PhD Program

The PhD program is a rigorous, interdisciplinary course of advanced study that prepares students for careers in research, teaching, and publicly-engaged leadership.

Doctoral students conduct original and advanced research in pursuit of expert knowledge about the human phenomenon of religion. Students study the world's religions using a variety of methods including constructive, historical, social scientific, and modes of literary and visual analysis. Students may focus their work in one of the School's Areas of Study or through a multidisciplinary course of study. Students develop a sophisticated grasp of methods and theories in a chosen Area of Study, gain a broad understanding of religion as a phenomenon, and join others in the creation of new knowledge. 


Program Overview

The program consists of coursework, languages, pedagogical training with teaching, comprehensive exams, and a dissertation. All doctoral students work with a faculty advisor and area faculty to progress through the program. 



Admission Information

We offer admission to the doctoral program annually. 

Applicants to the PhD program must have a Master’s degree in religion or closely related field. 

Application Deadline     

January 4, 2024

Beginning in the 2020 PhD admissions cycle, there will not be an internal doctoral admission petition process for current Divinity School MA or MDiv students and recent alumni. Current and former students are required to submit the same documentation as external candidates, using the same deadline. 

Admission & Funding Information

Students admitted to the PhD program in 2016 and beyond receive a fellowship package that includes full tuition coverage, health insurance coverage for the student through the University Health Insurance Plan (U-SHIP), and a $37,000 living stipend. The doctoral student fellowship is renewed annually for the maximum registration period. 

Required Application Materials

Applicants to the PhD program must have a Master’s degree in a program of study related to the proposed area of doctoral study.

  • Divinity School Application for Graduate Admission
  • Candidate Statement 
  • Academic Transcripts 
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Current Resume or CV
  • Writing sample, should not exceed 25 pages
  • Application fee: $75 (waiver available)
  • International students: TOEFL or IELTS score

Director of Doctoral Studies, Dr. Richard A. Rosengarten is Associate Professor of Religion and Literature; also in the College.