(for specific questions regarding the Concentration in Journalism and Religion, please scroll down towards the bottom of the page)
How long does it take to complete the MA program?
Typically students finish in 2 years time (4 semesters). Writing the thesis is undertaken in the second year with the first semester spent on research and preparation in close contact with the student's advisor and the second semester devoted to writing while also taking any remaining required courses.
What is the deadline for applying to your MA program?
We only accept applications from students who wish to start in the fall semester. For specific deadlines, refer to the GSAS Programs, Requirements and Deadlines.
What are the application requirements for your MA program?
All applicants are required to submit a complete application for admission which can be found on the Graduate Admissions web page. In addition to the application form questions, applicants mut submit academic transcripts, an academic writing sample no longer than 25 double-spaced pages, 3 letters of reference that show you to us in such a way that we can see how you would fit into our MA program, an intellectually focused Statement of Academic Purpose that provides us with an indication of what you want to study and how that somehow matches with what we have to offer as well as a Personal Statement. Foreign students whose primary language is not English are also required to submit TOEFL scores for admission into the Graduate School. We no longer require the GRE.
What differentiates the Statement of Academic Purpose from the Personal Statement?
The Statement of Academic Purpose is required and describes your academic plans. The Personal History statement is optional and gives information on your background. Please see below description of what should be written in each statement.
Statement of Academic Purpose:
In a concisely written statement, please describe your past and present work as it relates to your intended field of study, your educational objectives, and your career goals. In addition, please include your intellectual and professional reasons for choosing your field of study and why your studies/research can best be done at the Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU. As part of your statement, please explain why you are interested in the academic study of religion and what you hope to achieve upon completion of the M.A. in Religious Studies. The statement should not exceed two double-spaced pages.
Personal History Statement:
The purpose of this optional essay is to get to know you as an individual and as a potential graduate student, and to understand how your background will add to the diversity of our school. Please describe how your personal background has motivated you to pursue a graduate degree. You may discuss educational, familial, cultural, socioeconomic, or personal experiences or challenges; gender identity; community services, outreach services, first-generation college status or other matters relevant to your decision to pursue graduate education. Please note that the Personal History Statement is not meant to be a general autobiography. The statement is optional and should not exceed two double-spaced pages. It should not duplicate the Statement of Academic Purpose.
What type of individuals should apply to your MA program?
In our MA program, we are looking for individual's whose interest lies in studying religion, not as a matter of personal faith or salvation - for that, students should attend seminary or divinity schools - but as an important force in social life, and in the motivations of individuals in their social lives. Clearly, in the world today, religion figures even more prominently as a political force, but only and because it has such capacity to motivate people in their lives by providing them with profound senses of meaning. We specifically emphasize the historical, anthropological, sociological, and psychological approaches to the study of religion.
What GPA should I have?
We receive this question a lot, and unfortunately we do not have an answer. While we require a strong GPA, we do not have a cut-off number that you must be above in order to be admitted. Each part of your application - including the personal statement and 3 letters of reference - factors into the application process and our final decision.
Does your Department offer funding to its MA students?
We are able to allay some of the expense of certain students' degrees by offering a partial tuition scholarship, thus reducing the total tuition paid. This assistance is offered at the time of acceptance to the MA program. It is based solely on the student's application and the amount varies according to the available funding. Opportunities for financial support are available through the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS). The Department also has a Graduate Research Fund.
What is the GSAS Tuition Incentive Program?
The Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) gives students receiving external awards of $13,000 or more for the academic year from recognized, academic sources of funding the opportunity to apply for matching tuition points up to the amount of their award. Students receiving awards less than $13,000 can apply for matching tuition points up to 50 percent of the amount of their external award. Applications for the TIP program must be received in Graduate Enrollment Services (GES) by August 30th of the award year. Applications to TIP can be found by contacting GES at (212)995-8050.