Frequently Asked Questions

Should I apply for an M.A. or a Ph.D.?

Most Ph.D. students have already acquired an M.A., M.Div. or other Master's degree from an accredited institution. If you have no graduate experience in religious studies, you should apply for an M.A. However, students who have excelled in the study of religion at the undergraduate level may be admitted to the Ph.D. program.

How long does it take to complete a Ph.D.?

Most students require 7 to 8 years from start to finish. You must complete a minimum of 72 semester units of graduate course work, about 3 years of full time work (you may transfer up to 24 semester units of graduate work). Most students need approximately 1-3 years to complete major papers, qualifying exams, and research tools (ancient and modern language exams), followed by 2-4 years of writing the dissertation. Part-time study is an option, though of course, it significantly lengthens the time needed to complete a degree.

What additional requirements must be met for Ph.D. studies?

  1. Every student must take one Transdisciplinary course.
  2. All students are required to have a reading knowledge of two secondary research languages. Area faculty, in consultation with each student in their area, will decide which two languages best prepares the student for research in their field of study. Consult the Religion handbook for more details about the specific language requirements for your area of study.

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