For admission to study toward a Master of Arts in religion, students must have completed a minimum of eighteen hours in the classical disciplines in which we offer graduate seminars (Old Testament, New Testament, Historical Studies, and Theological Studies), including nine hours of 3000- to 4000-level courses. Certain courses in closely related fields may apply with the approval of the Graduate Administrative Committee in religion. Admission to this program of study shall follow the policy of admission described elsewhere in this graduate catalog. Applicants must present grade-point averages and Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE) scores that are predictive of success in the program. An applicant’s academic record must be high in quality and broad in content. It must be of such quality as to give positive evidence of capacity for graduate study and a genuine scholarly interest. Those seeking admission into the M.A. program will need intermediate competence (at least two semesters or the equivalent) in ancient languages if required by the field to which they are applying.
Opportunities are available for M.A. students in other programs at Baylor to include a religion component in their studies.
The department also offers a non-thesis route to the M.A. With the approval of the faculty, Ph.D. students who are not able to complete the dissertation may pursue the non-thesis M.A. Contact the Graduate Program Director in Religion for details.
For a description of the program for the degree (courses, thesis, examination), see the General Information section of this catalog. The Religion M.A. requires 30 semester hours. If one opts to write a thesis, the M.A. includes 27 semester hours of course work and three semester hours of thesis credit. Students, in consultation with their area faculty, may opt to complete a non-thesis M.A. by taking an additional seminar at the 5000-level in their area of study in their final semester. The non-thesis M.A., then, includes all 30 hours in course work.
Intermediate proficiency in one foreign language is a requirement for the M.A. Methods for achieving the proficiency are described earlier in this catalog under Specific Degree Requirements for the M.A. The foreign language used to satisfy the requirement is determined by the Graduate Program Director in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor.
The M.A. program is designed for the student with adequate background in religion who wants to pursue intensive study and research within one of the four major divisions (Old Testament, New Testament, Historical Studies, and Theological Studies). In consultation with the student’s faculty advisor and the Graduate Program Director in Religion, a program of study centered in one of the departmental divisions can be designed. In this program, the student may be permitted to take as many as six semester hours outside the Department of Religion, if these courses contribute directly to the student’s specialized interest.