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  • 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 a 4 hours dissertation proposal seminar. 

    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 such as:  

    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 JDP Assistant Director) quarterly to help navigate academic requirements. Students may also identify a faculty mentor, who has expertise that may be more closely related to their field of study.  By the end of their second year, students should be ready to approach a faculty member to be their Dissertation Director/Advisor.  Faculty have the final decision if they want to take on this role and are subject to program limits on the number of adivsees they can have.  Once the Dissertation Director is chosen, all academic advising shifts to them.

    Modern Language

    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.  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 your academic advisor regarding your language.   More details on how to fufill this requirement can be found in the Language Requirement section.

    The language requirement MUST be satisfied before any student will be allowed to defend the dissertation proposal.  

    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 2-4 years after completing the comp exams 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 and one quarter per year thereafter if they have not yet completed their degree. 

    See examples of past dissertation topics.

    Residency and Time Limits

    The JDP is a residential program. Although some courses are offered online, this is not a distance learning program and all students must be in residence for the first three years. 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 an additional 1 to 4 years. All students have a 7-year time limit from the start of course work. Students can petition for up to 3 one-year extentions for a maximum of 10. 

This portfolio last updated: 12-Mar-2024 12:20 PM