MTS Scholarship Application Requirements

1. A basic degree in theology or religious studies with either a first class honors (summa cum laude) or a second class upper division (magna cum laude) pass.

2. A writing sample. Any of the following could suffice: (a) a thesis written as part of requirements for the previous degree in theology or religious studies. This text would be authenticated by the professor who supervised the project and by the head of the department where the work was done and through which the degree was obtained. (b) A long essay written as part of the requirements in an area of study within theology or religious studies relevant to the area of studies which the candidate intends to pursue at Notre Dame. When this latter option is chosen, the candidate would also be required to provide official authentication from the teacher to whom this essay was presented or from a relevant authority as provided in (a) above. 

3. Official transcripts.

4. Three letters of reference from teachers who are familiar with the work of the candidate. Please note: These letters should come from people who are familiar with the candidate’s academic work and should focus on the student’s past academic accomplishments, basic research interests, and capacity to undertake graduate level study in theology

5. In addition to the three academic references, a letter from the ordinary or religious superior of the candidate in question attesting to the fact that this student is in good standing and would return to his/her home country after studies to use the knowledge acquired for service to the Church in an academic setting or any other position of leadership of an academic nature that is relevant to the life of the Church. This letter should also state that the applicant, if admitted, has been given permission to come to Notre Dame for full time study for the length of the program to which she or he was admitted (two years for the MTS program, 5 years for the PhD program).

6. Competitive scores in the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE exam may be accessed at If you have difficulty securing a site to take the GRE, please contact the director of the program to which you are applying (contact information above).

7. Submission of an application to the Graduate School online at

8. A statement of intent that specifies to which of the six departmental areas the candidate seeks admission. The six areas are Biblical Studies, History of Christianity, Liturgical Studies, Moral Theology, Systematic Theology, or World Religions and World Church. Please note: The statement of intent should focus on the applicant’s academic interests or basic research questions that she or he brings to the program. This should include some reference to how the student’s previous studies and pastoral experience have generated research interests in the area of concentration to which the student is applying.

PhD Scholarship Application Requirements

Same conditions as above and the following:

1. A Master’s degree in theology from an institution acceptable to Notre Dame.

2. Additional transcripts showing courses taken at the Master’s degree level.

3. Any journal article which can further show the candidate’s strength. This requirement is optional but could provide a competitive edge to a candidate.

Procedure for Application

Beginning in 2020, completed application packages for the PhD program will be due on January 2, and for the Master of Theological Studies program they will be due on January 15.

The Graduate School

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