All persons that have a sincere scientific interest in the study of religions are welcome to apply for the MA program in Religious Studies offered by CERES. There are some general and specific requirements and criteria that have to be met in order to be accepted.

General Requirements

The main requirement for being accepted for any MA program of the Ruhr Universität Bochum as a graduate student is at least a BA degree in a subject equivalent to religious studies. We usually accept B.A. degrees in Religious Studies, Theology, Middle Eastern and East Asian Studies, History, Philology, Sociology, Anthropology or Philosophy. 

All students must present the original certificate of their current academic degree in order to enroll at Ruhr Universität Bochum.

Furthermore, students must provide proof of English: TOEFL language test with 550 points in the paper-based test, 88 points in the internet-based test or 230 points in the computer-based test - CPE (grades A - C) - CAE (grades A - C) - IELTS (bands 9 - 6). (Note for German students: This is normally included in your Abitur)

Admission for International Students from non-EU Countries

Certificates of universities or other institutions of higher education from non-EU countries may be subject of approval. For further information, please check the websites of the International Office of Ruhr Universität Bochum.

Specific Requirements

The following paragraphs give an overview on the specific requirements to study Religious Studies in the MA program of CERES.

If you want to study Religious Studies at CERES you need to submit

BA Degree in Religious Studies or similar subject

As mentioned above, the main requirement for being accepted as a graduate student is at least a BA degree or equivalent. The degree should prove a minimum of three years of university study in Religious Studies or a related discipline. Graduates of other MA programs may also apply for the CERES program.

Basic Knowledge in Theories

In order to maintain an academically advanced level of courses, all future graduate students are required to have a basic knowledge in theories and methods in the Study of Religion. According to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), this should account for 12 credit points in undergraduate studies or equivalent.

All applicants without knowledge of Religious Studies or the social sciences can prepare themselves by using the CERES online learning platform with an oral exam based on a skype interview beforehand. Otherwise, it is advised to take courses in religious studies or related disciplines at the home university or at the CERES program for BA students in Bochum. The latter, however, is only offered in German.

Basic Knowledge in History of Religions

Applicants shall prove some basic knowledge in the history of religion or in at least one religious tradition – to an amount of 15 credit points. This knowledge should correspond to the desired specialization in religious traditions, regions, and historical periods chosen while a graduate student at CERES.

Language Skills

Since every graduate student in the MA program specializes in a certain religion and/or region, it is strongly advisable to have basic skills in a relevant language. Ideally, the student is able to demonstrate skills in a source language relevant for a religious tradition that is covered by the program.

In the likely case that you do not meet all the requirements, we grant access to our graduate program if you need not more than 15 credit points according to ECTS to catch up on them. Otherwise, you can prepare yourself by taking part in our e-learning courses (planned launch in autumn 2019) to catch up with knowledge on theories and methods in the study of religions or by taking courses at your home university relevant to fulfill the requirements. If you don't think that you are fulfilling all the requirements but are interested in studying at CERES, please contact the Dean of Students, Dr. Jens Schlamelcher.

Application Process

Please click this link for the "Application process".

You will find a detailed explanation there.