Special study opportunities available through the department include off-campus programs that give students first hand experiences with religious groups and activities. We have January courses that go off-campus to explore sacred spaces in New York City and Washington DC. Other students have studied religion and culture in countries like India, Egypt and Tanzania. On the local level, we offer a course that works with the region’s hospice organization. Because Oneonta is located within a few hours’ drive from various important Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu monasteries and centers, we incorporate field trip experiences into regular course offerings. The department also sponsors an honor society, Theta Alpha Kappa, for students who study religion.
Putting Religious Studies to Work
Students and parents often ask about the career options for a religious studies major or minor and to this we respond, “How big is your imagination?”
Many of our students combine religious studies with other majors and minors including English, art, philosophy, biology, mathematics, accounting, business administration, history, political science, sociology, and psychology. These combinations provide a well-rounded educational experience in the liberal arts, suited to almost any career path. For example:
Do you want to go into healthcare?
Religious organizations remain influential in healthcare delivery around the world (including the USA). Healthcare providers interact with religious patients every day and thus need to know their concerns. Our graduates have gone on to careers in counseling, social work and public health.
How about public service or legal careers?
Our majors have thrived in law school and graduate programs in public administration, leading to diverse careers in legal firms, non-profits and government agencies.
Want to teach?
Our graduates have gone on to some of the most prestigious graduate programs in the United States, including Cornell University, Boston College, Notre Dame, and many different SUNY programs. Our graduates work as educators at every level from elementary school up to university professors.
Want to go into business?
Religions are among the oldest human institutions, and have thrived under all known economic circumstances. That would not have happened if they were not really good at “business” skills – among them, organizing, marketing and human relations. Our graduates have found many different pathways into the business world, including careers in software, accounting, consulting, and entrepreneurship.
Want to make the world a better place?
Our graduates have gone on to ministerial careers, to work with NGOs, to study diplomacy, to work in global education, and to run foundations. Bottom line – Hartwick Religious Studies majors begin their careers prepared to thrive, they have excelled in all manner of graduate studies, and they find rich and fulfilling careers in a wide spectrum of occupations.