You have the opportunity to do independent study with a faculty member as your guide.

buddhistRecent topics that students have investigated include Santeria, South Indian Hindu devotional poetry, voodoo death, stigmata, morals in folktales and proverbs, Jewish medical ethics, intermarriage in Reform Judaism, religious movements in contemporary China, Buddhist views on abortion, and religious views on aging and the elderly. Many students present their work at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research.

The following are guidelines for independent study and capstone projects in the Department of Religious Studies.

  1.  A topic for the independent study or capstone project must be approved by the adviser of the project before the beginning of the semester.
  2. For the project, the student must develop a preliminary bibliography to be handed in to the adviser no later than the end of the first week of the semester.
  3. The student doing the project will meet regularly with the adviser to report on the progress of the project. These meetings will occur at intervals (usually weekly) agreed on by the student and the adviser. In addition, the student will participate in the senior colloquy, conducted at least twice per semester by a designated member of the department, with other students currently engaged in independent study or capstone or honors work within the department.
  4.  Every independent study or capstone project will result in at least one written product of some sort, the nature, length, and due date(s) of which shall be agreed on by the student and the adviser at the beginning of the semester. The student completing a capstone project will give a presentation for department faculty, the other participants in that semester’s senior colloquy, and other invited persons at the end of the semester in which the project is done.
  5. The responsibility for meeting deadlines is the student’s. Failure to meet a deadline is grounds for the termination of the project at any time by the project adviser.
  6. A copy of the written product will be filed with the department.