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Graduate Admission

Application Process (for Prospective Graduate Students)

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We admit a select group of students to our M.A. program each fall. Many of our students are interested in gaining further training before pursuing a PhD in Religious Studies or a related discipline, while others use the M.A. as preparation for careers in areas as diverse as journalism, law, nonprofit work, NGOs, and chaplaincy. The department is in the unusual and fortunate position of being able to provide substantial financial support for students seeking the MA degree. Applications for Fall 2018 are closed. The application deadline for Fall 2019 entry is January 15, 2019.

To be considered for admission to KU's Religious Studies program, applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with undergraduate degree requirements similar to those of the University of Kansas (3.0 minimum on a 4.0 scale for regular admission). You may use the Graduate Check Sheet (PDF) to track your progress during the application process. 

If you'd like to learn more about the Master of Arts in Religious Studies or have questions about the application process, please contact the Department of Religious Studies at rstudies@ku.edu or Graduate Advisor, Clare Thoman, at clarethoman@ku.edu.

Application Materials

All application materials must be received before your application for admission can be evaluated. A complete application consists of the following:

1. KU Graduate School online application 

  1. A well-written essay (approximately 500-800 words) that describes your interest in the academic study of religion, purpose in pursuing the M.A., and expected areas of emphasis in the program.
  2. An up-to-date resume or curriculum vitae including work, volunteer, and leadership experiences, as well as evidence of scholastic attainment (undergraduate degree program, plus any academic awards or scholarships, languages spoken/studied, publications or research presentations, study abroad or other special academic experiences, and any other notable accomplishments).
  3. An academic writing sample representative of your academic accomplishments thus far (2500-5000 words).
  4. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are well acquainted with your academic work and who can evaluate your potential as a scholar and graduate student. Contacting referees and making sure their letters are uploaded into the online application is your responsibility.  At least one academic reference is preferred, especially for students entering directly from their undergraduate program, and all references should speak to your potential to be successful as a graduate student. Specific information about your past performance in academics or related activities offers the best support for your application.
  5. One official transcript sent directly from your degree-granting undergraduate institution. If you have earned any graduate degrees, you will also need to submit an official transcript for your prior graduate coursework.
  6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test results submitted directly to KU

2. Submit the application fee ($65 for domestic applicants and $85 for international applicants)

3. English Proficiency: If an applicant is not a native speaker of English, they must verify their English proficiency. Please see Graduate Admissions' English Proficiency Requirements for Official TOEFL or IELTS scores. 

Applicants may submit their application, application fee, statement of interest, and resume through the application link above. GRE scores and TOEFL scores should be sent directly to KU using institution code 6871. Digital copies of transcripts may be emailed directly from the degree-granting institution to graduateadm@ku.edu. Official transcripts can also be mailed to the address below:

University of Kansas, Graduate Admissions
1450 Jayhawk Boulevard
Strong Hall, 313
Lawrence, KS 66045


Tonight at 7pm! An interfaith panel with @KUEnglish prof Laura Moriarty discuss perspectives on religious freedom a… https://t.co/Itegfmlf6H