The standard seminary school application will request several items, and an undergraduate transcript is usually one of the requested items. Most students who enroll in seminary are required to have an undergraduate degree (there are some exceptions, however).
Seminaries Generally Require an Undergraduate Degree
As graduate schools, accredited seminaries generally require enrolling students to have completed a four-year undergraduate degree. This is most often a bachelor’s degree, but overseas schools may have an equivalent that goes by a different name. For example, European undergraduate schools often award a “license” after three or four years of study.
Two-year associate degrees usually don’t meet the standard seminary admission requirement of a four-year degree. Students who have a two-year degree may be able to apply some of their completed courses to a four-year curriculum, however.
Undergraduate Degrees Can Be in Any Major
While seminaries generally require undergraduate degrees, what the undergraduate degree is in normally doesn’t matter. Doctoral seminary programs often require a masters degree first, and masters programs normally will accept any four-year degree from an accredited undergraduate school.
Bachelors degrees from accredited bible colleges are usually sufficient, as are bachelors degrees from secular schools. The relevancy of the undergraduate degree to seminary studies doesn’t matter for most schools’ admissions.
If you’re in college and want to pursue a relevant undergraduate degree, however, there are plenty of options. Almost any Christian-related degree from a bible college can prove relevant in seminary, and other fields of study can also be helpful. Other majors to consider include Psychology, Classics (Greek and Latin), Philosophy, Music, and many others.
Even Engineering and Math majors can be helpful, although their usefulness is usually limited to the first day of Greek class when you’re learning the alphabet — and likely have seen these letters in formulas already.
Some Students May Be Accepted Without an Undergraduate Degree
In select cases, accredited seminaries and graduate theology schools may accept students who don’t have a four-year accredited degree.
The main accrediting body for seminaries and graduate theology schools is The Association of Theology Schools. The ATS may allow schools to accept students who have sufficient life experience and meet a minimum age requirement — even if the student doesn’t have an undergraduate degree. The number of students who can be accepted this way is frequently limited to 10 percent of the student body.
Learn More About Seminaries and the Application Process
To learn more about seminaries and their admission requirements, check out the resources on our blog. From what you need before enrolling in seminary through graduation, we cover a range of topics that are relevant to seminary students and applicants.