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Religion Master’s Degree Program

  • Online Courses

    11 out of 12 total courses

  • On-Campus Experience

    2 weekends or a 3-week summer course

  • Tuition

    $3,220 per course

Buddha face up close

Explore the history, texts, and functions of religion within different societies and cultures.

Gain a deeper understanding of the historical and contemporary issues around religion.

Program Overview

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.

Program Benefits

  • Expert instructors, including faculty from Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts & Sciences

  • Personalized academic & career advising

  • Harvard library & museum access

  • A faculty-supported thesis

  • Paid research opportunities

  • Harvard Alumni Association membership upon graduation

Customizable Course Curriculum

The religion master’s degree program allows you to experience the convenience of online learning and the immersive benefits of learning in person. With a wide array of courses to choose from, you can tailor your experience to meet your unique learning goals. You will further customize your experience by choosing either a thesis or capstone.

11 Online Courses

  • Primarily synchronous
  • Fall, spring, January, and summer options

On-Campus Experience

You’ll complete 1 on-campus course, Engaging in Scholarly Conversation, at an accelerated or standard pace:

  • 2 weekends (1 in fall and 1 in spring)
  • A 3-week summer session

Capstone or Thesis Track

  • Thesis: features a 9-month independent research project with a faculty advisor
  • Capstone: includes exploring a topic and completing a project in a classroom community


The path to your degree begins before you apply to the program.

First, you’ll register for and complete 3 required courses, earning at least a B in each. These foundational courses are investments in your studies and count toward your degree, helping ensure success in the program.

Getting Started

We invite you to explore degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.

Our Community at a Glance

Going back to school doesn’t have to mean putting your life on hold. We’ve designed our courses, certificates, and degrees to give you the flexibility to pace your studies to fit your schedule.

Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, you will earn your Harvard University degree: the Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Religion.

  • 45

    Average Age

  • 1

    Average Courses Taken Each Semester

  • 67%

    Work Full Time

  • 100%

    Would Recommend the Program

  • 29%

    Professional Experience in the Field

  • Most

    Pursued for Personal Enrichment

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Tuition & Financial Aid

Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.

Our Course Tuition (2023–24 rate) $3,220 per course
Average Course Tuition of Peer Institutions $4,330 per course
Average Total Program Cost $38,640

After admission, you may qualify for financial aid. Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.