FAQs

Applicants

Contact the Director of Graduate Studies to schedule an appointment to discuss the program or to inquire about sitting in on a graduate course.
The application deadline is March 15th, but the deadline to be considered in our initial funding decisions is February 1st.
As part of the completed online application form, we require:
• 3 letters of recommendation;
• GRE scores (Institution Code: 5251);
• TOEFL scores for international students (Institution Code: 5251);
• 1 transcript from each institution attended uploaded;
• a 1000 word statement of purpose; and
• a 2000 word writing sample.
Take a moment to review the College’s Application Checklist.
GSU’s College of Arts and Sciences Institution Code for the GRE: 5251
GSU’s College of Arts and Sciences Institution Code for the TOEFL: 5251
While high GRE scores do not guarantee admission, low scores may eliminate a candidate from consideration.
The Department prefers a minimum 97 on the TOEFL with a subscore of 22 in speaking.
• The intellectual aim of the applicant’s personal statement;
• the fit between an applicant’s personal statement and the Department;
• the quality and academic integrity of the applicant’s writing sample;
• strength of an applicant's recommendations;
• undergraduate grade point averages; and
• GRE and/or TOEFL scores.
Official notification for admission to the program occurs in mid-March for the February deadline and late April for the March deadline. Every effort is made, however, to notify applicants of their acceptance as soon as possible. Applicants will receive preliminary notification from the Graduate Director and official admissions information from the University separately.
No. The Admissions Committee makes financial aid decisions at the time of admission, and all applicants are considered for merit based funding.
The Religious Studies Department offers, on a competitive basis, several types of assistantships. All types of assistantships include a full waiver of tuition. All students granted an assistantship, whether residents or nonresidents, pay only student fees (approximately $1100/semester).
In addition, assistants receive a stipend of $2,500 or more per semester. Assuming satisfactory performance, students admitted with assistantships can usually expect to receive four semesters of stipend support. Support past this time is possible but should not be expected.
All types of assistants must register for at least 18 hours of graduate level credit each semester. These 18 hours should include at least 3 hours of RELS 8960 the Research Assistantship course. Students who receive an assistantship for the summer term must register for 12 hours during the summer semester. While the specific tasks asked of assistants vary somewhat from year to year, what follows should provide some sense of what an assistant might expect to do:
• Some assistants aid professors in finding research materials, proofreading, indexing books, and writing summaries of literature on specific topics.
• Some assistants provide professors with instructional support by grading, collating materials, proctoring exams, and occasionally attending undergraduate classes.
• Some assistants (Graduate Teaching Assistants) are the primary instructors of classes of RELS 2001, Introduction to World Religions.
Your recommenders should be professionals who can speak to your academic promise and intellectual abilities. Most applicants request letters from (former) professors, but applicants who have been away from school for a while may ask coworkers or managers to write letters.
Yes. Your 2000 word writing sample should demonstrate your ability to do graduate level research and writing.
Your statement of purpose should be no more than 1000 words.
If your questions concern the application process or administrative matters, please contact Graduate Services: (404)-413-5040.
If your questions concern one of the MA programs, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

Current Students

On the last business day of the month. Note that the first paycheck of an academic year is paid on the last of September.
Only a very limited number of RELS 2001 sections are offered during the summer. We recognize that there are many talented graduate student instructors who may wish to teach during the summer, and there may be more instructors than sections. When available, summer teaching assignments will be made according to the three factors listed below. No teaching assignments will be made to students whose GPA falls below 3.2 (where GPA includes all graduate-level letter-graded courses). The compressed teaching schedule in the summer makes instruction especially challenging, so graduate students who have taught RELS 2001 at least once will be considered for teaching positions before students who have not taught the course before are considered.
• Grades (overall GPA, and GPA in religious studies graduate courses)
• Academic Progress (how close student is to normative progress, that is, beginning thesis at the start of the second year and completing thesis by the end of the second year)
• Teaching Experience and Excellence (student evaluations and assessments of RELS 8970/8980/8985 instructors
The department's primary means of communication with religious studies grad students is the religious studies graduate students (relgrad) listserv. All religious studies graduate students must subscribe to this listserv. Other interested individuals are welcome to subscribe.
Send an email message to: listserv(at)listserv.gsu.edu. 
In the body of the message (not the subject line) include only two words:
subscribe relgrad
You should receive a welcome message confirming your subscription. 
If you put in any other text (such as a message at the bottom automatically inserted by your email program), you will receive a set of error messages, one for each line of additional text.
Send an email message to: listserv(at)listserv.gsu.edu. 
In the body of the message (not the subject line) include only two words:
unsubscribe relgrad
You must send this email from the email account that is subscribed to the listserv. 
You should receive a message confirming your unsubscription.
The Religious Studies Student Forum is the Department’s official student organization. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Dr. McClymond.

The Non-profit Management Concentration

The MA with a Concentration in Non-profit Management is a Masters degree in Religious Studies that incorporates a year of coursework in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies’s Non-profit Management program. Students in the Concentration also complete an internship and write a paper about their work experience as part of the degree requirements.
Students may apply to the Concentration through the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at the time of application to the MA in Religious Studies (College of Liberal Arts) or anytime after they have enrolled in the MA program. The Andrew Young School admits students in the fall and spring semesters.
The Department of Religious Studies oversees the MA with a Concentration in Non-profit Management, and students who successfully complete the program graduate from Georgia State with a MA from the Religious Studies Department. The Director of Graduate Studies in Religious Studies advises students regarding course selection and time to degree completion, but like all graduate students in the Department, students in the Concentration may consult with other faculty, including those in the Andrew Young School, regarding their program of study.
Students in the Concentration engage in internships and research related their work experience in lieu of writing a thesis. The Concentration is a non-thesis program.
Graduate and undergraduate students in Religious Studies have been earning course credit for internship work for years. The Department maintains a list of internship partners and possible partners, and we welcome suggestions from students, too. A hardcopy of the internships list is available in the Department.
Our funding considerations are made at the time of admission, and students who apply to the Concentration at the time of their initial application to the MA in Religious Studies are eligible for funding in their first year. The nature of the Concentration, which includes intensive coursework and work as an intern in the second year, means that applicants to the Concentration are not eligible for funding as GTAs at this time.