This certificate is designed to provide students with an understanding of the interdisciplinary academic study of religious phenomena from around the globe. It is recommended for all students interested in examining the religious belief systems of the world as well as issues associated with the patterns, correlates, and explanations of religious beliefs and practices. The certificate program is open to all NIU undergraduates. Students must maintain good academic standing in the university and complete all certificate course work within six calendar years.
All students attempting to obtain a Religious Studies certificate must take ILAS 170, World Religions. ILAS 170 is the core course in the certificate; ideally it should be taken prior to registering for other course work in the certificate. A working knowledge of the beliefs and practices of major world religions will help students succeed in upper-level courses in the certificate program.
In addition to taking ILAS 170, students must take at least one (1) course from the following main areas: 1) Humanistic Study of Religion, 2) Social Scientific Study of Religion, and 3) Artistic Study of Religion. The other course to fulfill the requirement for the certificate will be at the discretion of the student. Students will be required to take at least one course in all three areas so that they will be exposed to the interdisciplinary nature of the field of Religious Studies and because this reflects the course requirements for Religious Studies majors at other accredited colleges and universities.