Religious Studies

Program Information

Degree Type: 
Associate in Arts

Provides a broad overview of the worlds’ religious traditions. Students explore the histories, beliefs, practices, and philosophies of these religions using the analytical principles of the social sciences and humanities. The program provides a foundation for transfer to universities where students can continue their studies in religion or other disciplines. The foundations of the program include courses in comparative world religions, the Bible as literature, and additional courses that address modes of religious experience, cultural myths, and symbols in religion. Additional courses provide in-depth study in either Western religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam or the Eastern religions, particularly Hinduism and Buddhism. Additional required courses include study in philosophy, history, anthropology, and world regional geography. A variety of elective courses for the Religious Studies program consist of classes in archaeology, art, world languages, history, and the anthropology of the Middle East.

Learning Outcomes: 
  • Distinguish between the traditional and scientific ways of knowing, explain the multidisciplinary approaches to the study of religion (e.g., sociological, anthropological, historical, theological, etc.).
  • Compare the institutional aspects (myths, symbols, rituals, values, and practices) and the material expressions (art, music and dance, clothing, architecture, texts, and ritual objects) of the major world religions.
  • Compare and contrast the major characteristics of religions generally identified as “Eastern” and “Western” religions.
  • Describe the role of religion in the formation of personal and community identity.
  • Compare and contrast the concepts of the sacred and the profane as they are understood among the major world religions.
  • Compare and contrast the religious practices of people in pre-state and state societies.
  • Compare and contrast the religious practices of people in pre-state and state societies.
  • Describe ways in which religious thinkers have addressed important philosophical questions.
  • Describe ways in which topography, geographical region, and societal practices influence the formation and practice of religion.
  • Analyze geo-political implications of modernization on religious activity during the last 500 years.

Degree-Specific Requirements

All students receiving an Associate Degree are required to meet Degree-Specific Requirements AND General Education Requirements. Courses listed in the Required Core and/or Required Support Courses may also be used to fulfill Degree-Specific and General Education Requirements. Developmental courses (those numbered below 100) cannot be used to fulfill these requirements.

Attention: It is the student's responsibility to review the entire program form before making course selections for registration purposes. The College recommends that students meet with an advisor or counselor well in advance of registration deadlines and before making course selections.

General Education Requirements: 

The following courses are required in this program and satisfy HFC’s General Education Outcomes for this program. Students who change their program will need to confirm in advance that they are completing all required courses for their specific program of study, including additional General Education courses. All Associate in Arts degrees require at least 24 General Education credits total, including at least three credit hours from each of the five areas below. For this program:

  1. Civil Society & Culture:

  2. Communication: Complete the following:

  3. Computer Technology: Complete the following:

  4. Critical Thinking & Information Literacy: Complete the following:

  5. Quantitative Literacy: Complete at least 8 credit hours from the following:

NOTE: For this program, General Education minimum credits: 29

Degree-Specific Requirements: 
  1. Wellness Group: Complete at least one of the following:

  2. Humanities: This requirement is fulfilled within the Required Core Courses.

  3. Science and Mathematics: This requirement is fulfilled within the Quantitative Literacy category in General Education requirements.

  4. Social Science: Complete the following:

NOTE: Degree-Specific minimum credits: 5

Minimum Number Of Credits To Graduate: 
61.0 (Including Options/Electives)

Requirements are Subject to Change

The information represented here is for the current catalog year. If you were admitted prior to this year, please check your requirements under the Program Evaluation section of WebAdvisor.

Other Information

Year Established: 
Program Code: 


Social Science, Arts, and Fitness Division • (313) 845-9625 • • Fine Arts Bldg • Room: F-140

Transfer Information

Transfer Options/Requirements: 

The College has articulation agreements and/or transfer guides to help students who want to transfer to other institutions once they have completed their studies at HFC. Articulation agreements ensure that graduates from HFC can transfer to another institution and work towards a bachelor’s degree without a loss of coursework completed at HFC. Transfer guides denote the transferability of HFC coursework toward specific degree programs at other institutions. It is important that students who intend to transfer to another institution consult the appropriate articulation agreements and/or transfer guides to ensure the transferability of the courses they take to the institution they plan to attend. Articulation agreements and transfer guides are available on the HFC Transfer Resources page. For additional resources and assistance with transferring, students are encouraged to work with HFC’s University Transfer, Advising, and Career Counseling Center (313-845-9612,, Learning Resource Center). Students enrolled in this program frequently transfer to institutions such as:

  • Central Michigan University
  • Madonna University
  • Marygrove College
  • Concordia University in Ann Arbor
  • Wayne State University
  • University of Michigan - Dearborn