The 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 of Study, gain a broad understanding of religion as a phenomenon, and join others in the creation of new knowledge. The average completion time is 6-8 years. 

Admission Information

We offer admission to the doctoral program annually. 

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

Application Deadlines     

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Beginning in the 2020 PhD admissions cycle, there will not be an internal 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. Current students and recent alumni (within 2 years) will not have to resubmit GRE scores, even if they are expired. If the University does not have GRE scores on file, they will need to be submitted with your PhD application materials.

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
  • Personal essay outlining research agenda and proposed course of study
  • Academic transcripts from every institution attended
  • At least three letters of recommendation with at least two letters from faculty members from your graduate program
  • Official Scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) – School code 1832
  • Current CV or resume
  • Writing sample, not to exceed 25 pages 
  • Application fee:  $75 (waiver available)
  • All international applicants: Scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). 

Funding Information     

All PhD students receive a scholarship that covers tuition, student health insurance, and a living stipend for the first six (6) years of the program. The stipend for 2019-20 is $27,000. Funding after year 6 is available on a competitive basis.

PhD students are also eligible for up to four (4) summer research stipends of $3,000 each during the first four (4) years.

Students with approved dissertation proposals by the end of year 5 also receive health insurance coverage for years 6 and 7.

All funding is conditional upon satisfactory academic progress as determined by an annual review each spring.

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 (often achieved through 3 TAships and 1 stand-alone course)
  • Dissertation