The JD/MA in Religious Studies dual-degree program facilitates an interdisciplinary and comparative study of law and religion and encourages students whose academic or career interests require gaining competence in both disciplines. Students interested in this joint degree must apply to each program separately.

Students who enter the joint degree program can combine the standard three-year law curriculum and the standard two-year MA curriculum into a four-year dual-degree program. Students will first complete a year of work in the Department for the Study of Religions. Years 2 and 3 will be completed in the School of Law. For the 4th year, students will enroll in each school for one semester, completing any remaining degree requirements and elective courses that are appropriate for the dual-degree.

Law School Requirements

When undertaken as part of the JD/MA in Religious Studies dual-degree program, the JD degree requires completion of the degree requirements prescribed by the law school for graduation. Applicants should familiarize themselves with requirements pertaining to the LSAT or GRE, the JD application, the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS), and the MA in Religious Studies application.

To submit your GRE score(s), applicants need to log into their ETS account and select Wake Forest University School of Law as a recipient using ETS institution code 3760. You must submit all GRE scores from the past 5 years. LSAT scores from the past 5 years are automatically provided to Wake Forest University when you apply. Any test scores provided (LSAT, GRE, or both) will be considered in your admissions decision.

Department for the Study of Religions Requirements

The dual-degree requires completion of 27 hours of graduate coursework in Religious Studies. At least 9 of the 27 hours in coursework must be in courses numbered 700 or above, and one of these courses must be “REL 700: Theory and Method in the Study of Religion.” The remaining 18 hours may be in courses at either the 600-level or 700-level. Students must also submit to a committee of 1 professor of their choice and the graduate director a final portfolio no less than a month before the end of their final semester, comprising a resume, personal statement, a selection of 3 papers (at least 1 theoretical) from any graduate-level courses they have taken during their M.A., and a 12-15 page reflection paper that discusses the trajectory, methods, and personal growth across the 3 papers and the way in which the student’s views of “religion,” broadly defined, have developed. In addition, students will present and discuss their portfolio with their committee in a meeting lasting no longer than one hour. The portfolio will be graded pass/fail (with an option to resubmit) and the committee will consider its overall presentation, clarity of expression and purpose, and attention will be given to the reflection paper and the student’s ability to articulate its views during this oral examination.

In special cases, students can finish the degree on the Thesis Option. To finish the JD/MA in Religious Studies dual-degree program on the Thesis Option, the student must submit a thesis proposal a full semester before their final semester in the Department for the Study of Religions (see the requirements for the Thesis Option under Program Structure for the MA in Religious Studies) and receive approval from the graduate program director. The student, however, must take a minimum of 24 hours of coursework as outlined above and complete an additional 6 hours of thesis research (REL 791 and 792), typically in the final semester of study. In total, the student would thus be required to finish the MA degree on the Thesis Option with 30 hours of coursework in Religious Studies, rather than the standard 27 hours.

For information pertaining to JD/MA in Religious Studies Program write:

Simeon Ilesanmi (
Department for the Study of Religions
Box 7212
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7212
(336) 758-5459

Wake Forest University and the Department for the Study of Religions welcomes all applications. We do not discriminate in admission or financial aid on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin.