Primary Major in Theology and Religious Studies

Students who elect TRS as their primary major, either alone or as part of a double major, complete 10 courses (or 30 credit hours).

The primary major is a stand-alone program. You can take it in conjunction with another major (double major), and we encourage you to consider this option.

triangular graphic of program buildingblocks

Please also consult the brochure in the right column of this page.

10 Courses

1 Required Core Curriculum Course

7 Elective courses

  • A minimum of 3 course within TRS
  • A Maximum of 4 outsinde of TRS

2 Required Capstone Courses

Please also consult the brochure in the right column of this page.

  1. 1 elective course fulfills the 2nd TRS Core Curriculum requirement.
  2. Depending on your educational and professional goals you may take up to 4 elective courses from outside the TRS Department (including overseas courses) offered by approved departments and programs listed under each concentration. Such courses do not require the CTHL attribute.[1]
  3. Under each concentration, extra-departmental courses are grouped in Tier 1 and Tier 2 courses. You may take Tier 1 courses to satisfy TRS requirements without seeking prior approval by the Director of Undergraduate Programs. In contrast, Tier 2 courses need the Director’s prior approval.
  4. 5 of the elective courses constitute an academic concentration within the major. Concentrations are organized about a field of inquiry or an independent topic of the student's creation.
  5. In some concentrations, up to 2 elective courses outside the TRS Department may be in a classical language (Latin or Greek) or a critical language (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Russian). [2] These are Tier 2 courses that need the Director of Undergraduate Programs’ prior approval.
  6. The total number of elective courses from outside the TRS Department (including courses taken overseas) must not exceed 4 courses.
  7. Students normally take the Research Seminar, THL 6300, in the Junior year.
  8. Students take the Advanced Seminar, THL 6500, in the Senior year.




[1]   Attributes for TRS courses do not reflect the degree of difficulty or imply a sequence of study. Rather, they indicate the focus of the course and the target group of students.



[2]   Students preparing for graduate studies in theology or religion are encouraged to begin courses in a classical (Greek/Latin) or modern language (French/German).

  1. You may declare the major any time, preferably during your freshman year.
  2. Students in CLAS fill out this application form. The application is also available in hard-copy form in OUS
  3. Students from the Colleges of EGR and NUR, or from VSB, file the forms provided by their respective colleges.
  4. When you declare the major you also must choose a concentration.

TRS primary majors may tailor their program to their specific educational and professional goals by selecting elective courses that are associated with one of ten possible concentrations that give shape and focus to your major.

A concentration (other departments at Villanova call it a "track") is a cluster of elective courses organized around a field of inquiry or an independent topic of your creation. They are designed to allow you to define your specific theological and religious interests by carefully choosing what courses you take as your electives. Courses from other departments may count towards your concentration, thus enabling you to make your concentration interdisciplinary. Read more ...