The first step in seeking admission to the Graduate Program in Religion is to review this website and to determine which area of study best fits the applicant’s research interests. It is useful to consult faculty members in the expected area of specialization or the field convener.

The Bulletin of the Graduate School specifies the details of the application procedure.

The application form and additional information can be found at the Duke University Graduate School website. The Admissions Team at the Graduate School is helpful for information on transcripts, application fees and questions concerning how to navigate the application process.

Questions regarding the program may be directed to the GPR Program Office.  Please email Carol Rush.

The Duke University Graduate School Admissions Office will charge a $80 application fee for all applications regardless of when they are received by the Graduate School.  No new applications will be considered after December 8 for the Graduate Program in Religion. 

The principal factors considered by the admissions committee of the graduate faculty in religion in decisions regarding admission are:

  • previous academic records as reflected in transcripts
  • recommendations from competent academic persons
  • scores on the Graduate Record Examination
  • average undergraduate GPA over the last three years have been 3.6
  • the 1-2 page, single-spaced statement of intellectual and academic interest that is part of the application
  • a sample of scholarly work of 15-20 double-spaced pages to be included in your electronic application profile (in the Additional Materials section)
  • fit with faculty resources    


Applicants will be notified of their status early in the spring semester by email.

As part of the admissions process, top-ranked candidates will be invited to Duke for on-campus interviews. (Travel and hospitality expenses will be paid by Duke.) This will allow both candidates and faculty members to assess whether there is a good match between students and their prospective program. Faculty members will make final decisions concerning admissions and funding after the on-campus interview. Admission is normally for the fall semester but in extraordinary cases may be deferred until the spring term.

Each year, 200-225 students apply to the GPR at Duke. There is no quota of students accepted in particular subfields of religion, but the overall number of students admitted is ten or fewer because of the intensive character of Ph.D. instruction at Duke (small seminars and individual tutorial and dissertation guidance) and the limited amount of financial aid available. Because of the stringency of admissions requirements, students seeking admission to doctoral studies should apply to several schools.