Explore the history, texts, and functions of religion within different societies and cultures, gaining a deeper understanding of the historical and contemporary issues around religion.
Key learning outcomes
Through the master's degree in the field of religion you:
- Develop an understanding of the historical origins, central teachings, and devotional practices of the major religious traditions.
- Build knowledge of religion’s role in political, economic, and cultural life through historical, social, and cultural contexts.
- Make a difference in your local community by designing and implementing a social justice development project.
The degree includes 12 courses, with at least three taken on campus.
- Get started. You begin by completing three stipulated degree courses as outlined on the degree requirements page. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your commitment and ability to perform well as a Harvard student.
- Apply to the program. While completing your third degree course, you submit the admission application. We have application cycles in the fall, spring, and summer.
- Continue your studies, online and on campus. As you progress through the program, you choose from courses offered on campus or online, year round in the fall, spring, or summer. To fully experience Harvard, you take at least three courses on campus.
- Thesis option. Working one-on-one with a thesis director, you conduct in-depth research on a topic relevant to your work experience or academic interests, producing publishable quality results. You’ll emerge with a solid understanding of how scholarly research is executed and communicated.
- Social justice or Social reform capstone option. Working with a capstone instructor and in community with fellow candidates, you'll implement a social justice coalition building project in your local community or craft an in-depth analysis on a social reform movement. The final paper will represent the caliber of writing and research evident in peer-reviewed academic journals.
- Graduate with your Harvard degree. You participate in the annual Harvard Commencement, receiving your Harvard University degree: Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, field: Religion.
Affordability is core to our mission. Our 2018–19 graduate tuition is $2,750 per course; the total tuition cost of earning the graduate degree is approximately $33,000.
There are a number of financial aid options available once you’re admitted to the program.