Rice University Department of Religion

Graduate Program

 Ph.D. in Religion

Rice University is a leading American research university--small, private, and highly selective, distinguished by a collaborative, interdisciplinary culture and a global perspective. The religion faculty members enjoy world-class reputations. These talented scholars will guide your study with the personal attention that is only possible in a small and select program.

Our Ph.D. Program

The Department of Religion at Rice University is a research program dedicated to describing and analyzing all forms of religion and religious behavior with a wide variety of philosophical, historical, social-scientific, theological, and literary methods.

What makes our Ph.D. program stand out among other top tier programs?

  • Significant financial support  
  • Training in specific religious traditions and methodologies  
  • Our graduates receive an apprentice experience  
  • A faculty deeply involved in scholarship of international scope while remaining attentive to the intellectual projects of individual students  

One of the benefits of work within a small, well supported, and distinguished department is the ability to tailor the program to meet the needs and interests of each student. Requirements for the Ph.D. degree reflect this unique dimension of the training offered.

For a complete list of course offerings see Religion Course Offerings


An Optimal Environment for Research and Study

Rice University

Only a few miles from historic downtown Houston and right in the heart of the museum district, Rice University occupies an architecturally distinctive, 285-acre campus shaded by nearly 4,000 trees.  With state-of-the-art facilities and internationally renowned centers and institutes, Rice University is an ideal learning and living environment. 

We encourage you to visit Rice at any time for a firsthand look at our department and our beautiful, tree-lined campus.  If you are unable visit, see what graduate life is like through the campus virtual tour.

Studying in Houston

Houston has been named the best city in the nation (Kiplinger magazine).  It is home to a blend of ethnic groups, cultures and religions matched only by New York and Los Angeles.  Houston contains large numbers of Catholics, Protestants, large populations of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and a well-established and growing Jewish population, making the city a fascinating place from which to study culture and religion.

Learn more about our city, and you will see why Houston is such an attractive option for Rice graduates.  Your Passport to Houston.


For other questions, please contact the Humanities Graduate Administrator Lydia Westbrook.