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FAQ - Divinity School


Frequently Asked Questions by Prospective Students

How do I apply?
Our application is fully online and does not require an application fee. You may access and begin your application here and click on the appropriate degree link on the top of the page.

What degrees are offered by the Divinity School?
The Divinity School offers three degrees. The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) is a three-year professional degree consisting of 72 credit hours that prepares graduates for ordained ministry and a variety of nontraditional ministries.  The Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) is a two-year program of religious studies that provides a broadly based theological education as the foundation for later doctoral work, teaching in the church and a variety of non-profit positions or non-ordained ministries. The Master of Theology (Th.M.) is a 30-hour program intended for those already holding the M.Div. or equivalent first theological degree to deepen their ministerial practice and/or to prepare for doctoral work. Divinity graduates serve as parish ministers, social justice advocates, chaplains, and educators across the globe.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) are offered through the Graduate Department of Religion. For more information on both degrees, click here.

Does the Divinity School offer Dual Degrees?
Yes. The Divinity school offers Dual Degrees with Vanderbilt's Schools of Management, Law, Nursing, Medicine, and Education. Applicants interested in Dual Degree programs need to apply and get admitted to both schools in order to be able to enroll into the Dual Degree program.  For more information go to this page in the catalog .

What are the application deadlines?
Priority application deadline is January 15.  M.Div. and M.T.S. applicants must apply by this date in order to be considered for named, full-tuition scholarships.  Regular application deadline is April 1.

Does my college major affect admissions into the Divinity School?
No, all undergraduate degrees are considered. Our students have a variety of degrees and majors, although a strong liberal arts background is preferred.

Can I apply for spring admission?
No. The Divinity School has a single application for fall semester.

Does the Divinity School offer online or evening courses?
Online courses are not offered by the Divinity School.  While some seminars are offered in the afternoon and early evening, core classes are only available in the mornings.

What is the cost of tuition?
Detailed information on tuition, costs of attendance, and financial aid may be found at

What kind of financial aid is available?
The Divinity School offers a generous financial aid program.  More information about financial aid can be found here

In order to receive federal need-based aid, students must fill out the FAFSA form

Do you have a course catalog you can send to me?
In an effort to be good stewards of the environment, our Divinity School Catalog is now only on-line.  You may access it via this link.

What do transfer students need to do to apply to the Divinity School?
The prospective transfer student (a student who began his or her graduate theological education at a school other than Vanderbilt Divinity School) shall apply for admission in the normal manner and shall, additionally, write a letter stating the reasons for transferring and provide a letter of honorable dismissal from the president or dean of the theological school from which transfer is being made.

What credits can be transferred?
Transfer credit will only be given for courses in which the student earned a grade of C or higher. Transfer credit will not be awarded until a student has demonstrated for at least one semester the ability to do satisfactory work in the Divinity School. Transfer credit is not normally given for courses taken more than five years before entrance into the Divinity School or for courses taken atinstitutions not accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools. Transfer of credit policies for specific degree programs are as follows:

M.T.S.  A maximum of 12 semester hours from other approved theological schools or 6 hours of other graduate study that is coherent with the student's program may be transferred to the M.T.S. program. Students may transfer work from both approved theological schools and from appropriate graduate study to the M.T.S. program, but the total number of hours applied toward the M.T.S. degree may not exceed 12 semester hours.

M.Div. A maximum of 24 semester hours from other approved theological schools or 12 hours of other graduate study that is coherent with the student's program may be transferred to the M.Div. program. Students may transfer work from both approved theological schools and from appropriate graduate study to the M.Div. program, but the total number of hours applied toward the M.Div. degree may not exceed 24 semester hours.

What is the procedure for obtaining a transcript?
All transcripts documenting a student's academic history at Vanderbilt University are issued from the Office of the Registrar; the individual schools comprising the University do not issue official transcripts. To order a transcript, please visit this page and click on "Transcripts".

Currently-enrolled students may place an order also by using their VUnet ID and e-password and logging on to the Access 2 Academic Information application.

Vanderbilt University Equal Opportunity Policy

In compliance with federal law, including the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Executive Order 11246, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, as amended, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008i, Vanderbilt University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their race, sex, sexual orientation ii , gender identity iii , religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, or genetic information in its administration of educational policies, programs, or activities; admissions policies; scholarship and loan programs; athletic or other University-administered programs; or employment. In addition, the University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their gender expression iv consistent with the University’s nondiscrimination policy.

i The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits discrimination in health coverage and in employment based on genetic information.
ii Sexual orientation refers to a person’s self-identification as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, or uncertain.
iii Gender identity is generally defined as a person’s own sense of identification as male, female, both, or neither as distinguished from actual biological sex, i.e. it is one’s psychological sense of self.
iv Gender expression is everything we do that communicates our sense of identification to others.