The Religious Studies Major provides a solid foundation for a variety of career paths by offering a broad selection of courses. According to a recent departmental survey, our alumni include a data and assessment administrator at a charter school, a second grade school teacher, a legislative and lobbying-related specialist at the capitol, a realtor, and more. Along with the aforementioned professionals are a student pursuing law school and a student in a joint masters program in Anthropology and Gender Studies.
Are you an alumnus of the Religious Studies Major? Go to the following page to find out how to submit your information to be included on our website: Alumni - How to Submit Your Information.
Eileen Yohannes, Class of 2017
I am a 2017 graduate of the UCD Religious Studies Department, currently living in Jerusalem, Israel! I am pursuing a full year of Immersion Arabic at the Hebrew University and am planning on going for my MA degree in International Law and Conflict Resolution, also in Jerusalem. Without Davis, and the RST faculty, I would have never stumbled upon my passion for the Middle East, its people, and its incredible cultural variety. The faculty at Davis gave me the courage and connections to follow my dream of living in Jerusalem. The field of RST is vibrant and integral to the ME conflict and I hope to work in the governmental sector after my advanced studies.
Andriana Malhi, Class of 2017
Double Major: Religious Studies and Psychology
My name is Andriana Malhi. I am currently in Phoenix, Arizona. I will begin earning my doctorate in Clinical Psychology this fall.
UC Davis has given me the tools to excel and stay competitive in a doctorate-level classroom. The quarter system at Davis especially has taught be good lessons in time-management. I left Davis with lifelong friends that check up on me every week.
Atrin Toussi, Class 2016
Double Major in Religious Studies and Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior
I owe who I am today more to the Religious Studies major at UC Davis than to any other experience. Having also majored in the sciences, I know it’s useful to understand the ‘hows’ of life. But only religious studies carves a space to understand life’s various ‘whys.’ And in teaching [me] the depth of human existence, religious studies has prepared me for now starting my career in medicine. Accepted to UC Davis Medical school-starting August 2016.
Marianne Glaser, Class of 2015
Double Major in Religious Studies and Human Development
I work at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center as the Program Coordinator in the Jewish Life department. I didn't plan to major in Religious Studies. I took some RST classes to satisfy my ge's. Before I knew it, l had already taken enough classes for an RST minor but there were still so many more I was interested in taking. I guess I ended up in the department purely because I found the subject matter so compelling. UC Davis was a good fit for me, academically and socially. I would remind incoming freshmen that there is no point in stressing too much over your major. An overwhelming majority of jobs just care that you have a degree, and it does not necessarily matter that much what it is in.
Brendan Sullivan, Class of 2015
Double Major in Religious Studies and Applied Mathematics
Since I graduated in early 2015, I first immediately went into industry as an automation engineer at Janssen Pharmaceuticals (Johnson & Jonson). After a little under a year, I decided to pursue a graduate program in Math. I am currently enrolled in the Graduate department for Pure Mathematics at UC Santa Cruz. After that, I plan to work as a Data Scientist. I majored in Religious Studies because my grandpa was a former Seminary Student, and my dad was an altar boy. I figured it was tradition in some sense. Also it was a great way to distinguish me from other job applicants. I had an overall very positive experience, and the RST department only made it better. They really care about the students, and engage our passions and ambition. It didn't feel competitive or isolating. I would advise at the very least, minoring in some kind of humanities, even for STEM majors. Double majoring is also very doable, and not really that difficult at all, especially in polarizing fields as humanities and STEM.
Deyu Wang, Class of 2015
Double Major in Religious Studies and Genetics and Genomics
I am currently involved in a nonprofit organization associated with Americorps as a mentor and tutor to K-12 schools with high dropout rates. The material interested me and helped me decide a major in Religious Studies and since there are all kinds of people with different religions in America, I thought it'd be useful to major in Religious Studies. I had a wonderful time at UC Davis, regardless of the stress, pains, and aches that every college student goes through over exams and grades. Almost everyone was friendly and open to opinions and thoughts, the faculty really helped the students out with scheduling and managing extracurricular activities, and overall, I thought UC Davis was one of the more ideal colleges in the U.S. Talk to the professors and staff! They are amazing, helpful, and completely approachable!
Rachel Elefant, Class of 2014
Double Major in Religious Studies and History
I just got back about a month ago from teaching English in Guangzhou,China for over a year and half, where I also got the privilege to travel to several South East Asian countries. Currently, I'm living at home in the Bay Area working at Peet's Coffee. My next step is to move to South American (most likely Chile) to, again, hopefully teach English, but also learn Spanish. I decided to study Religious Studies because religion greatly informs and influences our world and the people who live here. It impacts our social, cultural, political, and ethical lives whether you, yourself, are religious or not. I think learning about different religions can really help someone to understand more about the world and the citizens. And I think this is super important especially as we become a more globally minded planet. I also never met a religious studies major who didn't absolutely love what they were studying. It's a fascinating major. I loved my experience at UCD. I don't regret one single moment. It's a great university with a beautiful campus and beautiful people. I love that it's the kind of place where, when people see someone looking at a map, they go up to them to see if they need help. I still have a few friends living in Davis and I go back as often as I can. I just went up to Davis this last weekend. It's one of the first places I went after coming back home. My advice would be to get to know professors. I don't know about COM major, but for Religious Studies, I would say got to RST Tea. It's a great way to meet the professors, but also hang out with other RST students. Go to your professor’s office hours. It's such a small major so its super easy to learn about and get close to professors as well as the other students in the major. It also really helps when you are picking out your classes because you will know which professors you really enjoy. By my third year at Davis, I knew every religious studies student in my classes. It makes your time in class more enjoyable and easier when you know everyone. It's more like hanging out and having awesome discussions with friends and less like a class.
Kaleena Bergfors, Class of 2014
Religious Studies Major
Upon graduation I traveled in South America for three months, volunteering at a community school in rural Ecuador. My time abroad helped to define my career path, and I now work in fundraising and outreach in Northern California.I majored in RST because from a young age I have always been interested in religion. It started with ancient mythology of Greece and Egypt, and evolved into a broad interest in understanding different worldviews as I got older. Religion is everywhere and frames how we view and act within the world. The ability to have an understanding and compassion helps in a global age where we encounter people with different beliefs on a daily basis. As a transfer student, my time as an undergraduate at UC Davis seemed all too brief. Despite being a large campus, I found a community of passionate students within the department. I enjoyed my time so much that I never left - I still live and work in Northern California.The best advice that I can give any incoming RST major is to go to office hours. The major is small and class sizes typically are 60 students or less (barring the 1-series), which provides an amazing opportunity to get involved in the discussion and build a relationship with your professors. In every class that I took, the professor learned the names of the students (yes, even in one of those 60-student courses!). If you have intellectual curiosity about particular subjects, office hours are an excellent opportunity to learn more, engage in compelling dialog and even get suggestions for further reading. It is interactions like these which will make for engaging and interesting Letters of Recommendation.