Graduate Theological Union

M.A. Application Information

Applicants to the GTU Common M.A. program must have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution by the time they intend to enroll in the program.

Application Deadlines

Applications must be received or postmarked by February 1 for the following fall semester
Applications must be received or postmarked by September 30 for the following spring semester

Application Help and Forms

Before You Complete the Application
Choose a School of Affiliation for your M.A. Program.
Determine which schools offer an M.A. in your field of interest. Don’t overlook the options of the specialized M.A. concentrations in Buddhist Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Orthodox Christian Studies, and Biblical Languages. We also now feature a concentration in Interreligious Studies. Contact the school(s) with which you are considering affiliation and have a discussion with the Admissions Director to determine whether your sense of “fit” with the program is well founded. Explore with him or her whether your background and interests are suitable for their program.

The GTU Admissions Office can also help direct you to an appropriate school, but a conversation with admissions staff at the school, center or institute is strongly recommended. Here is a list of admissions staff at the schools of affiliation to contact to find out more about a particular school.

Students interested in the M.A. in Buddhist Studies should contact:

Dr. Richard Payne, Dean
Institute of Buddhist Studies
2410 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94707
Telephone: 510/649-2482
admin@shin-ibs.edu

Students interested in the M.A. in Islamic Studies should contact:

Dr. Munir Jiwa, Director
Center for Islamic Studies
Graduate Theological Union
2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley, CA 94709
Telephone: 510/649-2562
cis@gtu.edu

Students interested in the M.A. in Jewish Studies should contact:

Dr. Naomi Seidman, Director
Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies
Graduate Theological Union
2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley, CA 94709
Telephone: 510/649-2482
cjs@gtu.edu

Students interested in the M.A. in Orthodox Christian Studies should contact:

Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias, Director
Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute
2311 Hearst Avenue
Berkley, California 94709 USA
Tel. 510/649-3450
paoi@gtu.edu


Components of the GTU Common M.A. Application

The Application form
You can apply online or with a paper form. Make sure to indicate your proposed area of study and choice of school of affiliation. Provide accurate contact information and include details on any prior language study and research and writing experience. You may attach a resume on a separate page if you like.

An Academic Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose is not a personal biography, but a statement of goals that explains your study interests, and outlines the reasons the GTU and the school of affiliation are an appropriate place for the proposed program of study. This statement should be approximately one page in length.

Three academic letters of recommendation
Choose people who can speak knowledgeably and articulately about your academic and intellectual potential and will write specific letters. Academic references are different from general character references. Letters are requested by the applicant and submitted by the recommender via the online application system.  Forms are also available for downloading on this page.  If you do not use the online system, we suggest that your recommenders seal the letter in an envelope and sign across the seal, then either  return it to you to send with your application materials, or if they prefer, they may  send the letter directly to the GTU.  Inform them of the application deadline and provide them with a stamped envelope addressed to: Admissions Office, Graduate Theological Union, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA 94709.

Two official transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate school
Applicants are expected to have a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) for the bachelor’s degree. Transcripts should show a range of undergraduate courses which demonstrate solid preparation in the humanities and some knowledge of religion.

Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
GRE scores are required of all applicants whose native language is English or who have completed a degree at an institution where English is the primary language. Students are strongly advised to sign up early for the examinations so that scores will be available to the Admissions Committee. Applicants are generally expected to have a GRE verbal score of at least 150 unless there are extenuating circumstances. For further information about how to register for these examinations visit www.gre.org. Scores must be from tests taken within the last five years.

Note: As of August 1, 2011 the GRE is offering a revised test with a new score scale. The current concordance table shows the equivalent guideline score of 156 on the verbal section. There are test-prep materials as well as a discount on the GRE web site.

The GTU’s institution code is 4336.

International applicants from a country where English is not the official language must submit scores from the TOEFL examination rather than the GRE. Applicants to the M.A. program are expected to have a TOEFL score of at least 550 (written) or 213 (computer) or 79 (internet based) from an exam taken within the last two years. For registration information visit www.toefl.org.

Application fee of $40
The fee should be sent in a check payable on a U.S. bank or by means of an international postal money order. Online applicants will pay the application fee when submitting the application via CollegeNet.

 

New and Exciting Opportunity for MA applicants in Jewish Studies!

The Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies are pleased to announce the establishment of a new fellowship for students pursuing an M.A. in Jewish Studies at the GTU, with supplementary studies at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem.

If applying for the Berkeley-Jerusalem Fellowship program, please submit application materials by the MA application deadline of February 1. To apply for the fellowship, applicants should submit the following.

  •  a 500 word essay: Studies at the GTU and the Pardes Institute allow students to combine critical approaches to Jewish history and literature with classical rabbinic literacy. Please describe how this combination of academic and rabbinic studies will contribute to your long-term goals. 

These items should be sent in with your online application, or to the GTU Admissions Office either electronically to gtuadm@gtu.edu; or in hard copy to GTU Admisssions, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA. 94709.

If you would like more information or have any questions about the Berkeley-Jerusalem Fellowship, please contact please contact CJS (510/649-2482, cjs@gtu.edu) or Andrea Sheaffer in the GTU Admissions Office (510/649-2465).

 

Send applications and all materials to:
Admissions Office
Graduate Theological Union
2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley, CA 94709

gtuadm@gtu.edu

Telephone: 510/649-2460 or 800/826-4488

 

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