in person

Religion & American Politics

MA in Religion & American Politics

This program is not currently accepting applications.

We recommend the MA in Politics with electives in Religion and/or the MA in Religion with electives in Politics.

The Master of Arts in Religion & American Politics investigates religion’s role in the public sphere through rigorous interdisciplinary scholarship, offering a nuanced understanding of two important realms in American culture.

Offered jointly by CGU’s Department of Religion and Department of Politics & Policy, this interdisciplinary Master of Arts program seeks to understand religion’s influence on American politics from the perspectives of both religious studies and political science. You’ll undertake scholarship in research methods, religion, and politics, collaborating across disciplines with leading faculty-scholars at CGU and The Claremont Colleges. This in-depth education track of study increases your professional marketability by providing a visionary understanding of two of the most important realms in American and global culture.

Program Highlights
  • You can take courses and interact with faculty and students in other CGU departments and across The Claremont Colleges.
  • Thanks to CGU’s Los Angeles location, you will study in one of the most religiously and culturally diverse cities in the country.
  • You will have access to the libraries of CGU and Claremont University Consortium which offer more than two million volumes – more than 250,000 in the field of religion alone.

Program At-a-glance

  • 48 units

    required units

  • MA in Religion & American Politics

    degree awarded

  • In Person


  • Spring, Fall

    program start

  • 2 years | full time*

    estimated completion time

Request info Apply now

Nathan Araujo

Director of Recruitment, School of Social Science, Policy, and Evaluation


Where You Can Find Our Alumni


  • Portrait of Jean Schroedel

    Jean Reith Schroedel

    Professor Emerita of Political Science
    Former Thornton F. Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy

    Research Interests

    Native American voting rights, American political development, women and politics, religion and politics, and congressional policy-making

  • Portrait of Tammi Schneider

    Tammi J. Schneider

    Danforth Professor of Religion
    Chair, Religion Department

    Research Interests

    Ancient Near Eastern history, literature, archaeology, and religion;
    Women in the Hebrew Bible

  • Portrait of Mark Blitz

    Mark Blitz

    Fletcher Jones Professor of Political Philosophy
    Field Chair, Political Philosophy
    Director, Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom

    Research Interests

    Political science, Philosophy, American politics

  • Robert Klitgaard

    Robert Klitgaard

    University Professor

    Research Interests

    Public Policy, Economic Strategy, Institutional Reform, Corruption

  • Portrait of Jacek Kugler

    Jacek Kugler

    Elisabeth Helm Rosecrans Professor of International Relations

    Research Interests

    Causes and Consequences of War, Political Performance, Power Transition

  • Heather Campbell

    Heather E. Campbell

    Thornton F. Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy
    Director, Division of Politics & Economics

    Research Interests

    Public Policy, Urban Environmental Policy, Environmental Justice

  • Ruqayya Khan

    Ruqayya Y. Khan

    Professor of Religion
    Malas Chair of Islamic Studies

    Research Interests

    The Qur'an, Arabic literatures, progressive Islamic theologies, women in Islam, Islam and environmental ethics, Islam and the digital age, late antiquity and Islam, origins of Islam, cultures of Umayyad Damascus and Abbasid Baghdad

  • Portrait of Melissa Rogers

    Melissa Rogers

    Associate Professor, Politics & Policy
    Co-Director, Inequality and Policy Research Center
    Field Chair, Comparative Politics
    Field Chair, American Politics

    Research Interests

    Comparative Politics, Political Economy, Economic Inequality

  • Portrait of Nicola Denzey Lewis

    Nicola Denzey Lewis

    Professor of Religion
    Margo L. Goldsmith Chair in Women’s Studies in Religion

    Research Interests

    Social and Intellectual History of the Roman Empire, Gnosticism, Women’s Studies, Religion in the Roman Empire and Late Roman Empire, Late Antiquity

  • Portrait of Daniel Ramirez

    Daniel Ramírez

    Associate Professor of Religion

    Research Interests

    American religious history; Latin American religious history; Religion, migration, and transnationalism; Religion in borderlands; Contemporary theories of religion


Core courses (16 units)
Introduction to Religion and Politics
American Politics and Institutions
Classical Theories and History of Religious Studies
Religion in America 1865 – Present OR
Religion in America to 1865

Other required courses are identified as required (8 units) and advanced tools (4 units).

Required Tools
Introduction to Statistical Analysis
Theory & Methods in the Study of Religion

Advanced Tools – one of the following
Multivariate Regression Analysis
Legal Research Methods
Survey Research
Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research
Or another tools course approved by the advisor

Transdisciplinary Studies Course (4 units)
One TNDY course chosen in consultation with your advisor

Electives (12 units)
At least ONE relevant course from Religion
At least ONE relevant course from Political Science
Or from other disciplines as approved by advisor

Thesis Course (4 units)
During this course, which should be taken during or after the last semester of coursework, the student will write a master’s thesis synthesizing knowledge from both Religion and Politics. This thesis will be presented in an open defense.

Application Guidelines

Requirements Summary

Item Description
Application Fee $80
Official Transcripts Yes
Letters of Recommendation 3
Statement of Purpose Yes
Resume Yes
Standardized Test Scores Optional
Other Requirements Writing sample, English proficiency exam

Key Dates and Deadlines

CGU operates on a priority deadline cycle and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit complete applications by the priority dates in order to assure maximum consideration for both admission and fellowships.

Spring 2024
Priority Deadline – November 1, 2023
Final Deadline (International) – November 15, 2023
Final Deadline (Domestic) – December 1, 2023
Classes begin – January 16, 2024

Fall 2024
Priority Deadline – February 1, 2024
Final Deadline (International) – July 5, 2024
Final Deadline (Domestic) – August 1, 2024
Classes begin – August 26, 2024

Review General Guidelines

Cost & Aid

Program 48 units
Tuition per unit* $2,020

*Based on 2023-2024 tuition rates.


$245 Student Fee
$150 Technology Fee
International Student Services Fee*: $661 fall semester, $776 spring semester
**Applies to all international students (F-1 visa only) who are registered in coursework, doctoral study, or continuous registration. The fee is assessed each fall and spring semester for annual ISO accident and sickness plans and administrative fees. Subject to change.

For estimates of room & board, books, etc., please download CGU’s Cost of Attendance 2022-2023 .

Review General Costs

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