Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program Overview  

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. 

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

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
Admission Information

We offer admission to the doctoral program annually. 

Application Materials

  • Divinity School Application for Graduate Admission
  • Personal Statement
  • Academic Transcripts
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • GRE Scores
  • Current Resume or CV
  • Writing Sample, not to exceed 25 pages
  • Application fee: $75 (waiver available)
  • International Students: TOEFL or IELTS score. See our International Admissions page for more information.

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.




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.

Additional Information

Please consult the Doctoral Student Handbook for more information on program  requirements, funding packages, and other details.


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