Doctor of Philosophy.


Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy is an advanced research degree for:

  • Students aspiring to work in teaching, research and leadership in college, university and seminary level education
  • Professionals in government, law, religious leadership, NGOs, libraries and media seeking high-level credentials as an expert in religious and theological studies

The PhD is the highest academic degree available in the United States.

Students complete coursework and comprehensive exams in three to four years. The dissertation, from prospectus to defense and submission often takes two years.


The following areas of specialization are currently offered in the PhD:

  • Bible and Cultures
  • Theological and Philosophical Studies
  • Christian Social Ethics
  • Psychology and Religion
  • Religion, Culture and Ecology

Students take 36 credits of coursework (12 courses) including a common seminar in Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion.

Admission Requirements

-Application Deadline: Fall Semester - December 15

-A master’s degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution.

-The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for all applicants who are U.S. or Canadian citizens. Scores no older than five years are accepted. To present a competitive application, a student should have a minimum score of 153 on the verbal section, a minimum score of 144 on the quantitative section and a minimum score of 4 on the analytical writing section.

-A personal statement describing the applicant’s personal and intellectual interests that have led him or her to the proposed field of study, and what directions those interests will take at Drew, preferably with reference to the specific faculty with whom he or she hopes to work.

-An academic writing sample, ordinarily an academic paper or essay.

-Two letters of recommendation. These should be from academic professors or persons familiar with the student’s academic ability and with the academic rigors of a graduate degree. They should comment on the critical thinking and writing skills, the research ability and the general suitability of the applicant for graduate study.

-A resume.

Students cannot be enrolled simultaneously in more than one school of the university, or in more than one program.

Information for International Students

International students have supplemental application requirements.

For students whose native language is not English, recent Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of Written English (TWE) scores must be submitted. The TOEFL score must be at least 585 (paper score) or 240 (computer score; iBT total score must be at least 94), and the TWE score must be at least 4. Scores no older than two years are accepted.

In addition, Drew will administer further testing once a student has arrived on campus, as a diagnostic tool to determine if a student needs additional study in writing, in speaking English, or in study skills appropriate to the U.S. academic environment.