FAQ- MA & AMRS Degree Programs

What are the basic requirements of the MA program?

MA students must satisfactorily complete (B- or better) at least 15 courses, including DVSC 30400- Introduction to the Study of Religion and at least one course in each of the three faculty committees. Typically, students in the MA program are enrolled full-time for six quarters (Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters in each for two academic years).

MA students must also demonstrate reading competency in either French or German, by either earning a High Pass on a timed competency exam or by earning an A in the French or German Reading for Research Purposes course. Students who apply for admission to the PhD program from the MA program must take at least three courses in their proposed area of study. 

Can I only take courses in the Divinity School?

No–and this is one of the great things about doing your MA at the University of Chicago. MA students may take courses in any of the other graduate divisions and professional schools.

What are the basic requirements of the AMRS program?

AMRS students must satisfactorily complete (B- or better) at least 9 courses, including DVSC 30400- Introduction to the Study of Religion and at least one course in two of the three faculty committees. AMRS students may take courses in any of the other graduate divisions at the University of Chicago. As a capstone project, AMRS students will sit for a one-hour oral examination based on a paper written for a class with a faculty committee. AMRS students may enroll on a part-time basis, but have 9 quarters to complete the degree requirements. There is no language requirement for the AMRS program, but students may wish, and are encouraged, to take language classes if they relate to the student’s academic interests.

Will I have space in my schedule to do language work?

In both degree programs, students are able to pursue language work as part of their elective coursework. MA students, in particular, often dedicate substantial time to language work in preparation for the language competency exam or research course. MA students may also use elective coursework for language study to support admission to the PhD program.

What kind of advising do MA and AMRS students receive?

All students are assigned a primary faculty advisor with whom they meet to discuss their academic trajectory and course selection. Students receive advising from the Dean of Students Office and the Director of MA Studies for issues relating to degree requirements and registration. In partnership with UChicagoGRAD, the Divinity School offers an array of professional development programs to help students develop their career plans, acquire skills for the job market, and secure placement in a job or further education after graduation.

May I concentrate in one of the School’s areas of study?

MA and AMRS students do not formally declare an area of study. Students are able to use the flexibility of the curricula to explore the breadth of areas or depth in one specific area. MA students may consider extensive language study to prepare for doctoral work. And as noted above, students who apply for admission to the PhD program from the MA program must take at least three courses in their proposed area of study. 

I am not interested in pursuing doctoral work subsequent to my master’s program; what do graduates of the MA and AMRS programs go on to do?

Graduates of our programs go on to successful careers in consulting, non-profit administration, secondary education, community engagement, journalism, and advocacy. See our alumni outcomes information listed on the Why UChicago page

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