Students in any UCI school can enrich their degree path by adding a specialized Religious Studies Certificate. 

Requirements for the Jain Studies and Nonviolence Certificate

  1. REL STD 120 Jain History, Philosophy and Ethics 
  2. REL STD 126 Topics in Jain Studies (topics vary)
  3. A third relevant course (*see details below)
  4. 1.5-2 page single-spaced reflection that analyzes/unifies the three courses in some way. For example, this analysis could demonstrate a reinterpretation or expansion of Jain nonviolence, illuminate a methodological challenge to Jain Studies or a gap in another field, connect or complement concepts across courses through a new application or theoretical lens, among other possible overlaps.

*The third relevant course can be in any program or school. However, you must provide a brief rationale as to why you feel it meaningfully overlaps Jain Studies and nonviolence. To ensure the class will work, feel free to reach out to Professor Brianne Donaldson with the course and its relevance a minimum of two months prior to graduation. (


Description: The Jain Studies & Nonviolence Certificate is available for undergraduate and graduate students across the campus. The certificate emphasizes the historic development of the internally-diverse Jain community and tradition alongside other perspectives in the Indian subcontinent, as well as key Jain concepts and practices including plural ontology, Jain "Universal History," karma theory, many-sided knowledge, philosophy of nonviolence and practical restraints, views of plants and animals, Jains in India and diaspora, ritual and devotion, and a critical assessment of how Jain thought might apply to contemporary ethical issues.

Given that the Jain concept of nonviolence, though rooted in antiquity, contributed to the practical nonviolence of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., this certificate invites students to consider new applications of nonviolence in the context of cultural and political diversity and multispecies flourishing.

Please click here to declare your intent to complete the Jain Studies & Nonviolence

Questions? Contact:
Michelle Spivey, Religious Studies Program Administrator,
Brianne Donaldson, Shri Parshvanath Presidential Chair in Jain Studies,

Above image: UCI students visit the Jain Center for Southern California

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