Ph.D. Program in Religious Studies

The Department of Religious Studies' doctoral program prepares students to become specialists in the study and teaching of religion and in the dissemination of new knowledge in religious studies and related fields.  This advanced training can be put to use within either academic or alternative career settings.

The Ph.D. program is interdisciplinary in nature and may involve historical, anthropological, philosophical, literary, art-historical, or other methods of study, depending on individual goals. Students work closely with their advisor and other Religious Studies faculty members. They are also strongly encouraged to work with faculty members in other UI departments, who specialize in related areas and can serve on Ph.D. committees. Many of our students have worked with the faculty of Anthropology, English, History, and Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures, as well as Philosophy, Classics, and other departments.

Training in methodology and a range of approaches to the study of religion are provided in the course Methods and Theories in the Study of Religion, in courses taught by faculty of different areas, and in courses offered in other departments. Research skills are developed through the writing of seminar papers and the dissertation prospectus.

It is the expectation that Ph.D. students will complete their studies in six years (five for those who come in with an M.A. and are able to transfer credit).

For specific inquiries about graduate study, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies: Professor Paul Dilley.