Graduate Program

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Graduate Program in Religious Studies

Degree Requirements

Degree of Master of Arts

The student is encouraged to develop an area of concentration in his or her 18 hours of undesignated coursework. A maximum of six credit hours may be taken in independent study courses. Concentrations in areas of scholarship represented primarily in the Department of Religious Studies in Dedman College are especially welcome. Students whose main interests are in areas represented in the typical theological curriculum are advised to consider the Master of Theological Studies degree in Perkins School of Theology as an alternative to the M.A. degree in the Graduate Program in Religious Studies.

  1. Satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours of approved coursework, including the four courses of the core seminar in Religious Studies: RELI 6301 The Philosophical Study of Religion; RELI 6302 Approaches to Asian Religion; RELI 6303 History, Theory and Method in Religious Studies; and RELI 6304 Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Religion.
  2. Demonstrating, by examination, a reading competence in an approved language, other than English, relevant to the field of study.
  3. Satisfactory completion of a master's thesis.

Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

    1. Satisfactory completion of 48 credit hours of approved coursework, including the four courses of the core seminar in Religious Studies: RELI 6301 The Philosophical Study of Religion; RELI 6302 Approaches to Asian Religion; RELI 6303 History, Theory and Method in Religious Studies; and RELI 6304 Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Religion.
    2. Demonstrating, by examination, a reading competence in two approved languages, other than English, relevant to the field of study. (For students in the two fields of biblical studies, four languages are required. Examinations must be passed in both Hebrew and Greek as well as in two additional languages.)
    3. Passing four comprehensive field examinations on the subjects designated for examination in the student's field, each consisting of a six-hour written examination based on the bibliography agreed upon with the examiner and the second reader.
    4. Securing the steering committee's approval of a dissertation proposal endorsed by the student's adviser, two other members of the Graduate Program in Religious Studies faculty and one reader from outside the Graduate Program in Religious Studies faculty.
    5. Satisfactorily meeting the practice teaching requirement.
    6. Satisfactorily completing the doctoral dissertation.
    7. Passing an oral examination covering the student's entire course of study as well as the dissertation.