Although they are distinct areas of study, the fields of religion and philosophy are closely related in that they both explore the nature and purpose of humanity. Both undergraduate and graduate programs can be found at top colleges and universities.
The four schools highlighted below include an Ivy League institution, as well as a public and private national university and a college. All four schools offer undergraduate degrees in religion and philosophy; graduate programs can be found at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. Unique program features include departmental journals, lecture series and study abroad options. Each of these schools was highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.
Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH
|School Highlight: Undergraduates in Dartmouth's philosophy department may join the editorial staff of Aporia, an undergraduate scholarly journal of philosophy.|
Dartmouth College, an Ivy League school that ranked 11th on U.S. News and World Report's 2017 list of national universities, offers bachelor's degrees in religion and in philosophy. Both religious studies and philosophy students are eligible for the school's study abroad program at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. The religion department hosts its own lecture series. Bachelor's degree students may have the option to pursue an honors option that includes writing an honors thesis.
Stanford University in Stanford, CA
|School Highlight: The Department of Philosophy's undergraduate students produce The Dualist, a national undergraduate philosophy journal.|
A private nonprofit university that emphasizes an interdisciplinary education, this school ranked fifth among national universities by U.S. News and World Report for 2017. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in philosophy and religious studies; a joint undergraduate major in religious studies and philosophy is also available. Relevant facilities include the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies, the McCoy Family Center for Ethics and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies.
University of California - Berkeley
|School Highlight: Students in Stanford's philosophy program have access to the school's Howison Philosophy Library, an extensive collection of 60 periodicals and over 10,000 monographs originating from the personal collection of philosophy department founder George Howison.|
This public university ranked 20th on U.S. News and World Report's 2017 list of national universities. University of California - Berkeley's Department of Religious Studies offers an interdisciplinary major that examines faith and religious traditions from a global perspective, with some opportunity for emphasis by denomination or geography. The Philosophy Department offers a bachelor's and doctoral degree. An honors track is available in both the undergraduate religious studies and philosophy programs.
College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA
|School Highlight: The school sponsors an annual senior essay prize for philosophy majors.|
At the College of William and Mary, students can choose an undergraduate major or minor in philosophy or religious studies. Majors can pursue honors thesis or independent study options. These programs can prepare students for a wide range of careers, as well as graduate-level studies in the field. For 2017, the school was ranked #32 among national universities.
Top Religion and Philosophy Degree Programs
Here are some more schools with strong programs in religion and/or philosophy:
- Duke University in Durham, NC, is home to the Center for Jewish Studies and the Center for Late Ancient Studies.
- AT Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, the Department of Religion Studies is home to Philip and Muriel Berman Center for Jewish Studies. The school also sponsors the Selfridge Lectures Series of visiting philosophers.
- At Princeton University in Princeton, NJ, the Department of Religion and the Center for African American Studies offers a major in religion and a certificate in African American Studies.
- The University of California - San Diego publishesIntuitions, an undergraduate scholarly journal of philosophy, and its program for the Study of Religion offers study abroad.
- The University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, IN, has a Center for the Philosophy of Religion.
For students who are interested in religion and philosophy, some of the best schools in the country offer excellent programs and educational enrichment opportunities like scholarly journals.