Rolling Deadline: Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion Applications

Khai Thu Nguyen

Applications for the Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion are now accepted on a rolling basis.

Program Description:

The Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion (DESR) supports graduate training in Religious Studies and in the Theory of the Study of Religion, promotes graduate research on topics related to religion, and brings together a cross-disciplinary faculty Group in the Study of Religion. Recognizing that many Berkeley students across the Humanities and Social Sciences are already deeply engaged in the study of religious phenomena, the DESR creates a space where those students may come together and focus on the history and theory of how others have approached such phenomena. Since Berkeley currently has no department of Religious Studies, the DESR also integrates professional approaches derived from Theology and Religious Studies, alongside those derived from other cultural traditions and critical approaches to religion…(more)

Course Requirements:

The DESR’s two core-course requirements are Methods in the Study of Religion and Histories of the Study of Religion. In addition to two core courses, the DESR also requires students to take one elective course. As with the core courses, various elective courses are offered each semester by faculty in departments across the Humanities and Social Sciences…(more)

Application Process:

Applications for 2022–2023 are accepted on a rolling basis. Please submit:

  • A completed Petition for Admission to the DESR form (download here)
  • A statement of intent (500-1000 words) describing how religion relates to your dissertation project or research interests
  • Recommendation form (download here) sent from a faculty member preferably in your home department (potentially an adviser) under separate cover

For more details, please visit the Designated Emphasis page on the BCSR website. Please submit applications materials via email to and Required recommendation form (download here) should be sent by faculty member under separate cover.