Admission and Financial Support


Application Deadline: January 2.

Doctoral students are accepted for entrance in the fall semester only and applicants are notified of admission decisions in March.

Only a limited number of applicants, selected competitively, are accepted into each doctoral area.

Generous financial aid is available to qualified doctoral students in the form of graduate student stipends, graduate assistantships, and tuition scholarships.


Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Master's degree in theology, or the equivalent.

Required Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

  • Prior to 08/2011, students should score at least 4.5 on the analytical section and 1200 cumulative on the other two sections -  with the score for the verbal component being most significant.
  • After 08/2011, students should score at least 4.5 on the analytical section and 310 cumulative on the other two sections (once again, the score for the verbal component is more important).
  • Most students admitted into the program score in the 90th percentile or above.

Facility in some of the languages required for study in the department.

Application Documents and Materials

Notre Dame uses an online application

A complete application consists of the following materials. For instructions on how to submit the materials please consult the Application Instructions link from within the application itself once you have received your PIN and logged in.

  • A statement of intent (300 to 600 words) and a C.V.
  • Official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended. These should be uploaded to your application, not sent to the Graduate School offices or to the Department of Theology.
  • GRE scores and, for all nonnative speakers of English, TOEFL scores.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Waiver of Access form for each letter of recommendation.
  • The optimal length of a writing sample is fifteen to twenty pages.  You may submit a longer sample but should be aware that faculty may not have time to read it in its entirety.  Thus, if you do submit a longer sample it should have shorter subsections that demonstrate the sorts of skills that you would like the faculty to bear in mind when considering your application.
  • If you have questions about using the admissions software, please contact the Graduate School at (574) 631-7706 .

Learn More

Visit the Graduate School's website.

Financial Support

Some students will hold national scholarships or fellowships. For those who need financial assistance, the Graduate School and Department of Theology offer the following types of grants:

Graduate Fellowships and Assistantships

  • Most students receive a departmental graduate fellowship that includes a full-tuition scholarship and an annual twelve-month stipend (for students starting in 2017-2018 this is $23,000).
  • Students are not responsible for any service during their first and fourth years.
  • During the second and third years, graduate students work for a member of the faculty (c. twelve hours per week during the academic year).
  • In the fifth year, students teach two independent courses.

Graduate School Premier Fellowships

  • In addition to departmental graduate fellowships, some students may be awarded premier fellowships from the Graduate School. These fellowships are offered on a competitive basis and provide full tuition, an increased stipend, and full coverage of the university's health insurance premium.
  • Students have the same responsibilities (in years two, three and five) as students with a departmental fellowship.
  • More information regarding these fellowships can be found at the Graduate School website.

Tuition Scholarships

In cases where students receive extramural support, the University normally covers tuition costs.

Supplementary Support

The Graduate School and the Department also make other types of financial support available.

  • Students are given travel grants by the Department to help underwrite the expense of attending conferences in order to present papers, network with colleagues, and interview for jobs. There are other sources of funding in the University that help students meet particular needs: traveling internationally to research archives, for example.


  • Housing costs in South Bend are far less than those in most urban areas. Apartments are reasonably priced and some students have purchased homes for their years of graduate study.



If you have questions about our Ph.D. program, please contact Cheron Price the Graduate Studies Coordinator or