offering courses in catholic life and thought at all levels of university study

Undergraduate Study

Undergraduate Religious Studies majors may choose to emphasize Catholic Studies or Christian Traditions through the careful selection of appropriate courses that also meet the general requirements for the major in Religious Studies. Students interested in emphasizing Catholic Studies are encouraged to consult with faculty in the field (Carlson, Taves, Thomas) for advice.

Courses related to Catholic Studies at UCSB


Graduate Study

UCSB has resources for the study of Catholicism at the masters and doctoral level in a number of different programs. Areas of particular strength include Catholicism in the modern period both in the United States and as a global phenomenon; Catholicism in the Iberian peninsula, Latin America and especially Mexico; and Early and Medieval Catholicism in Europe.

Graduate work focusing on Catholicism can be pursued through the following programs:

Religious Studies
Students may pursue topics in Catholic Studies through a number of areas of study in Religious Studies including Christian Traditions, Mediterranean and West Asian Religions, Religion in America, Native American Religion, and, with appropriate preparation, East Asian or South Asian religions. It is also possible to combine the study of Catholicism in the Department of Religious Studies with a doctoral Emphasis in Global Studies, in European Medieval Studies, in Women’s Studies, or in Translation Studies. (Faculty Resources: Carlson, Taves, Thomas, [Religious Studies])

Medieval Studies
The Medieval Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary doctoral Emphasis to students previously admitted to a Ph.D. program in the Departments of Dramatic Art, English, French and Italian, History, History of Art and Architecture, Music, Religious Studies, and Spanish and Portuguese. All of these departments have resources for the study of Catholicism. (Faculty Resources: Blumenthal, Farmer, Lansing [History]; Fradenberg [English])

Latin American and Iberian Studies
Latin American and Iberian Studies offers an interdisciplinary M.A. degree that examines the people and cultures of Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries throughout the world. Offerings are particularly strong in the areas of Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian, and Mexican Catholicism. (Faculty Resources: Cline, Dutra [History]; Garcia [History/Chicano Studies]; Peterson [History of Art & Architecture])

Global and International Studies
Students may pursue topics that relate Catholic Studies and Global Studies through the newly established M.A. in Global and International Studies or through a Ph.D. Emphasis in Global Studies. This doctoral Emphasis is available through the departments of Anthropology, English, History, Political Science, Religious Studies, and Sociology. To be eligible for admission to the Ph.D. Emphasis, students must be admitted to the Ph.D. program in one of the departments choosing to offer this Emphasis within their existing Ph.D. program and petition successfully to add the optional Emphasis.