Graduate Study


Applications are welcomed from students with a baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate degree. Though most candidates admitted to the program have some M.A. level experience, exceptionally promising candidates may be admitted directly from the B.A.

Prior to applying, students are encouraged to contact faculty with whom they are interested in working, and if possible, to visit during the academic year. Such prior contact allows students to gain a better sense of our programs than any materials can convey. For logistical help in arranging such a visit, please contact Nicole Vadnais ( We regret that we cannot provide any financial assistance for such visits. All applications are given the same consideration regardless of whether the applicant has contacted us in advance and/or visited Brown.

Asian Religious Traditions (ART) and Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean (RAM) programs expect some proper preparation in relevant languages.  Applicants to ART: East Asian Studies (EAS) must have at least two years of Chinese or Japanese; three or more years is highly recommended. Applicants to ART: South Asian Traditions (SAT) should have at least two years of either Sanskrit or Hindi-Urdu. Students intending to specialize in some aspect of Ancient Judaism must have a minimum of two years of college level biblical Hebrew or its equivalent; a working knowledge of modern and rabbinic Hebrew and introductory ancient Greek are also highly desirable. Students intending to specialize in some aspect of early Christianity, or Greek or Roman religion should have college level training in at least one of the principal ancient languages for the program, Greek or Latin. Preference will be given to RAM applicants who have appropriate prior study of Greek (and other appropriate languages) and a reading knowledge of French or German, as well as prior work in the history, literature, and religions of the ancient Mediterranean.

Excellent command of English, both spoken and written, is also required of all successful applicants. Please note that there is no minimum GRE score or GPA. While applicants are expected to have demonstrated excellent preparation, aptitude, and potential to be successful scholars and teachers, we carefully consider the complete application. We pay particularly close attention to the personal statement, so applicants should take care in articulating why they think that our department is an appropriate place for them to study.

A writing sample is not required as part of the application. Applicants who wish to submit one should limit the sample to approximately 6000 words (about 25 ordinary typed pages).

The application deadline for the next academic year is January 5. Applicants should apply online through the university Graduate School. Read these pages (particularly the "General Information" section) carefully before applying.

Brown University admits students without regard to national or ethnic origin, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, and creed of handicap.