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Graduate Admissions


Some successful applicants enter the department after majoring in religious studies as undergraduates, although others may come from other fields. In most instances doctoral applicants hold a master’s degree from this or other religious studies programs, a theological school, or another program closely related to their Ph.D. specialization.

Some matters to consider before making your application are discussed here: Before You Apply…

Application to the Religion graduate program involves a simultaneous process of application to both the Graduate School and the department. In addition to the minimum requirements of the Graduate School, applicants must fulfill the additional requirements of the department.

Graduate School minimum requirements

A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or curriculum; an overall average grade of B or better for the junior and senior years; satisfactory score on the Aptitude Test (Verbal and Quantitative) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), with “satisfactory” generally taken to mean a combined total of 1000 or better; for applicants whose native tongue is not English, a satisfactory score on TOEFL (Testing of English as a Foreign Language), with a “satisfactory” taken to mean 550 or better (or 213 or better on the computer-based test conversion score).

Department Requirements

Regardless of the degree sought, all applicants for admission must meet the Graduate School requirements. In addition, the department requires:

1) Three references from persons competent to evaluate the applicant’s potential for graduate work; 2) An essay of three to five double-spaced, typewritten pages identifying the applicant’s goals and particular interests pertinent to the five available fields of study (this essay is extremely important and applicants should attend to it carefully); 3) beyond these requirements, applicants need to show clear evidence of solid preparation before admission. This usually includes formal study of the primary language in the area of specialization. A minimum score of 304 on the GRE (1100 on the old scale, with 163 on the verbal portion [650 on the old scale]) and a writing sample is also required. 4) In addition to evidence of preparation and academic promise, the department gives careful consideration to the fit between an applicant’s central scholarly interests and the resources the department and university have to offer.

How to apply

Apply online at

On the admissions application, students should ensure that they designate the proper degree program for which they seek admittance. Students seeking the M.A. should select the category “M.A. only,” students without an M.A. who intend to seek the Ph.D. at the University of Florida should select the Ph.D. category, as should students with an M.A. in hand. Students without an M.A. degree who are applying for the Ph.D. should indicate whether they would consider admission as an M.A. student in their personal statement.

For the Office of Admission, please send your completed application, $30 application fee (for first time applicants), official transcripts and official GRE scores, and TOEFL scores (international applicants) to the Office of Admission. 201 Criser Hall, PO Box 114000, Gainesville Fl 32611-4000. If sending by fed ex or ups, use S201.

For the department, please send the statement of purpose, a writing sample, three letters of recommendation, along with a copy of the Graduate School application, transcripts, and test scores directly to the department’s graduate secretary (transcripts and test scores need not be official) P.O. Box 117410, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fl 32611. The writing sample and the 3-5 page statement of purpose can be uploaded on the online application. The three required letters of recommendation can also be sent through the online system.

Note: International students are requested to complete the online application, and send the certification of financial responsibility form to the University of Florida International Center.

Application dates and deadlines

The deadline for submission of all materials, including financial aid materials, is January 15. Applicants will be notified of action taken by the Graduate Advisory Committee no later than mid April. Students should ensure that they take the GRE examinations earlier enough for the scores to arrive by the application deadline. In rare cases the Graduate Advisory committee will consider students for provisional spring semester admittance. Students wishing to enroll for the first time during a spring semester should contact the graduate coordinator to determine whether to make such an application. Such applications, when authorized, must be made by November 15. Any student admitted for a spring semester must go through the competitive, regular admissions process, which begins 15 January, and is not guaranteed admission to the program, even if they are allowed to take courses during that spring semester.