After much consultation and reflection, Rice University’s School of Humanities has decided to pause admissions to all five of its Ph.D. programs for one year. We do so as a robust response to the challenges of COVID-19, which has interrupted Humanities research in libraries, museums, and archives and all research travel.

This step will also allow us to offer additional financial support to our continuing Ph.D. students as they contend with these same challenges. Our commitment to graduate education in the Humanities remains unwavering. This one-year pause is, in fact, an expression of that commitment. We also recognize that the study of the Humanities is now, in the face of the multiple crises our society must confront, more relevant than ever.

We will reopen our application cycle in September 2021 for the class of 2022. Please feel free to correspond with us regarding your interest in our Ph.D. programs. We very much look forward to reviewing your application materials next year.

Questions about the graduate program may be directed to Humanities Graduate Admissions:

Please note that the MA in Religion will be accepting applications for Fall 2021. Learn more here:

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 - all admitted students receive an annual stipend of $26,520 + full tuition remission for five years
  • 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
  • Opportunities to participate in certificate programs that enhance training and provide additional funding
  • The ability to work in an interdisciplinary manner through easy access to other departments in the Humanities and Social Sciences

One of the benefits of working 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 questions related to general PhD requirements in the School of Humanities, please contact Humanities Graduate Admissions. For questions regarding the particular requirements and opportunities within the Religion Department, please contact Dr. Matthias Henze, Director of Doctoral Studies.