• Alison Davis, MDiv '11 and PhD student in Religion and Literature.
  • Saeed Richardson, MDiv student, at orientation.
  • MA student James Breen in the Mansueto Library.

Applying to the Divinity School

The Divinity School's lively, wide-ranging, and rigorous conversation about religion thrives on the contributions of the students who join it each academic year. We welcome applications from prospective students to each of our four degree programs.

Begin an Application Button

To open an application, click here or on the icon to the right, and you will be directed to the registration page for the online system. If you have questions regarding admissions—including the application process and eligibility—or about which degree program is right for you, please contact John Howell, Associate Dean of Students, at divinityadmissions@uchicago.edu.

Please note that paper applications are no longer accepted.

Application Deadlines

Round 2017 application deadlines (for MA, MDiv, and PhD applicants seeking admission in the 2017-18 academic year) are as follows:

PhD applicants: December 15, 2016

MDiv applicants: [Priority] January 15, 2017; [Final] May 15, 2017

MA applicants: [Priority] January 8, 2017; [Final] May 15, 2017

Please note that MA and MDiv applicants wishing to be considered for the full range of scholarship aid the School offers should submit by the priority deadline for each program.

AMRS application deadlines depend upon the applicant's intended quarter of matriculation and citizenship status. Deadlines for US citizens and permanent residents are as follows:

  • Winter 2017 admission: October 14, 2016
  • Spring 2017 admission: January 15, 2017
  • Autumn 2017 admission: May 15, 2017

To accommodate the University's visa documentation process and schedule, deadlines for international AMRS applicants are as follows:

  • Spring 2017 admission: October 14, 2016
  • Autumn 2017 admission: January 15, 2017
  • Winter 2018 admission: May 15, 2017


Application Review Schedule

The faculty Committee on Admissions and Aid: 

  • Reviews PhD applications, and MA and MDiv applications submitted by the priority deadline, in January and February and releases admissions and scholarship aid decisions in early March of the application round;
  • Reviews MA and MDiv applications submitted by the final round deadline (May 15) in late May and issues admissions and scholarship aid decisions in mid June.
  • Reviews AMRS applications immediately following the relevant deadline and issues admissions and scholarship aid decisions within a month thereof.

Note that AMRS applicants who are US citizens or permanent residents may, who seek admission in Autumn 2017, and who wish to receive earlier notification of admissions and scholarship aid decisions may elect to submit their applications on the January 15 deadline—in which case they will receive decisions on the MA, MDiv, and PhD decisions timeline (i.e., early March)

Normally, a student is eligible to apply for degreed study in the Divinity School if she or he holds a bachelor of arts (BA) degree, or its equivalent, with a good academic record from an accredited college or university.  

  • Applicants to master's level programs are not required either to have majored or to have done concentrated work in religious studies during their undergraduate course of study, although broad training in the liberal arts is expected.
  • Applicants to the doctoral program must have completed, or must be in the process of completing, a master's degree (in a field related to their intended area of study in religion) from an accredited institution in order to be considered for admission.
  • Students from the United States who do not have a BA degree or its equivalent, or who come from an unaccredited institution, should write to the Dean of Students of the Divinity School concerning eligibility for admission.
  • International applicants should consult the admissions office ( ) early in the application round (September or October) to determine eligibility and to complete the application process.

Enrollment in the Divinity School is based on a competitive application process. The Committee on Admissions and Aid selects for admission only applicants who, in its judgment, appear both best qualified and most capable of using the curricular and co-curricular resources that the Divinity School provides.

To be considered for admission, each applicant must submit to the Dean of Students the following documentation:

1. A completed online Divinity School Application for Graduate Admission, including the required application fee ($75). Applicants to the MA, AMRS, and MDiv programs must submit an essay reflecting intellectual influences and professional goals. Applicants to the PhD program must submit an essay outlining their proposed course of study and a writing sample not to exceed twenty-five (25) pages, typed and double-spaced. Applicants to master's level programs are not required to submit a writing sample but are encouraged to do so; the Committee on Admissions and Aid regards 15 pages as an optimum length for master's writing samples.

2. Academic records from every institution of postsecondary education that the applicant has attended. These do not need to be formal, final transcripts at the time of application as long as the records list courses, grades, and the grading scale. Matriculating students will be required to submit formal, final transcripts for their qualifying degree(s).

3. Three or four letters of recommendation. A minimum of two recommendations must be academic in nature, most commonly from faculty with whom the applicant has studied. In some cases, the other one or two recommendations may be of broader scope and may concern the applicant's interests and motivation, character, and general intellectual abilities. Electronic recommendation forms are available through the online application.

4. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)Most commonly, US citizens and permanent residents—as well as applicants from the English-speaking provinces of Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and English-medium colleges and universities in South African—are required to submit GRE scores, whereas other international applicants are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS score reports. (International applicants should consult the specific guidelines in the online application's instructions for further guidance on the test score requirement.)

 Applicants should refrain from submitting unsolicited written materials with the application. 

Non-Discrimination Statement

In keeping with its long-standing traditions and policies, the University of Chicago considers students, employees, applicants for admission or employment, and those seeking access to University programs on the basis of individual merit. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law (including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972).For additional information regarding the University of Chicago’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct, please see: http://harassmentpolicy.uchicago.edu/page/policy.

The University official responsible for coordinating compliance with this Notice of Nondiscrimination is Sarah Wake, Assistant Provost and Director of the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs. Ms. Wake also serves as the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Affirmative Action Officer, and Section 504/ADA Coordinator.  You may contact Ms. Wake by emailing swake@uchicago.edu, by calling 773.702.5671, or by writing to Sarah Wake, Office of the Provost, The University of Chicago, 5801 S. Ellis Ave., Suite 510, Chicago, IL 60637.