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Why pursue a Religion minor at South Dakota State?

  • Through our expert faculty, you will find opportunities to learn about World Religions, Biblical Studies, Western Religious history, Religion in American history & culture, and Women in Religion.
  • You will develop and hone critical thinking skills along with complex understandings of religion's impact on people and culture while building a strong foundation for graduate school or seminary.
  • You will also gain value and perspective for a diverse range of careers, including counseling, nonprofit work, publishing, law, nursing, education, and more.

Develop skills and forge a worldview for a lifetime

If you're interested in one or more religions and want to develop skills and values that employers today seek, a minor in religious studies will serve you well. Our minors develop a global outlook, good communication abilities and strong interpersonal skills. Our faculty will challenge you and train you to think analytically and to read, write and speak more effectively. These skills can help you adjust to and succeed in an ever-changing workplace.

Humanities Majors are Marketable

  • 80% of employers think every student should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts

Employers want students to know about ethics & cultural diversity

  • Employers place the greatest degree of importance on Ethics (96% important, including 76% very important) and Intercultural Skills, meaning working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds (96% important, including 63% very important).

Employers want employees to know about global cultures and religious diversity

  • Employers rankings of Global Knowledge, including global cultures, religions, and social systems (55% important, including 16% very important)

Average Mid-career Salaries for Selected College Majors

Religious Studies ranked at $57,900

...that is above occupations (in descending order) such as Physical Ed Teaching, Graphic Design, Sports Management, Animal Science, Education, Horticulture, and Elementary Education

Percentage of graduates in selected majors who say their jobs "make the world a better place"

  • 58% Religious Studies
  • 48% Computer Engineering
  • 47% Computer Information Systems (CIS)
  • 47% Global and International Studies
  • 47% Public Relations
  • 45% Accounting
  • 41% Marketing and Communications
  • 33% Advertising

Career Preparation in Religious Studies

The study of religion provides many occasions for personal and intellectual growth, but it also transmits a set of very practical skills to students:

  • Gain a fundamental cultural literacy
  • Training in skills associated with data gathering and direct observation
  • Development of analytical skills and creative thought
  • An ability to empathize with other people and understand different perspectives

Religious Studies provides a useful academic foundation for many different careers.

Professional training in:

  • Business (esp. International Business)
  • Counseling and Social Work
  • Education
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Medicine

Positions in:

  • Hospitality & Event Planning
  • Government & Foreign Service
  • Management & Human Resources
  • Museums & the Arts
  • Non-Profits & NGOs
  • Publishing

Fields that go well with Religious Studies:

Health Professions, Nursing, Social Work, Global Studies, Diplomatic & Foreign Service, Sociology, Psychology

Nationally, Religious Studies has experienced a revival

"The number of bachelors degrees conferred upon graduates in philosophy or religious studies has doubled since the 1970s to nearly 12,000 a year, and has been rising steadily since 9/11."  -Newsweek

John Kerry
Former United States Secretary of State John Kerry

"If I went back to college today, I think I would probably major in comparative religion, because that's how integrated it is in everything that we are working on and deciding and thinking about today."        - Secretary John Kerry, August 7, 2013

For information on adding the Religion minor, see the Religion Minor Catalog Requirements and contact Dr. Murphy.

See full citations of data and see the full pdf with images.

(Some content and layout adopted and adapted from (American Academy of Religion) and