entirely face-to-face. However, depending on the courses chosen, a student may choose to take some partially or fully online courses.

    Save money

    UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited universities of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen.

    Details

    • Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
    • The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
    • Face-to-face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
    • Fully or entirely online course tuition rates and fees my vary depending on the program. Students enrolled in exclusively online courses do not pay non-Resident rates.
    • Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
    • One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, he/she will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
    • For cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Bursar's Office website

    There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for more information.

  • Courses

    Downloads

    General

    • PHIL-2130 - Introduction to World Religions

      A comparative study of the beliefs and practices of several world religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This course not only explores the history of these faiths and their early doctrinal and communal development, but their place in today's world.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    Major Required

    • PHIL-4300 - Senior Seminar

      The aim of this course is to examine current theoretical and practical issues about the discipline of philosophy; to reflect upon and analyze implications of students' course of study; to read and discuss the debates surrounding the topic of the seminar; to develop, research, and execute a rigorous philosophical argument relating to the topic of the seminar; and to develop the skills of leading class discussion and presenting an academic paper. Required for Philosophy majors. Students must have obtained Senior level status.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    Major Selects

    • PHIL-4385 - Special Topics

      An examination of a topic in philosophy that transcends the boundaries of the fixed curriculum. Requires permission of the department chair to repeat.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

  • Faculty
  • Admissions

    Guidelines for Admittance

    Each UWG online degree program has specific requirements that you must meet in order to enroll.

    Admission Process Checklist

    1. Review Admission Requirements for the different programs and guides for specific populations (non-traditional, transfer, transient, home school, joint enrollment students, etc).
    2. Review important deadlines:
      • Fall semester: June 1 (undergrads)
      • Spring semester: November 15 (undergrads)
      • Summer semester: May 15 (undergrads)
        See program specific calendars here
    3. Complete online application
      Undergraduate Admissions Guide

      Undergraduate Application

      Undergraduate International Application

    4. Submit $40 non-refundable application fee
    5. Submit official documents

      Request all official transcripts and test scores be sent directly to UWG from all colleges or universities attended. If a transcript is mailed to you, it cannot be treated as official if it has been opened. Save time by requesting transcripts be sent electronically.

      Undergraduate & Graduate Applicants should send all official transcripts to:
      Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Murphy Building
      University of West Georgia
      1601 Maple Street
      Carrollton, GA 30118-4160
    6. Submit a Certificate of Immunization, if required. If you will not ever be traveling to a UWG campus or site, you may apply for an Immunization Exemption. Contact the Immunization Clerk with your request.
    7. Check the status of your application

    Contact

    philprog@westga.edu

  • Dates

    Specific dates for admissions (Undergraduates Only), go to: UWG Admission Deadlines

  • Objectives

    Students who successfully complete this degree program will be able to:

    • Discuss the views of at least three major historical figures of philosophy.
    • Critically analyze and explain a philosophical issue in written communications.
    • Incorporate and defend a philosophical position in oral communications.