General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 43
  • Students: 45
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 100%
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application terms: Fall
  • Application deadlines: December 13
Application Info


Ross Wagner
Director of Graduate Studies
Graduate Program in Religion
Duke University
Box 90964
Durham, NC 27708-0964
Phone: (919) 660-3512



Program Description

The Graduate Program in Religion offers degrees in the following fields: American Religion; Asian Religions; Christian Theological Studies; Early Christianity; Hebrew Bible/Old Testament; History of Judaism; Islamic Studies; New Testament; Religion, Aesthetics, & Society; and World Christianity. Each field is described in detail on the web site where a field convener also is listed ( Inquiries related to specific fields should be directed to that individual. Applicants should make clear the specific area in which they wish to concentrate (for example, Medieval Islam, early Judaism, contemporary Christian ethics).

Students are required to take an internal and/or an external minor, which gives them the opportunity to work in areas that complement their primary intellectual agenda, both within the religion program as well as in areas outside the program (see GPR website for details by field). This structure allows students not only to strengthen their dissertation area, but also prepares them to be teachers and scholars. Because the program draws on the Department of Religious Studies, the Divinity School, and other departments and professional schools in the University, it offers one of the most rigorous and wide-ranging Ph.D.'s in the country. An excellent job placement record has helped graduates obtain positions not only in teaching, but also in ministry, in publishing, and in educational administration.


Application Information

Application Terms Available: Fall

Application Deadlines: December 13

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required (See departmental guidance below)
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: GRE General (Optional)
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required
  • Writing Sample: Required (See departmental guidance below)

Statement of Purpose Guidelines
Your application statement should clearly match your interest with the resources of faculty in the GPR. You must apply to one track within the program and your interests need to overlap with those among the track’s faculty. It is important to know that Duke University highly values interdisciplinary study, so demonstrating how your interests will also be served by the strength of faculty in other programs at Duke is something to include in your statement. You will be evaluated in terms of how your intellectual interests match our strengths. So indicating what areas of study you want to work in, what intellectual skills you wish to acquire through coursework and research will be very relevant.

Writing Sample
A sample of scholarly work of 15-20 pages, double spaced, should be submitted as part of the application.

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance