Announcing Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion | Applications Due June 1, 2021

Miranda Schonbrun

Applications for the first cohort of the Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion are now open. Please note that applications are due Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 5 pm.

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 three core-course requirements are intended to establish an understanding of Methods in the Study of Religion, Histories of the Study of Religion, and Local Approaches to the Study of Religion. In addition to three 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:

The application due date for 2021–2022 is Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 5 pm. 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) from a faculty member preferably in your home department (potentially an adviser) sent under separate cover

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

For more information on the DESR please visit the Designated Emphasis page.