This certificate provides students pursuing MA degrees in the Department of Religious Studies (CAHSS) or the Josef Korbel School of International Studies with the opportunity to enhance their home program of study with specific expertise in the scholarly and professional field of religion and international affairs. The program emphasizes scholarly and practitioner approaches to understanding the intersections between religion and international affairs in the modern world, providing students with an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary case studies as well as theoretical issues.

Only students pursuing a master's degree in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies or the Department of Religious Studies may pursue this certificate.

Religion and International Studies


Long neglected by government, business, and scholars, religion figures prominently as a touchstone of contemporary international affairs. As employers have begun embracing this reality, students training for the international workforce— public, private, and non-profit alike—need a thorough grounding in world religions and how they shape international affairs.

This program seeks to provide students an intellectual and practical toolbox for navigating the nexus of religion and international politics in today’s complex job market. 

Students studying religion

Certificate Requirements

Certificate requirements include one core course each from the Department of Religious Studies and the Josef Korbel School, with two additional elective courses from each program. To earn the certificate, students must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework, or six graduate-level courses, three in Religious Studies and three in the Korbel School. Coursework in the student’s home school will count toward meeting the requirements of the degree program into which they were originally admitted.

Core Courses (8 Credits):

  • INTS 4525 Religion & the State in Comparative Perspective
  • RLGS 3760 Globalization & Religion

Please note: core courses are offered in alternating years. Certificate students should expect to take INTS 4525 one year and RLGS 3760 the other.

International Studies Elective Courses (8 Credits):

  • INTS 4526 Modern Islamic Political Thought
  • INTS 4543 Religion & International Politics: The Apocalyptic Tradition & Religious Violence
  • INTS 4620 Introduction to Middle East and Islamic Politics
  • INTS 4991 Independent Study Religious Studies

Elective Courses (8 Credits):

  • RLGS 3302 Islamic Fundamentalism
  • RLGS 3452 Political Theology
  • RLGS 3501 Contemporary Islam
  • RLGS 3570 Religion & Morality in the American Public Square
  • RLGS 3641 Religion & Race in America
  • RLGS 3814 Modern Hinduism
  • RLGS 3890 Religion & Diaspora
  • RLGS 3693 Religion & Media

Admission Requirements

Students from the Religious Studies or the Josef Korbel School MA program must submit an online application consisting of a 500-word personal statement, a CV, and undergraduate and graduate transcripts, to be reviewed by a joint faculty committee. Enrollment is competitive.

Application Deadline: December 1 (annual deadline)

Key Faculty