Application Process

Thank you for your interest in applying to Rice University's M.A. program in Religion. Please read carefully the application instructions, answers to frequent inquiries, and program eligibility and application requirements below.

Inquiries regarding the application process should be directed to Humanities Graduate Admissions. For academic inquiries regarding the program, please contact Dr. Claire Fanger or Dr. Brian Ogren, co-directors of M.A. Studies.

Application Instructions and Notes:

  • Applications for Fall 2021 are now open at https://gradadmissions.rice.edu/apply/. PRIORITY application deadline is Friday, January 15, 2021. FINAL application deadline is Monday, March 15, 2021.
  • Due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, GRE scores are optional for Fall 2021 applicants.
  • Hard copies of official transcripts are not required to apply. Applicants will upload unofficial transcripts and supporting documents to the online application system.
  • If admitted, applicants will be notified to send official transcripts to complete the admissions process.
  • Once a completed application is submitted, the applicant will be able to pay the application fee and monitor the status of their application on the Application Status page.
  • Application information and supporting documents cannot be edited after final submission. However, applicants are able to upload an updated version of their CV and unofficial transcripts via the Application Status page.
  • All application materials, including official test scores and three letters of recommendation, must be received by the deadline to be considered for admission.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission.

Frequent Inquiries:

  • Applications are accepted annually for fall matriculation only; there is no spring matriculation.
  • The M.A. program in Religion is a full-time, tuition-based program and does not offer online or distance courses. Tuition is currently $10,000 per semester.
  • In general, applicants should have a 3.0 (B) grade point average, or the equivalent, in their undergraduate work.
  • There are no minimum requirements for GRE scores.
  • MA students applying to the Rice PhD program before the second year of the MA program will not be considered. Allowances will be made for second-year MA students, but they will have no special privilege of entry into the PhD program and will be assessed on their merits, in competition with all other applicants.

Program Eligibility

Candidates who hold a Bachelor's degree, or who will complete a Bachelor's degree by the start of the admission term, are eligible to apply. Applicants of all academic backgrounds are considered for the M.A. program.


Application Requirements

The following materials must be submitted by the application deadline to be considered for admission:

APPLICATION FORM & FEE

Applications for Fall 2021 are now open at https://gradadmissions.rice.edu/apply/. PRIORITY application deadline is Friday, January 15, 2020. There is an $85 non-refundable application fee, payable online.

UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS

Unofficial transcripts from previous colleges and universities. The department will review unofficial transcripts during the admissions process; official transcripts will be required after acceptance into the graduate program.

OFFICIAL TEST SCORES

Due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, GRE scores are optional for Fall 2021 applicants. If you have a GRE score, please submit it, but it is not required.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY (International applicants only)

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores should be directly from ETS to Rice (School Code: 6609). Please visit this page for additional information regarding IELTS and waiver options.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

A statement describing the applicant’s educational objectives and intended area of study. Additionally, the statement should discuss any scholarly research, writing, or similar research currently being pursued. Statements should be no longer than two or three pages, double-spaced.

WRITING SAMPLE

The writing sample may be a paper you have submitted for class or an original essay written for the application. Writing samples should be seven to ten pages, double spaced.

RECOMMENDATION LETTERS

Three letters of recommendation by individuals best qualified to testify to the applicant’s capacity for graduate work in religious studies. Academic references representing the applicant’s major field are preferred. If this is not possible, individuals who can comment on qualities relevant to the applicant’s academic goals and research will be accepted. Recommenders named in the application form will be sent automated emails requesting that they complete an online evaluation and upload a letter of recommendation. We advise applicants to make sure recommenders know to expect this email and to give them sufficient time to complete this task ahead of the application deadline.

Inquiries regarding the application process should be directed to Humanities Graduate Admissions. For academic inquiries regarding the program, please contact Dr. Claire Fanger or Dr. Brian Ogren, co-directors of M.A. Studies.