Religious Studies PhD

Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.


The Department of Religion does not admit students to a terminal master of arts program. However, PhD students in good standing are awarded the MA after they have met the following criteria:

  • 5 quarters of residency
  • successful completion of the two-quarter Religion research paper (RELIGION 570-1 Research Seminar, RELIGION 570-2 Research Seminar)
  • 11 other courses graded ABC/NC

Note: Students whose second department's curriculum makes RELIGION 570-1 Research Seminar, RELIGION 570-2 Research Seminar impossible may petition for an oral examination in lieu of paper but must have a total of 13 ABC/NC courses.


Total Units Required: 16

* including introductory graduate sequence during the first year

Course Title
Core Courses
Classical Theories of Religion
and Contemporary Theories of Religion
RELIGION 482-0Themes in Comparative Religion
Research Seminar
and Research Seminar
Additional Courses
11 additional courses in Religion and/or affiliated disciplines

Other PhD Degree Requirements

  • Language examination: demonstration of proficiency in at least one foreign language; more may be necessary for a particular area
  • Examinations: upon completion of coursework, written and oral comprehensive examinations
  • Research/Projects: as required by dissertation
  • PhD Dissertation: based on original, independent research
  • Final Evaluation: oral defense of dissertation