What will I learn?

The Graduate Program in Religion is a cooperative program between the Departments of Religion at Columbia University, Barnard College and Union Theological Seminary. It is designed for the study of the history, literature, theory, and functions of religion, in its various forms, within different societies and cultures. A distinctive feature of the program is the opportunity for students not only to gain advanced training in specific fields of religious studies, but also to acquire a basic knowledge of the world’s major religious traditions and of the principal methods and theories employed in the study of religion. Such knowledge is useful as preparation for teaching courses of broad scope and as a background for more focused study.

In addition to the ten million volumes available in Columbia’s Libraries (including Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary), students have access to the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Columbia students may also avail themselves of the resources of the New York Public Library, one of the finest in the country.

Which department am I in?

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (Within seven years)

Tuition fees
US$47,600.00 per year
USD $23,800 per semester
Start date

Expected September 2022


Columbia University

116th Street, 2960 Broadway,

New York,

10027, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Other English Language Requirements:  The minimum TOEFL score expected is 600 (written) or 250 (computer version).

For international students

Student must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in the United States or the international equivalent with a record that indicates capacity for graduate work of high quality. Preparation should include language study as may be required for work in the proposed area of specialization. There should be extensive work in the liberal arts, including history, literature, and philosophy, as well as in the social sciences. If the proposed area of concentration is a social-scientific approach to the study of religion there should also be extra work in the social sciences.

English Language Requirement

Applicant must have TOEFL score of 600 on paper-and-pencil test, 100 on the internet-based test and IELTS score of 7.5

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.