The PhD program in religious studies meets two objectives: a traditional one geared to serving the needs of students who choose to pursue careers in post-secondary teaching and research and a non-traditional one focused on those students who seek to adapt skills to non-academic careers for which religious studies training is valuable (e.g., publishing, journalism, the media, the arts, government, social services, and law.
Selected majors/areas of research for a PhD in Religious Studies include
American Religious History
Old Testament/ Hebrew Bible
Philosophy of Religion
Students in religious studies doctoral programs must pass a written and oral qualifying exam and then complete and formally defend a doctoral dissertation based on original research. In general, all PhD programs require that successful candidates for the degree demonstrate:
The ability to conduct independent research at a high level, leading to completion of a dissertation which is defended before a committee of scholars. Because examinations given as part of a PhD curriculum assess expert knowledge, they are created and evaluated by a committee of experts, each of whom holds a PhD degree
Proficiency in the tools necessary to carry out this research, including but not limited to computer skills and bibliographic competence
Mastery of general and specific subject matter in the field of study before a committee of scholars.
Part- and full-time study options, along with various delivery modes - residential programs, distance education programs and online programs - are also available. North American PhD programs in religious studies welcome foreign students. However, fluency in spoken and written English is critically important.
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