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Ph.D. in Biblical & Theological Studies Admission Requirements

Applying to the Wheaton College Graduate School

Learn more about the admission requirements and application deadlines for the Ph.D. in Biblical and Theological Studies at the Wheaton College Graduate School.

Application Deadline Information

The application deadline for all applicants is January 1st.

Applying to the Ph.D. in Biblical and Theological Studies

The Ph.D. in Biblical & Theological Studies is a full-time, residential program that accepts six students per year and is quite competitive. Applications are reviewed holistically, and admission decisions are based on the total applicant pool. Interviews for selected applicants will be conducted in mid-February. Interviewees will be notified of their admission decision in March.

Strongly Recommended: Contact your potential mentor as soon as you can; well before the application deadline. Our mentors expect and look forward to hearing from applicants. Reaching out to your prospective mentor about your research topic gives you the opportunity to receive valuable feedback about your research ideas. Having a topic that fits your mentor's research interests will be crucial for a strong application. 

Requirements for All Applicants

  1. Application Deadline: January 1. Fall entrance only.
  2. Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  3. Master's of Divinity (M.Div.), M.A.Theological Studies, M.A. Biblical Studies, or equivalent.
  4. Official transcripts from all colleges where a degree was earned or is currently being earned.
    • Applicants will be required to provide official transcripts from each institution where they have received or will receive a degree prior to enrollment in Wheaton College Graduate School. Applicants who have earned more than 25% of their degree from institutions outside of their degree conferring school will be required to supply official transcripts for those credits in the event they are not explicitly listed on their original transcript with course names and grades. Graduate Admissions will reserve the right to request additional transcripts as may be needed to meet departmental requirements or demonstrate proof of program-specific prerequisites.
    • E-transcripts preferred. Must be addressed to nancy.crane@wheaton.edu.
    • Mail hard copies to Graduate Admissions, Attn: Nancy Crane, 501 College Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187.
  5. Competencies in the following areas, demonstrated by transcript evaluation.
    • Advanced-Level Greek and Hebrew
      • Historical Theology students may exchange Latin for Hebrew
    • Old Testament Studies
    • New Testament Studies
    • Basic Systematic Theology
    • Basic Historical Theology
  6. PhD Prerequisite Evaluation Form.
  7. Graduate GPA 3.5 minimum.
    • Average 3.77 (2017-2021).
  8. GRE General Test. There is a GRE At Home option.
    • Averages: Verbal 160, Quantitative 151, Analytical Writing 4.5 (2017-2021).
    • Test scores must be fewer than five years old.
    • For registration information and test-center locations, go to http://www.ets.org.
      • Wheaton College Institution Code: 1905.
  9. Application Form. Includes affirmations of the Statement of Faith and Community Covenant.
  10. Four Recommendations, which are online forms. Letters recommended as supplements to the forms.
    • Academic Recommendations - Three.
    • Pastoral Recommendation - One.

Recommendations from relatives not accepted.

For help choosing recommenders, preview the questions in the forms at the bottom of this page.

  1. Sample Research Paper.
    • Twenty to thirty pages. Should focus on emphasis of interest: Old Testament, New Testament, Systematic Theology, or Historical Theology.
    • For the OT and NT emphases, the paper should also demonstrate exegetical skill.
  2. Research Proposal.
    • One thousand to one thousand five hundred words, but no more than two thousand.
    • Must identify a coherent and defensible dissertation topic that fits the interests of the mentor of interest.
  3. Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resumé.
  4. Individual Interview on campus, by invitation only.
    • Mid-February.
  5. Application Fee. USD $50, non-refundable. 

Additional Requirements for International Students

International students, and permanent residents of the US whose native language is not English, are required to take either the TOEFL iBT Test,  IELTS Academic Test, or Duolingo English test with the minimal scores indicated below:

  • TOEFL iBT Test: 100 with at least 20 in each category
  • IELTS Academic Test: 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each category
  • Duolingo English Test: 120

Applicants who wish to waive their English proficiency test, please refer to the English proficiency page for details.

An International Transcript Verification Report is needed for students who completed degrees outside of the United States.

Please review Graduate International Admissions for full information.