Taking two years to complete the
Master of Arts in Religion
The Graduate School requires a minimum of
24 hours of formal course work, plus the writing of a thesis, for the
M A. degree. A student who comes into the M.A. program with insufficient
college preparation in Religion may also be advised to do additional work.
The experience of the Graduate Department of Religion indicates that students
enroll in the M.A. program for a variety of reasons. For some it is a
means of being introduced to the field of religion, or to a special area
within it. For others it is an opportunity to explore in greater depth
a field of study with which the student has already become acquainted.
For others it is a way of preparing for Ph.D. study, either by testing
one's own ability and motivation or by building an academic record which
will support admission to a Ph.D. program. Students may find it advisable
for any of these reasons to spend more than one year in the M.A. program
and to enroll for more than 24 hours of course work.
Students who intend to apply for Ph.D. admission may find it especially
useful to lengthen their time in the M.A. program, since a sizable percentage
of Ph.D. students have had three years of Master of Divinity work, gaining
additional exposure to various fields and additional experience in research
and writing. We have found that most students who enter the Ph.D. program
after M.A. study take at least one more year than those who have come
out of M.Div. study. It often seems preferable for such students to take
an additional year's work in the M.A. program, before they are under the
pressure of deadlines for the completion of language requirements and
the taking of qualifying examinations.
If it seems advisable, for any of these reasons, to stretch out the M.A.
program through two academic years, the normal procedure is to take a
total of 36 hours of course work and to write the M.A. thesis. In order
to avoid concentrating all work on the thesis in the final semester, a
student may choose to register for 6 hours of course work and 0 hours
for 3690 (Master's Thesis Research) each semester. Financial aid can still
be received, even though the total course load is less than 9 hours, because
of registration for Master's Thesis Research.
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