Our Application and Requirements
For both Ph.D. and Masters programs, we prefer students apply to The Becket Program at least six months before their Ph.D./Masters application deadline. This leaves enough time to prepare the applicant for standardized testing, essay writing, thesis production, and the host of other elements that comprise an excellent application. There are no hard deadlines however, and the Becket Program does not cap the number of students it accepts. If a scholar is interested in obtaining the Becket Program fellowship, they should apply as soon as reasonably possible.
The Becket Program understands the sheer number of scholars interested in pursuing a higher education degree in the United States. However, because we aid scholars in applying to the top 30 schools alone, our application standards are quite high. We select scholars we think have a competitive application to elite programs, knowing that our resources are limited and the application process for applicants themselves can be costly.
Promising Becket applicants are:
seniors or graduates of an accredited undergraduate institution in a non-native English-speaking country (Latin America, Southern Europe, Asia, etc.)
Note there is no age restriction
Applicants with previous graduate degrees/masters/certificates will be assessed individually, although our program is mainly directed toward the empowerment of applicants without such credentials
show a strong disposition toward the humanities by either:
possessing an undergraduate degree in a humanities discipline with academic excellence
or being open to pursuing a “bridging” Masters program that ties their non-humanities undergraduate degree to a Masters degree in the humanities before pursuing a Ph.D.
unexposed to higher education in the United States. Applicants with previous academic experience in the United States will be assessed individually, with special consideration to duration of study, although our program is mainly directed toward applicants without such immersion
devoted to the Catholic faith and its tenets, maintaining the Precepts of the Church (CCC 2041-2043)
engagement with the Catholic community (teaching catechumens, service projects, etc.) beyond the necessities is highly preferred
capable (academically, physically, and financially) pursuing an education in the United States
proficient in English, demonstrable through conversation and writing
Requirements to Apply
A completed online application which includes an applicant’s:
Full name and contact information
Two short answer questions
Catholic personal statement
(Optional) Brief/Unofficial letter of recommendation from a Catholic mentor (priest, youth minister, professor, etc.)
Once we review your application materials, we will conduct a brief video/phone interview to learn more about you and your academic experience. This is also an opportunity to ask any questions that may have arisen.
Following that interview, the Becket Team will review your application once more in conjunction with the information provided through the interview, and will either make an acceptance decision or conduct a second interview. All applicants should treat the application process with celerity and professionalism.
Once Becket applicants are notified of their acceptance, they must sign a General Agreement which confirms their commitment to pursuing higher education in the humanities, upholding the tenets of the Catholic faith, and putting a large amount of effort into their Ph.D. or Masters application with guidance from their assigned advisor. This document does not bind Becket fellows to accept program offers but there is a strong expectation that Becket Program fellows will accept a program offer given the large amount of time and resources donated on their behalf. For various reasons, we understand circumstances change and this may not be possible, but Becket fellows should notify their advisor and the Becket team as soon as possible regarding such circumstances.
The Becket Program expects fellows to perform well academically during their education, seek out the many facets of the Catholic faith, and act as a guiding light for their community after graduation. The purpose of the Becket Program is to empower Catholic scholars with an elite education, so we hope that Becket fellows will promote similar opportunities for other Catholics when given the ability and resources to do so.