Admission Requirements & Deadlines

Basic Requirements for Matriculation

  • A completed two-year master's degree relevant to the student's proposed research interests
  • A combined grade point average from all graduate work of no less than 3.0 (B)

The application period typically starts in September for the following fall with a priority deadline in early January. The priority deadline for Fall 2024, is January 8, 2024. We can not guarantee that applicants after that date will be considered.  Contact for questions about options for late applicants. 

Students with an interest in studying the Bible or ancient texts are required to have at least one year of Koine Greek and one year of Biblical Hebrew within the last five years, or the equivalent. If you are uncertain if this requirement is relevant to you, please contact for details.

Students Must Submit

  1. The online application
  2. Transcripts: Transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended, or presently attending are required. Transcripts can be downloaded, scanned or mailed. The University is not responsible for obtaining an applicant's transcripts, including any record of work completed at the University of Denver or Iliff School of Theology. Applicants must also account for any study undertaken outside the United States and international credentials not in English must include a certified translation. Upon admission, official transcripts will be required. All credentials become property of the University of Denver and cannot be copied or returned to the student or any person(s).
  3. GRE: The GRE is not required.
  4. Letters of Recommendation: We require three recommendation letters from qualified persons who are able to evaluate your academic strengths (coursework you have done, papers you have written, languages you have studied, etc.). Graduate faculty who are familiar with your academic work are especially appropriate recommenders, as are undergraduate faculty. Our application system will ask you to provide the names and email addresses of your recommenders. We will email a request for a letter of recommendation to your recommender within one business day of your submitting your application. We suggest you let your recommender know before submitting your application that you are requesting a recommendation from them. This will allow your recommender time to write their recommendation and submit it by the application deadline. Our email will give them instructions for submitting their recommendation.
  5. Personal Statement: We require a statement of purpose (typically 3-5 pages) that explains your academic and professional goals and explains your preparation for pursuing a PhD in your area of the study of religion. Please be sure to name specific faculty at both the University of Denver and Iliff with whom you wish to work. You will upload your personal statement and attach it to your online application before submission.
  6. Research Paper: A research paper or essay that represents your best effort in your proposed area of study. Length is typically 10-20 pages double-spaced, not to exceed 25 pages. Multi-authored papers are not acceptable. The research paper can be uploaded and attached to your online application before submission.
  7. Application Fee: There is a $65 non-refundable application fee, which covers the cost of processing application materials. The fee may be paid by credit card at the time of submission of online application, or may be paid on a bank draft or personal check drawn on a U.S. bank made payable to "University of Denver". Applications will not be forwarded to the department for review until this fee is paid. 
  • Note:  Students with international academic credentials will be charged an additional $50 fee to cover the cost of international credential review.  

Mail admission materials (if not submitted online) to:

                   University of Denver
                   Office of Graduate Education
                   Mary Reed, Room 5
                   2199 S. University Blvd
                   Denver, CO 80208-4802



DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion

Follow the DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion