Study of Religion, Doctor of Philosophy Graduate Studies

The Study of Religion Graduate Program offers students classical training in the literatures of particular religious traditions, and they are encouraged to understand these traditions at the intersection of contemporary thematic and regional phenomena.

Students have the opportunity to concentrate primarily on one of three regional specializations: American religious cultures, Mediterranean religions, and Asian religions. An additional regional specialization typically serves as a secondary area of competence. Students further shape their scholarship through intensive engagement in one of the following thematic specializations: Values, Ethics, and Human Rights; Modernity, Science, & Secularism; Visual Culture, Media, & Technology; Language, Rhetoric, and Performance; Body & Praxis; Theory & Method.

This curriculum guides students through a rigorous course of study, providing the breadth and depth necessary to produce exciting, rigorous scholarship at the forefront of the field of Religious Studies. Graduate training prepares students for careers in academia as well as in the government and the private sector.


Admission to the program requires a Bachelor's or Master's degree in a discipline relevant to the study of religion, as well as preparation in at least one language relevant to the intended area of primary research. The program requires three letters of recommendation and a sample of recent written work.

While an M.A. degree may be obtained while pursuing a Ph.D. degree, only Ph.D. applications will be accepted.

Graduate Advisor

Archana Venkatesan