Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Religion
Areas of Study
Degree programs are offered in:
- Critical Studies in Asian, Islamic, and Jewish Traditions
- Ethics and Society
- Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel
- Historical Studies
- Homiletics and Liturgics
- Jewish Studies (M.A.)
- New Testament and Early Christianity *
- Religion, Psychology, and Culture
- Theological Studies
Interdisciplinary studies, both within religion and in other areas of knowledge, are encouraged. The study of religion can be pursued at Vanderbilt both as a critical, humanistic discipline, employing a variety of methodological perspectives, and as a theological discipline, interpreting the biblical religions and their historical, theological, and ethical heritage.
Candidates for the Ph.D. degree must demonstrate a reading knowledge of two modern languages:
A. a modern language of research (normally French, German, Spanish, or Modern Hebrew); and
B. one of the following:
- another modern language relevant to the field of study;
- a biblical or other relevant ancient language;
- the student's native language, if not English;
- a research method such as statistics when appropriate.
A total of 72 credit hours of coursework is required for the Ph.D. degree; transfer credit is available for relevant post-baccalaureate credit hours. Qualifying examinations are usually taken by the fifth semester of study, followed by presentation of a proposal and finally by dissertation work and an oral defense.