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Boston University Graduate School
Graduate Division of Religious Studies

PhD and MA in Religion & Science (Track 4)


Boston University has for some years offered MA and PhD degrees investigating the interface of Religion and Science. This program was initiated by Bob Cohen, from the Department of Philosophy within what is now known as the College of Arts and Sciences, and Harry Oliver, from the School of Theology. Both have retired and the program is now carried on by a dozen Graduate School faculty members, and a large group of affiliated faculty from departments across the university. The basic description of the program is on this page.

Official information about the Religion and Science PhD is presented on the Graduate Division of Religious Studies site. The Boston University Religion & Science track is enriched by the academic environment in Boston. There are links to these and other resources under Associated Program Resources.

The Religion & Science track focuses on:

  • the scientific study of religion,
  • the philosophy and history of religion-science interactions,
  • spirituality and health research, and
  • empirically oriented psychology of religion.

Applicants interested in graduate study in theology and science or in religion-science dialogue can pursue those themes in the School of Theology's PhD program.

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The Martin Luther King Memorial Statue in front of Boston University's Marsh Chapel


Are you ready for this doctoral program?

For basic information about admissions requirements, see Track IV: Religion & Science.

It is a daunting program. Prerequisites for the PhD include significant background in both science and religion. More flexibility is possible for MA applicants. When the background is almost but not quite what is needed, extra prerequisites or corequisites may be stipulated.

If you have questions, contact the Track Coordinator, Dr. Wesley Wildman or one of the other core faculty.

Associated Program Resources

One important associated program is the MA in philosophy of science. This degree and the programs in Science, Philosophy, and Religion have overlapping goals, especially as far as the philosophy and history of science are concerned. For more information about the MA degree in philosophy of science, visit the site describing it:

The following Boston University programs are especially relevant to the SPR program and have been important resources for SPR students:

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Trinity Church and the John Hancock Tower, Boston

Nearby in the Boston Area are a vast array of resources for Religion & Science students. Those listed here have already had some connection with the Religion & Science program but there are many more.

For a sense of what the Boston Area has to offer the inquiring mind--just in a few of the universities, mind you--here are a few important links:

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The Athens of America from the water

The Administration of the Program

The Religion & Science track is administered within the Graduate Division of Religious Studies (GDRS) of Boston University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. GDRS is not associated exclusively with any one of the schools or departments of the university. Rather, its core faculty members are appointed from many university departments and schools, including especially the Departments of Religion, Philosophy, Sociology, and History within the College of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Theology. Numerous other faculty are associated with GDRS. This is especially so in the Religion & Science track, which draws on both science and humanities faculty.

The information on this page is copyright 1994 onwards, Wesley Wildman (basic information here), unless otherwise noted. If you want to use ideas that you find here, please be careful to acknowledge this site as your source, and remember also to credit the original author of what you use, where that is applicable. If you want to use text or stories from these pages, please contact me at the feedback address for permission.