Doctoral studies (Ph.D. studies) in the Study of Religions at Masaryk University

The Department for the Study of Religions at Masaryk University in Brno, the Czech Republic is a well-recognized and progressive department for the academic study of religions with a strong research backround. The Department has been awarded numerous research grants, and now boasts more than thirty doctoral students from six countries. Two modes of study, full-time and combined, are offered. The typical length of study is four years.

The Ph.D. study program in the Study of Religions consists in the complex development of research and writing skills. Throughout the whole period of study, we offer our students personalized guidance by faculty members and experts from other countries who stay in Brno (see the list of supervisors at http://www.phil.muni.cz/relig/dok.php), boosting their skills in one of the three main approaches fostered at the Department: the cognitive-psychological approach, the social scientific approach, or the historical approach. Students also have access to a range of facilities and opportunities. These include 1) extensive possibilities with respect to international networking and participation in international conferences and workshops; 2) various opportunities with regard to scholarships; 3) an excellent library housing thousands of books in English devoted to the study of religions; 4) an award-winning study information system; and 5) a high-quality student journal for the study of religions (Sacra). Doctoral students are involved in departmental research and its grant-funded projects (e.g. Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion, http://www.levyna.cz).

The high quality of our graduates is recognized worldwide. They participate successfully in international conferences and congresses. In addition, many have also studied at other leading departments in the field, and received prestigious academic awards (e.g. the CSS/IACSR Student Excellence Award).

Tuition fees for the doctoral studies program in the Study of Religions conducted in English are 2,500 € per year. Students can apply for a scholarship to cover these fees.

Admission procedure

The doctoral studies program is open to graduates in the Study of Religions or related fields. The admissions procedure is conducted twice a year (usually in January and June) and includes two rounds. In the first round, applicants submit their doctoral research project proposal on the official form (available for download at http://www.phil.muni.cz/relig/dokumenty.php). Projects which are found suitable on the basis of their quality and their compliance with the profile and focus of the Department advance to the second round. This consists of the presentation of the project before the Admissions Committee, followed by a discussion and defence of the project. The time dedicated to the presentation is 15-20 minutes. A presentation using PowerPoint or a similar program is encouraged.

Important dates in the admissions procedure are typically as follows (should there be any changes, prospective students will be notified in advance):

 

Spring semester

Application deadline: end of April

Deadline for submission of research project proposal: mid-May

Date of evaluation of the first round: end of May

Date of the second round: mid-June

 

Autumn semester

Application deadline: end of November

Deadline for submission of research project proposal: mid-December

Date of evaluation of the first round: mid-January

Date of the second round: end of January

How to apply

1) Before submitting your application

Contact your prospective supervisor at the Department (see Staff) about the topic of your research proposal as well as about your choice of either full-time or combined study mode and of the Czech or English study program.

2) Submitting your application

Applications are submitted online. Follow this link to create your application: http://is.muni.cz/?lang=en.

Submitting the application is designed to be intuitive, but if you are unsure of what to do, please follow these steps:

  1. At http://is.muni.cz/?lang=en, click on the link “Electronic Application at MU” on the right.
  2. Follow the links to doctoral study in the Scientific Study of Religions. Choose the Czech program (the default option) or the English program (the option “Eng.”) and click on “Create a new application”.
  3. Choose either full-time or combined study mode.
  4. On the new page, choose one of the options; if you are not yet a student or staff member of Masaryk University, your option will be “I would like to create a new application (from scratch)”.
  5. Fill in the form and submit it. Read all the instructions carefully.
  6. If you see the following text in Czech “Uveďte (heslovitě) název fakulty a oboru vašeho současného či absolvovaného magisterského studia a téma vaší disertační práce. Projekt disertační práce a podepsaný životopis dodejte (osobně či poštou) na oddělení pro přijímací řízení nejpozději do 12. 12.”, it means: “State the name of the faculty and the field of your current or completed M.A. studies [e.g.: Study of Religions, Anthropology...] and the [suggested] topic of your dissertation. Please send your research project proposal and a signed copy of your CV to the Admission Office by 12 Dec.”

The application fee can be paid by credit card (which is easier) or by bank transfer immediately after creating the application. The fee is approximately 20 euros.

3) Submitting your research project proposal, CV & publications, and “Recognition of Foreign Education” Certificate

  • Please send your application for doctoral studies 1) by e-mail to prijimaci.rizeni@phil.muni.cz, AND 2) by normal letter post to the following address: Oddělení pro přijímací řízení FF MU, Arna Nováka 1, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic. These two communications should include the following attachments:
  • Your research project proposal completed on our form (download the form at http://www.phil.muni.cz/relig/archiv/formulare/research-proposal.doc). Writing the proposal is likely to take quite some time, bibliographical research and reading.
  • Your CV & publications (the printed versionmust be signed).
  • Your “Recognition of Foreign Education” certificate if you already have it. If not, don’t worry, but keep working on it – you will eventually need it for your admission. Don’t wait for the recognition if you are running out of time and the deadline is approaching. More information below.
  • The deadline for the postal application is slightly later than the deadline for the electronic application, typically ca 15 May for September admissions and 10 December for February admissions, but be sure to check the deadline by asking your prospective supervisor or by writing to religion@phil.muni.cz.
  • Count about 2 weeks for your printed letter of application to arrive.

4) Getting a recognition of foreign higher education (important)

Graduates of non-Czech universities are required to submit a written Application for the Recognition of Foreign Education to Masaryk University’s Rector’s Office: Office for Studies, Masaryk University, Žerotínovo nám. 9, 601 77 Brno, Czech Republic. The application can be downloaded at http://www.muni.cz/study/recognition/general?lang=en. Here, you will also find further information on the application procedure (please be sure to read it carefully).

The following attachments must be submitted along with the Application for the Recognition of Foreign Education:

  1. Certified copy of a diploma or certificate, or similar proof of the completion of studies issued by the relevant foreign university.
  2. Certified copy of the diploma supplement, or the original or certified copy of a list of completed courses.
  3. Certified translations of both documents 1) and 2) into Czech or English (documents already issued in English are exempt from this clause).
  4. Certified written power of attorney, if the application is submitted by a person other than the graduate.
  5. Ruling on granted refugee status, if applicable.

Certification can be undertaken by a foreign notary or official authority, i.e. it is not necessary to contact a Czech authority.

Please be sure to submit your Application for the Recognition of Foreign Education as soon as possible, as the procedure may take a very long time (up to 4-5 months). You will need the Certificate of Recognition for your admission in February or September (i.e., it is not a requirement for taking the entrance examination).

The procedure is slightly different and takes a different amount of time according to which country the applicant is from. You can find out more about this at http://www.muni.cz/study/recognition/countries?lang=en and http://www.muni.cz/study/recognition/general?lang=en).