Degree Programs

The Divinity School offers the doctoral (PhD) degree, the Master of Divinity degree (MDiv), the Master of Arts (MA) degree, and a Master of Arts in Religious Studies (AMRS), as well as a major and a minor for College students.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program is a rigorous, interdisciplinary course of study that prepares students for careers in research, teaching, and publicly engaged leadership. Students develop a sophisticated grasp of methods and theories in a chosen area and broad understanding of religion as a phenomenon, and join others in the creation of new knowledge.

Admission is offered annually. Average completion time is 6-8 years.

Program Requirements

  • Minimum 12 courses (2 years)
  • Demonstrated competence in two secondary research languages other than English. Some areas require additional language study.
  • 4 Qualifying Examinations
  • Teaching experiences totaling 5 teaching points 
  • Dissertation 

       

The Master of Arts (MA) is a 2-year foundational program to acquire the skills to develop a research agenda for doctoral study, or to strengthen knowledge needed for professional fields. Admission is offered annually.

Program Requirements:

  • Successful completion of a minimum of 15 courses, including
    • DVSC 30400, Introduction to the Study of Religion
    • At least one course in each of the three faculty committees
  • Demonstrated competence in either French or German through an exam or course from the Chicago Language Center

    

The MDiv is a three-year, cohort-based program designed for students from all religious backgrounds who are interested in careers in public religious leadership, whether in traditional ministerial professions or in new and emerging forms of leadership. 

Program highlights include participation in field education all three years of the program and the ability to take courses at neighboring seminaries or theological schools. Students learn basic skills in textual languages, such as Koine Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Qur’anic Arabic, Sanskrit, or Tibetan.

We offer several Dual Degree Programs:

  • MDiv & Master of Public Policy (MPP) with the Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy Studies
  • MDiv & Juris Doctor (JD) with The University of Chicago Law School
  • MDiv & Master of Social Work (MSW) with The University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice

       

The AMRS is designed for those practicing other professions (e.g. law, medicine, business, education, journalism, the arts), or those looking to develop a broad basis of understanding in religious studies. Students may enroll either full or part time.

        

 
 

College students of any major may take electives in Religious Studies, and we offer both a Major and a Minor. The field of Religious Studies engages perennial questions about religion and human society. Explore numerous religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. 

 

 

    Dr. Johnson teaching "Star Wars and Religion" in Spring 2019

divinity school overview

why apply?

ryan coyne teaches a class

The Divinity School faculty are world-renowned scholars who represent extraordinary breadth and depth of knowledge across the world’s religious traditions. They bring a wide range of disciplinary and methodological approaches to the study of religion.

director of ministry studies cynthia lindner with a student

The University of Chicago offers a vast array of resources to support every facet of student life and encourage academic success. Divinity School students are able to take advantage of the breadth of these resources to enhance their educational experience.

student in a scarf walks past hull gate

Swift Hall, home of the Divinity School, faces the main quadrangle of the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus. Our Hyde Park neighborhood offers a wide variety of cultural and recreational offerings, while the broader city of Chicago is one of the world’s most ethnically and religiously diverse cultural capitals.

student at graduation with family

Divinity School students pursue a diverse range of careers after graduation. Our alumni lead organizations in a variety of industries, teach at colleges and universities around the world, and enhance communities in ministry and service organizations.

students talk at our annual welcoming ceremony

Our students provide some of the most vibrant parts of our community culture. From clubs and activities to our student-run coffee shop, students are critical to the professional, academic, and social spheres of life at the Divinity School.

dates and deadlines

April 16, 2021

MA | M.Div Programs: April 16 (Final deadline for international students)

more info

July 15, 2021

Domestic applications for the MA and MDiv programs and for Autumn admission to the AMRS.

MORE INFO

DID YOU KNOW?

students in class

Doctoral Funding

All PhD students receive a fellowship package that includes a full tuition scholarship, student health insurance premium, and a $31,000 living stipend for the duration of the program, up to 7 years. 

phd student adi shiran teaches arabic

International Applicants

International students comprise 24% of the University community, and come from over 100 countries. We welcome you to apply to any of our programs. 

professor jeffrey stackert lectures in one of our many courses

Coursework

We offer over 100 courses every year in the academic study of religion! 

Frequently Asked Questions

We want to make the admissions process as seamless for applicants as possible. Read through for our most frequently asked questions.

questions – and answers

One of the world’s leading institutions in the academic study of religion, the Divinity School prepares students for careers of scholarship, teaching, and public religious leadership. The School generates knowledge about the history, theology, beliefs, and practices of world religions through a broad and rich array of methodological and theoretical approaches that is deeply informed, intellectually curious, and honestly engaged. No tradition is given a privileged intellectual place here; the claims of all religious traditions are assessed by standards of reasoned inquiry. The result is a diverse community of scholars and professionals who guide the public’s understanding of religion.