Religious Studies - From Classroom to Career Junior Year
Interested in a research area but there is no course offered in the catalog? Talk to a faculty member or department chair about a possible independent study.
Talk to favorite professors about possible supervised research projects you might do in your area of interest in the summer or during the school year. On-campus summer housing may be available. Example:
Ecofeminism reconciles our consciousness with nature's sustenance - it transforms our perspective to create a new reality that all life has intrinsic worth. To realize that we need nature and that we also affect nature in turn provides us with a shock that our existence is intertwined, that we affect nature as it affects us.... My paper affirms the rightful place of ecofeminism as an intellectual and theological discourse amidst systematic Christian theology. It also analyzes the problems current ecofeminism faces in reconciling its legitimacy before its opponents and the Church, and how ecofeminism must develop to counter these criticisms in an age of modernity. ... The paper, in its final form, will be submitted for publication to a scholarly journal. - Robert Ley '10, Religious Studies
Life After Fairfield
How can you best use your remaining courses and free electives to both round out your education and prepare for a career? How about graduate work? Religious Studies majors are not limited in their choice of postgraduate careers. Their studies prepare them to be analytical, reflective, and understanding of the fundamental values in any enterprise. The career paths of recent graduates indicate this versatility. Recent Religious Studies majors have gone into law, medicine, social work, teaching, and investment banking. Those seeking further education have been admitted to graduate and professional programs at Ohio State and Columbia universities, Harvard Medical School, and the law schools at Boston College, Boston University, Fordham, and St. John's. Learn more about how Fairfield's Career Planning Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.
Come and Hear From the Experts
Open VISIONS Forum features relevant speakers every year. Come hear from national and international experts - for free.
An outstanding graduating senior in Religious Studies is awarded the Irene Gallagher Medal, Fairfield University's oldest academic honor. Attend the event and look for projects that might earn you this honor. With your faculty advisor, gain experience in entering such a competition and learn how to effectively package and present your work and yourself. Non-seniors are often singled out for great work.
Our strongest students are inducted into Theta Alpha Kappa, a national honor society. In addition to encouraging the activities of local chapters, Theta Alpha Kappa maintains a vigorous national program of scholarship awards and fellowship competitions. Its primary publication, the Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa, offers an annual prize and the publication of outstanding student papers.
Religious Studies majors have access to a developing range of internships with public and private agencies available to all Fairfield students in good academic standing. Think about "trying out" a career, gaining work experience, marketable skills, mentors, and a competitive edge. Look for potential matches between an internship with your career. Remember that summer jobs, not for credit, can be just as useful in gaining experience and building a resume.
Other Options for Life After Graduation
Talk to professors about possible graduate school work options, scholarships like a Fulbright Fellowship, and Teach for America.
Line Up References
You will need professors who are willing to serve as professional references when you apply for internships, jobs, or graduate school. Professors and internship advisors make excellent references. Begin looking now for professors who know you and would be willing to vouch for you. Discuss your future plans with them and ask for advice and guidance. Stay in touch with at least three of them each semester so they can speak about your successes in an informed way.
Final Career Choices
How can you best use your courses and free electives to round out your education and prepare for a career? Talk to your faculty advisor and favorite professors; is there room for another minor? Consider courses in Marketing to better understand the business world and how to market and brand yourself; most Marketing minors are from the College of Arts and Sciences! Consider taking additional foreign language courses; don't automatically stop after the core requirement is met. We live (and work) in a complex global world. This is a key factor for career preparation.
As Commencement nears and your job hunt picks up, what materials can you put in a portfolio to market yourself and help show your experience? Create a blog or e-portfolio to both present your best work (essays, research papers, work done through a campus club, internship, or summer job) and to offer reflections on them. Your faculty advisor can help you sort through potential items and build a strong portfolio to accompany your resume and cover letter. Contact CAS Associate Dean Aaron Perkus to create an e-portfolio.
That's just the start. Take a look at this career information from other University offices that we think is also valuable to Psychology majors.