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DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion

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DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program

Admission Requirements & Deadlines


  • 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 priority application deadline for the 2019-2020 academic year is January 15, 2019

Students Must Submit

  1. The online application
  2. Transcripts: Official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended, or presently attending, where two quarter hours (or one semester hour) or more were completed are required. Applications will not be forwarded to the department for review until official transcripts have been received. 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. An official transcript must include the original signature of the registrar and/or the seal of the issuing institution, and must be enclosed in an envelope with the stamp or signature of the registrar across the sealed flap. Proof of a bachelor's and master's degree is required from a regionally accredited college or university. All credentials as submitted become property of the University of Denver and cannot be copied or returned to the student or any person(s).
  3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE): GRE scores for the general test are required for all applicants. (Note: When reporting scores to the Joint PhD Program, please use institution code #4842 for the University of Denver. Do not send scores to Iliff School of Theology.) Applicants should take the entrance exam well in advance of their intended application date. Please allow at least 14 business days for your general test scores to be received. Applications will not be processed until scores have been received. GRE exam scores older than five years from the date of the application may not be acceptable for admission.
  4. Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required from qualified persons, including graduate and/or undergraduate faculty familiar with the applicant's academic work. Letter of recommendation requests are sent to your recommender via e-mail within one business day of the submission of your online application. You will be asked to provide names and e-mail addresses of individuals who will be writing your recommendations. Please ensure you have accurate e-mail addresses for your recommenders prior to submitting your application. We suggest you let your recommender know the recommendation request will be coming from the University of Denver in advance. This will allow him/her to send a letter electronically and meet the application deadline if applicable. Instructions for an evaluation form will be included in the e-mail.
  5. Personal Statement: A statement of purpose outlining your professional and/or academic goals and describing your applicant's preparedness and background for pursuing doctoral work in the chosen field must be submitted. The length is typically 3-5 pages. Please be sure to identify specific faculty with whom you wish to work. The personal statement can be uploaded and attached to your online application as one document 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. 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 (after submission, you will not be able to access your application again for payment), or may be paid on a bank draft or personal check drawn on a U.S. bank made payable to "University of Denver" and submitted with the packet of supplemental application materials. Applications will not be forwarded to the department for review until this fee is paid. No waivers or deferrals are allowed.
  8. Supplemental Materials: Applicants should mail all supplemental admission materials (if not already submitted online) to:

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