Advanced Application Step-by-Step

Forming Leaders. Transforming the Church.

Advanced Degree Application

Master of Theology (Th.M) Deadline to Apply: March 15

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Deadline to Apply: January 15


APPLICATION
We recommend you complete an online application for admission. Frequently asked questions about the online application system can be found here.

Or, you may download, print, and fill out either the Th.M. Application or Ph.D. Application. International students should also visit the International Applicants page to learn about additional requirements.

REFERENCES
Applicants must submit three academic references as part of their completed application. You may download this Reference Form and send it to your recommender. We suggest that you include a stamped envelope with the seminary’s address with the form.

TRANSCRIPTS
Transcripts of all academic work beyond high school, whether or not a degree was conferred, are required. Request sealed transcripts to be sent directly from the institution and mailed to our Admissions Office. An official transcript may also be forwarded to us unopened. If available, eScripts may be sent to admissions@upsem.edu.

ADDITIONAL PH.D. REQUIREMENTS

• A statement of your primary goals and preliminary research interests.
• An essay, up to 1200 words, discussing authors and ideas influential to your work.
• A research paper or recent essay representative of your work in the proposed field of study. This must be sent separately. A PDF sent by email is preferred.
• Official scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken within the last five years.

BACKGROUND CHECK
A background check is required of all applicants who are U.S. Citizens, Resident Aliens, and International Applicants who have lived in the US for more than two years.  The Admissions Committee recognizes that personal integrity, emotional health, and spiritual maturity are essential to faithful and effective ministry. Yet we affirm that even serious misdeeds have sometimes been a part of an experience of growth, transformation, and call, by the work of God's Spirit that leads a person to seminary, and to faithful ministry. We also realize that people come to the attention of criminal justice systems for a variety of reasons-including not only the commission of crimes but also mistaken allegations, acts of civil disobedience, and systemic injustices such as racism. No charge or past offense automatically disqualifies an applicant from admission. All records will be evaluated in context, and prior to an admission decision.

The background check consists of two parts:

1. Applicants should download a Personal Disclosure Statement, disclose any information that may be found by the legal background check, sign the form, and mail it to the Director of Admissions at the address given.

2. Go to www.certifiedbackground.com, click on "students," in the Package Code box, enter "ua37," select a method of payment for the $36.00, and complete the questions.

Presbyterian Church (USA) students need only complete the background check once. All PC(USA) seminaries can share. Your application file is not complete until the Personal Disclosure Statement and the results of the background check have been received at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

APPLICATION FEE
The $65.00 application fee may be paid by credit card when you are ready to submit the completed online application. Or mail us a check or money order with your completed paper application.

SUBMIT
Press the submit button on the online application. Don’t forget to submit any additional required documents. PDFs sent by email are preferred.

Or, mail the paper application and all supporting documents to Union Presbyterian Seminary, Office of Admissions, 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA 23227. All materials should be sent to the attention of the Admissions Office.

Application Reminders

  • Even if you are applying using the online application, you may need to print out additional forms, fill them out by hand, and mail them.
  • If you are mailing the paper application form, don't forget to include the application fee with your application form.
  • To download our PDF forms you will need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • For help or information email or call Admissions Specialist, Amanda Montague, amontague@upsem.edu or 804.278.4339.