The Department of Religion and Seton Hall School of Law offer a joint degree program leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Juris Doctor (J.D.). The joint degree presents a unique opportunity for students to combine legal training with a thorough understanding of ethics and theology. This joint degree also allows for the focused study of the critical intersections between religion and politics, religion and economics, and religion and global affairs. The role that Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism play in American public life and international relations is immeasurable, and this joint degree gives students the unique vantage point of understanding the importance of religious and cultural pluralism and diversity for the practice of law.
This dual degree is especially fitting for students interested in pursuing international human rights law, constitutional law, labor law, immigration law, family law, and criminal law. This dual degree is also a valuable pathway for students interested in careers in politics, diplomacy, journalism, international business, social services, non-profits, and non-governmental organizations.
(1) Students complete their undergraduate coursework in three years (freshman, sophomore, and junior years of college), receive their bachelor's degree after the first year of law school (which is equivalent to their senior year of college), and complete law school in an additional two years. Both degrees take six years to complete, compared to seven years taken separately.
(2) Initial admissions criteria to the program as Freshman are:
High School GPA: 3.6
1270 on new SAT, with critical reading – min 600; or 27 ACT
Students maintain at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA at the end of year one at SHU and a 3.50 cumulative GPA throughout the remainder of their undergraduate studies, along with Seton Hall Law School's current median LSAT score.
(3) Each student in the dual degree program is assigned a faculty advisor and mentor, who meet with students regularly.
(4) All courses that count toward the J.D. are offered through Seton Hall Law School. The following is a partial list of undergraduate religion courses students in the dual degree program can choose from:
Contemporary Moral Issues
Introduction to the Bible
Catholicism, Race, and Social Justice
God: Reality, Concepts, and Criticisms
Religions of the World
Introduction to Islam
Buddhist World of Thought and Culture
War, Peace, and Theological Ethics
Catholic Social Teaching
Science and Theology in Dialogue
Christians and Muslims on Faith and Reason
Women, Gender, and Islam
Islamic Spirituality and Mysticism
Christian Theologies of Judaism
Judaism and Other Religions
Catholicism and Ecumenism
Nonviolent Peacemaking and Moral Leadership
Christian Values and Health Issues
Mercy and Liberation
Gender, Power, and Biblical Interpretation
Pluralism in Multireligious America: The Politics of Inclusion
Race, Politics, and Theology
Women, World Religions, and Human Rights
Religion, Morality, and the Problem of Evil
Theology of Death
Medieval Christian Thought
The Good Life: How Shall We Live?
Requirements by Major-RELS
RELS majors must complete 90 undergraduate credits:
University Core (16 credits)
A&S Core (38 credits)
RELS major (30 credits)
Free electives (6 credits—nb: since Core 3 can be fulfilled with a designated RELS 3000 level course, students can end up, effectively, with 9 credits of free electives).
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