Advanced Certificate in Religious Studies

Internationally Recognised Advanced Certificate in Religious Studies

As of AY 2014/15, CEU's Advanced Certificate in Religious Studies is registered with the New York State Education Department (NYSED). MA students successfully completing the program will be awarded a formal NYSED certificate.



Students pursing an Advanced Certificate in Religious Studies, as part of their MA studies in participating departments and units, engage in the study of religious phenomena from a historical point of view and from a variety of interdisciplinary approaches and cross-disciplinary perspectives. As CEU is located in a region that has been the crossroads of major religious, cultural, and political histories and lineages, this specialist field provides a unique experience and access to sources in three areas: in-depth engagement with religious thought and traditions, focusing especially, but not exclusively, on the three monotheistic religions, in a historically and conceptually grounded way, comparative study of their social, societal, institutional, cultural, intellectual, and political contexts and implications.

Students fulfilling the requirements will receive an Advanced Certificate in Relgious Studies.


In order to receive a CEU Advanced Certificate in Religious Studies  together with the degree proper, the following requirements need to be fulfilled:

1. Admission to a participating CEU Department or the CEU School of Public Policy.

2*. 1YMA students must take two mandatory Religious Studies courses (4 credits) and obtain 6 further elective Religous Studies credits (from the approved annual list of Religious Studies courses). 
    2YMA students must take two mandatory Religious Studies courses (4 credits) over the two years of their studies and obtain 10 further elective Religious Studies credits over the course of both years (from the approved annual list of Religious Studies  courses). 

3. ACRS students must write their thesis on a religion related topic.  The student’s first or the second supervisor should be a faculty member from the Specialization. SPP students must complete a religion-related applied policy project and/or thesis.

4. Participation in the Annual ACRS Student’s Thesis Writing Workshop. 

5. MA1Y students must pass the mandatory RELI 5004 - Lecture Series: Center for Religious Studies, a zero-credit course running over fall and spring terms. A pass is attendance of five or more CRS  lectures, special seminars, or workshops organized by the Center for Religious Studies. 

MA2Y students must pass two years of the annual mandatory RELI 5004 - Lecture Series: Center for Religious Studies.

*While these requirements apply to students from the Departments of History and Medieval Studies, other Department Specific requirements may apply to your field of study. Please see below the list of participating units and contact the Center for Religious Studies Coordinator ( to confirm the requirements for your department. 

To view the Religious Studies' current course listings, please go visit our course pages for Fall and Winter term.



To find out more, please contact the Center for Religious Studies at


Faculty in Charge

Jean-Louis Fabiani
Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology
Head, Advanced Certificate in Religious Studies
Director, Center for Religious Studies
Central European University



Administratively, this program is coordinated by the Center for Religious Studies.

Prospective students can express their interest in this program by writing to the Center for Religious Studies Coordinator, Esther Holbrook at


Associated Faculty 

The ACRS began as a cooperation between the Departments of History and Medieval Studies. The ACRS has since expanded to include courses and faculty from the departments of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Legal Studies, the School of Public Policy, Philosophy, International Relations, Nationalism, as well as Jewish Studies and is currently embarking on a new phase of expansion in order that students from more departments will have the opportunity to participate in the Advanced Certificate in Religious Studies program.

To see a current list of participating faculty, please go to our Participating Departments, Programs and Faculty page. 


How to Start the Application Procedure

Students interested in the Specialization Religious Studies have a choice of applying for a One Year MA, Two Year MA, or PhD. Students enrolled in the following departments may participate in the Specialization Religious Studies.

For research topics that focus on the period up to the end of the 15th century applications should be made to the Department of Medieval Studies (, for later topics to the Department of History ( or Department of International Relations ( or the Department of Philosophy (  the Political Science Department ( applying to the School of Public Policy ( should consult their departmental coordinator. Applications for the upcoming year are accepted through an on-line system at until the end of January. 




Application Deadlines

For the upcoming application deadline, please click here.

Questions and inquiries

For more information on this academic program, please contact the Center for Religious Studies at