The Joint Ph.D. Program requires a completed master’s degree relevant to the student’s proposed concentration(s), from a school accredited regionally or by ATS (American Theological Schools) or with approval of DU’s Office of International Admissions. Such a master’s degree will normally involve at least 45 quarter credit hours or 30 semester credit hours.
The Joint Ph.D. Program requires 90 quarter credit hours (minimum of 82 credit hours of coursework), passing language and comprehensive exams, and the writing and successful defense of a dissertation.
If done full-time (approximately 9 credits per quarter for Fall, Winter and Spring terms), the coursework phase of the program will take three years to complete. It is reasonable to complete the degree in five years (three years coursework and two years of dissertation research and writing). All requirements for the degree must be completed in seven years from the time of the first course taken.
Outline of Program
The doctoral program consists of the following steps:
1. The Preliminary Interview is conducted by the Advisory Committee during the student’s first quarter of study. In the preliminary interview, the Advisory Committee will:
2. A minimum of 82 quarter credits of coursework must be completed. To provide unity to the Program, allocate faculty resources optimally, and prepare students for multi-disciplinary teaching and research, three core courses are required of all students. Each course is four quarter credit hours for a total of twelve quarter credit hours. Aside from the colloquia or seminar requirements of each concentration, students are able to determine their own curriculum (in consultation with their Advisory Committee) and may take courses from any department, as long as they are relevant to the students concentration and research areas, and are appropriate for doctoral credit (3000 level or above). Classes are taken in a traditional classroom format from either the University of Denver or Iliff School of Theology.
3. Language Requirements are designed to give the student access to international scholarly literature relevant to the student’s academic work. One modern language (typically French, German or Spanish) is required of all students. Other languages may be substituted as appropriate for the student’s research. Each Advisory Committee may stipulate language requirements beyond those required of all students in the Program if deemed appropriate to the student’s concentration or research. The language requirement is met by passing a written exam which covers reading comprehension and translation (no auditory or conversation piece) at an intermediate level, and must be completed by the time the student has completed thirty-six quarter credit hours of coursework. Students are urged to present themselves for a language examination in the first quarter of residence, if possible. Language study is done independently, so any courses taken for the purpose of meeting the modern language requirement are not counted towards credits needed to complete the degree, nor are such courses covered by program awarded financial aid. DU's Penrose library, in collaboration with the Center for World Languages and Cultures (CWLC) provides the Mango language learning software free of charge to students, which can be used as a resource for language preparation.
Students in the Biblical Interpretation concentration are also required to show a minimum equivalent of one year of Greek and one year of Hebrew, along with demonstrable usage of each language within the last three years. The Greek and Hebrew language requirements must be met before entry to the Biblical Interpretation concentration.
4. Students must take three competency/comprehensive examinations, which may be spread out over the coursework phase of the program, or taken after completion of coursework. These exams will be based upon bibliographies and course work negotiated between the student and the Advisory Committee.
5. Degree Candidacy recognizes the completion of all required languages, the three competency examinations, and all coursework. During degree candidacy all students first prepare and defend a dissertation proposal. The Advisory Committee approves dissertation proposals, after review and comment by the Joint Ph.D. Committee and a public defense of the proposal.
6. All students must write and defend orally a dissertation. A minimum of four quarter credits, but not more than eight, must be taken for dissertation research in order to meet the 90 quarter credit requirement for the degree. The oral defense of the dissertation must take place no later than three weeks prior to the date of graduation.
7. The student must apply formally for graduation no later than the scheduled deadlines. Graduation will be authorized and the student’s name provide for the graduation programs of both the Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver when the appropriate requirements have been met and certified. The degree in Religious and Theological Studies will be granted jointly by the University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology, bearing the seals and signatures of both institutions.