Applying to the GDRS

Application Deadline for Fall 2016 was January 15, 2016 at 11:59:59 pm
Applications are no longer being accepted at this time.

Students interested in applying for admission to the Ph.D. in Practical or Comparative Theology should visit the School of Theology’s admission website.

*GDRS PhD Admissions decisions decisions are made and announced between the end of February and the middle of March. GDRS MA Admissions decisions are made and announced in the middle of March to the beginning of April.

Admitted MA Students have until August 1, 2016 to accept their offer of admission.

All Successful PhD Applicants will Receive 5-Year Fellowships

Effective Fall 2013, the GDRS is delighted to be able to offer 5-year fellowships that include full tuition and stipends to all students admitted to our PhD programs.

Our 5-year fellowships are set up to allow students to move through their program of study efficiently while gaining professional experience (in teaching and research) along the way.  Typically, the first year of this fellowship will allow students to focus on their studies, without any additional responsibilities. The second and third years of these fellowships will most often involve teaching assistantships in the Department of Religion. The third and fourth years of these fellowships will involve some combination of research assistantships (involving service) and dissertation fellowships (not requiring other service).  For more information on our Fellowships, see the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Financial Aid page for more information.

Admissions Prerequisites

All entering students should show transcript evidence of having studied at least one religious tradition at the advanced Bachelor’s or Master’s level. Students should also show transcript evidence of having studied a variety of religious traditions at the introductory level. If this prerequisite has not been met before admission, it may be met during the course of study by taking courses approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. This prerequisite may also be met by successfully completing the Core Texts and Motifs sequence (RN 723-724). Any courses used to satisfy this prerequisite (other than Core Texts and Motifs) will not be counted toward the minimum course requirement for the PhD degree.

An applicant to the MA should hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in an area related to the proposed area of specialization. An applicant to the PhD program should hold a Bachelor of Arts in Religion, Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, or equivalent degree in an area related to the area of specialization. The master’s degree program must have included at least four courses in the proposed field.

To Apply

Access Online Application Forms

To apply, the following materials must be uploaded into the online application and submitted by January 15th:

  1. completed online application;
  2. transcripts of all college or university work;
  3. three letters of reference (academic preferred);
  4. a two-to-three page statement of purpose;
  5. academic writing sample of no more than 20 pages;
  6. recent GRE scores (from a test taken within the last five years).
  7. $95 application fee

International applicants must also submit TOEFL scores (from a test taken within the last two years).

For more detailed information please refer to the GRS Frequently Asked Questions page.

Remember to Specify Your Specialization:

In the Specialization field of the GRS application, an applicant should indicate both the track into which he or she seeks admission, as well as the proposed area of specialization.

Questions about the admissions process?

Call 617-358-4215 or email us. Our Program Coordinator will return your call or email within 2 business days. We request that before emailing or phoning, you review our web site thoroughly.