Only graduates of accredited universities and colleges are eligible for admission. Students apply to the joint program, designating one of the two universities as the preferred home institution. A student may be offered admission to the partner institution if the joint committee deems this choice more appropriate because of the studentís interests or the availability of suitable supervisors. Applications are considered by the joint committee, and recommendations for admission or rejection are made by the director to the dean of graduate studies at the proposed home university. Students are governed by the rules of the university in which they are registered, and their degree is granted by that same university; however, students may use faculty and library resources at both universities.
To be admitted to the program a student must have an MA (or its equivalent) in religious studies or a closely allied field. If the MA is in an allied field, the candidate must have a minimum of 10 one-term (half-credit) courses, or their equivalent, in the academic study of religion. An applicant must have achieved an A- or better average in the MA. Students lacking the necessary qualifications may be required to complete additional qualifying work to establish academic eligibility to apply for the PhD program. Students allowed to transfer from other doctoral programs must meet all of the degree requirements (or their equivalent, as determined by the joint committee); normally, credit for doctoral level work done elsewhere is not transferrable.
Studentsí supervisory committees normally consist of three members, one of whom is the supervisor. Such committees are appointed as soon as possible after admission to the program and consultation with the student. Requests for changes in supervisory committee membership must be addressed to the director and decided upon by the joint PhD committee.
Applicants must submit an entrance brief. Briefs become part of a studentís file. The brief is used along with other application data such as transcripts as the basis of the studentís official assessment. The assessment, written by the faculty, determines the details (courses, languages, etc.) of each studentís degree requirements.