Jul 20, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Religious Studies, Ph.D.

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Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in religious studies requires the satisfactory completion of 48 credit hours of approved graduate coursework, distributed as follows:

Required Courses (12 Credit Hours)

Four courses of the core seminar in religious studies, each of which is taught during one of the four terms of the student’s two years of coursework:

Elective Courses (36 Credit Hours)

Twelve courses, primarily in the student’s intended field of study, may be of three different types:

  • Regular courses in Southern Methodist University that are approved for graduate study in the student’s field. (Undergraduate courses will be approved only if they have a particular relevance to the student’s course of study and only if the student has reached a prior agreement with the instructor on additional work to be done to raise the requirements of the course to the graduate level.)
  • Directed study courses in which one or more students and a faculty member agree to meet a minimum of six times during the term to discuss the material under study. Students are required to submit substantial graded written work and the faculty member assigns an overall letter grade for the course.
  • Independent study courses in which the student and a faculty member agree on a bibliography for study that the student pursues independently. Students are not required to submit written work and letter grades are not assigned; rather, these courses are pass/fail and require one meeting near the end of the semester to determine completion of the reading.

Reading Competence

Demonstrating, by examination, a reading competence in two approved languages, other than English, relevant to the student’s field of study. (For students in the fields of Hebrew Bible and New Testament, four languages are required. Examinations must be passed in both Hebrew and Greek as well as in two additional languages.)

Comprehensive Field Examinations

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.

Practice Teaching Requirement

Satisfactorily meeting the practice teaching requirement.

Dissertation Proposal

Securing the GPRS Steering Committee’s approval of a dissertation proposal endorsed by the student’s dissertation adviser, two other members of the SMU faculty and one reader from outside the University.

Doctoral Dissertation

Satisfactorily completing the doctoral dissertation. Students may enroll in the following course, which can be repeated for credit:

Oral Examination

Satisfactorily passing an oral examination covering the student’s entire course of study as well as the dissertation.

Total: 48 Credit Hours

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