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Career Paths

"If I went back to college today, I think I would probably major in comparative religion, because that’s how integrated it is in everything that we are working on and deciding and thinking about in life today." -- United States Former Secretary of State John F. Kerry

Students who major in Religious Studies will gain valuable skills such as critical thinking, close reading, multicultural awareness, and clear communication in speech and in writing, which will prepare them for a wide range of careers. Recent alumni from the Religious Studies program have gone on to work in a variety of fields including education, business, and communications. Additionally, nearly 30 percent of alumni from 2016 to 2019 went on to a fellowship or graduate school. 

It is important to keep in mind that a major does not necessarily dictate a career. Many of your parents and relatives, not to mention your Northwestern faculty, majored in different areas from their chosen careers. Many things will contribute to your employability: well-chosen summer internships, level of academic performance in your field, work experience, volunteering, involvement in campus leadership and organizational responsibilities, and a well-tended network of contacts. We encourage you to pursue these things early on in your college years and to consult regularly with Northwestern’s University Career Services office for advice and strategies on career planning and preparation.

Read reflections from Religious Studies alumni here

Want to learn more about the academic study of religion? Take a look at this series of podcasts from Religious Studies scholars on various theoretical issues.

Learn more about other opportunities below.

Employment Outcomes for Humanities Majors: State Profiles.

How do Humanities Majors Fare in the Workforce?

Humanities Majors in Illinois: What they earn and what they do

Curious about your career options?  Get great advice and answers to your specific questions from a community of over 80,000 Northwestern alumni at Ask a Wildcat.