Educational issues surround us and influence our development as a society. Whether entering the field of education, or considering another field, students will encounter educational issues throughout their careers. They cut across disciplines.
The major in Religious Studies examines culture at its broadest and in terms of its core values, providing an opportunity to explore and analyze the written and oral traditions of many of the world's religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and African religions. Students in the major aim to describe, compare, and interpret the beliefs and practices of various religious traditions and to understand the world in which those traditions emerged and thrive.
Philosophy seeks to address questions about life and values that recur in every cultural setting and in every area of human thought. How do we know right from wrong? Can we use our subjective experiences to determine an objective reality? What does it mean to be a "good person" or to live a "good life?" Such problems are central to philosophical study. Philosophers also investigate the underlying assumptions and methods of other major academic disciplines in order to address issues about the nature of these subjects and the contributions they make to human understanding.
Many people have a concept of the centuries between 300 and 1500 CE as the "Dark Ages," a time when the former Roman Empire collapsed into barbarism and superstition. Yet this period saw the genesis of nearly every social institution still current today, including universities, hospitals, modern legal systems and capitalist economies.
Language, spoken and written, is one of the most important factors separating humans from other animals. It both unites and divides us culturally, ethnically, socially and personally. Linguists study the structure, variation and use of language among different cultural groups. Work in linguistics also draws on research in other disciplines, including psychology, anthropology, computer science, literature, neuroscience, education and others.