PhD in the Study of Religion
90 Quarter Hours of Academic Credit
This normally includes 82 hours of courses and 8 hours of dissertation credits. By the end of the second year, all students must have completed 62 hours of this coursework. In the third year, all students take 16 hours of comps and 4 hours of dissertation proposal seminar. To learn how many independent study hours are allowed, please see the handbook from your entry year.
Within the 90 hours, students take 6 required classes (24 quarter hours):
- RLGN 4000: Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion
- RLGN 5010: Lived Religion Colloquium
- RLGN 5020: Conceptual Approaches to Religion Colloquium
- RLGN 5030: Text, Image, and Artifact Colloquium
- RLGN 5000: Pedagogy and the Teaching of Religion
- RLGN 6000: Dissertation Proposal Seminar
...and at least 42 quarter hours of electives:
Students may take any graduate-level course that has an RGLN designator and any other graduate-level course approved for the JDP. Most relevant courses are listed in the DU Course Catalog under the subjects:
Religion Anthropology Education
Religious Studies Art History English
Judaic Studies Communication International Studies
Philosophy Media, Film, & Journalism Studies
[For a 3-year sample schedule, click here.]
Advising & Mentoring
All entering students meet with their academic advisor, the assistant director of the JDP, quarterly to help navigate academic requirements. In their first or second quarter, students also identify a faculty mentor, who may ultimately become their dissertation advisor. Once a dissertation advisor/director is chosen, all academic advising shifts to the dissertation director. It is the student's responsibility to inform the office of the name of their mentor the first year and the name of their dissertation director when that person takes over advising (cc the dissertation director on this email).
This language allows the student to read scholarship in the field of religious studies. Students choose the langauge that will be most advantageous to their research. To complete this requirement, all students for whom English is the first language must take a reading comprehension and translation exam at a level equivalent to two years of college language. These exams are offered by DU's Center for World Languages and Cultures. All students for whom English is a second language may use their native tongue to satisfy their language requriement as long as it is a language that will support their research. Consult with the academic advisor (assistant director of JDP) regarding your language. UPDATE: Methods for satisfying Modern Language.pdf
The language requirement MUST be satisfied before any student will be allowed to defend the dissertation proposal. Students are encouraged to take the exam the first year, and if unsuccessful, to enroll in a language course at the proper level at any accredited institution. Students who begin the PhD program without prior coursework should plan to enroll in UG language classes for the two years of coursework and take the exam at the end of the second year.
Comprehensive Exams (16 Quarter hours)
Comprehensive exams are taken at the end of the course work. These written exams are designed to test the student’s knowledge of foundational concepts, methods, and bibliographies in religious studies as well as the student’s specific areas of focus. There are four exams, each administered within the context of a four-credit comprehensive review class. Together, the exams comprise a major component of the program. Passing them will be recognized as a milestone in working toward the degree.
See the Comprehensive Exams Tab for more information.
Dissertation (8 Quarter Hours)
Normally researched and written within 2-5 years after advancement to candidacy under the guidance of the chosen dissertation advisor and committee. Students register for 1 quarter hour of RLGN 6995 Dissertation Research each quarter for the 8 quarters following completion of the third year.
Residency and Time Limits
The JDP is a residential program. Although a few courses are offered online, this is not a distance learning program and all students must be in residence until advancement to candidacy. Full-time status requires enrollment in at least eight credit hours per quarter, and the completion of course work, including comprehensive exams and the dissertation proposal, within 3 years. The dissertation may take from 2 to 4 years. All students have a 7-year time limit from the start of course work.