Our recovery planning is focused on the fall semester, and the resumption of our on-campus, in-person programs in late August.  We are planning accordingly and will incorporate the best public health practices into those plans so that members of the BU community will feel comfortable and safe on campus upon their return for fall semester. If for some reason public health authorities do not allow universities to re-open their residential campuses at that time, our planning will explore other alternatives, including the possibility of restarting later in the year
To our Admitted Graduate Students: Please know that our priority during this challenging time is the well-being of our students and ensuring their ability to fulfill their academic program requirements. This applies to our current students as well as you, our incoming graduate students. Due to the growing impact of COVID-19, all prospective and accepted student days, interview days, and individual student visits will be moved to a virtual format. 
We are also aware of the increasing concern around delayed visa appointments for our international students and delayed air travel for both our domestic and international students. Please be assured that we are currently working on alternative enrollment options for admitted students who are unable to make it to campus by the start of classes in September. You will be contacted via email with updates as they become available. Please be in touch if you have any questions or concerns.  

Areas of specialization:

  • Buddhist Studies
  • Islamic Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Religions in American Culture
  • Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean World
  • Religion in Philosophy, Politics, and Society


Application Deadline for Fall 2023 is January 15th.

The GPR offers 5-year fellowships to all students admitted to our Ph.D. programs. These fellowships include full tuition and living stipends.

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.  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 fourth and fifth years of these fellowships are typically devoted to dissertation writing, with few or no service obligations.

For more information on our Fellowships, see the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Financial Aid page for more information.

Admissions Prerequisites

Students entering the Ph.D. program will have majored in Religious Studies (or a related discipline) or otherwise show transcript evidence of advanced coursework in a single religious tradition and introductory coursework in multiple religious traditions.

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. $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.

Questions about the admissions process?

Email us. Our Department Administrator will return your call or email within 2 business days. We request that before emailing or phoning, you review our website thoroughly.