Q. Do I have to be Roman Catholic, or come from a Roman Catholic program, to be admitted?
A. As the Department of Theology mission statement makes clear: “Notwithstanding our identification with the Catholic tradition, we comprise a wide range of religious perspectives. While the department's central core is the Catholic tradition, the department is deliberately ecumenical; we are committed to dialogue with one another's traditions because theology can no longer be done adequately in a narrowly denominational manner.” Our students come from many Christian traditions as well as other traditions.
Q. Who makes the admissions decisions for the PhD Program?
A. Faculty members in each area of concentration make initial selections of potential students for their area. The PhD admissions committee, composed of one faculty member from each area of concentration and the Director of Graduate Studies, then decides the final list. Admitted students should receive a formal notification from the Graduate School by mid-March. Prior to that date we will not be able to give you a definitive answer on your admissions status. Students who are waitlisted should note that all offers of admission (including financial aid) received from any North American graduate school are valid until April 15.
Q. Is a writing sample required?
A. Your application will be considered without a writing sample. However, since most applicants submit one, it is recommended that you include one in your application. Your writing sample should show the particular strengths that you would like to highlight (for example, ability to read historical texts in their original language or do research in foreign languages).
Q. How long should my writing sample be?
A. The optimal length of a writing sample is about 5,000 words. If you submit a longer sample you should be aware that faculty may not have time to read it in its entirety.
Q. May I submit more than three letters of recommendation?
A. You may submit more than three letters of recommendation and they will be included in your file. At least two of your letters of recommendation should be from people who can speak to your academic qualifications for doctoral work.
Q. Will files be considered if they are missing a letter or recommendation or official GRE scores?
A. To receive full consideration, files should be complete.
Q. Do I need to fill out a separate form to apply for financial aid?
A. You need only indicate that you would like to be considered for financial aid on the on-line application form. In general, all students who are admitted receive a tuition scholarship and a living stipend.