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Doctoral Prerequisites, Studies, and the Dissertation

LANGUAGE PROGRAM (Prerequisites)

Ancient Greek is a prerequisite for the AHOS Ph.D. in Orthodox Studies. Knowledge of another ancient language is also encouraged and may be required based on the nature of the course work as well as the research required for the preliminary examination and dissertation. Proficiency is also required in at least one modern language such as French and German.

Doctoral Studies and the Dissertation

The course of studies to earn a Ph.D. in Orthodox Studies consists of the following:

    • Completion of Course Work. The requirements consist of 12 credit hours of regular coursework for the first year; and 6 credit hours of coursework plus 6 credit hours of seminars/tutorials for the second year of the program. The student is advised to begin identifying a general subject area for a doctoral dissertation and soliciting the support of suitably qualified members of the faculty to be potential members of the three-person doctoral dissertation committee no later than the end of the second academic year of the doctoral program. A doctoral dissertation committee shall consist of a director (major professor), first reader, and second reader.

    • Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy. At the end of the second academic year in the doctoral program, the student and director identify the subject area and timetable for the doctoral preliminary examination. Successful completion of the doctoral preliminary examination qualifies the student to continue studies at a higher level as a “doctoral candidate.” Please note that the informal designation, “ABD–PhD” to signify the meeting of all requirements except for the writing of the dissertation, is considered erroneous in a formal setting and is not an academic credential. ABD is the abbreviation for the term, “All But Dissertation.”

    • PhD Dissertation Supervisor and Topic. After successful completion of the preliminary examination, the doctoral candidate formulates a dissertation proposal in close consultation with the approved director and submits a written proposal for the approval of the faculty council, which consists of those faculty with a terminal degree in their area of study. Approval is granted after an evaluation of the dissertation proposal and other pertinent factors that support an assessment that the candidate will successfully complete the work.

    • Doctoral Dissertation Supervision. The director shall determine when the dissertation is complete and what must be done to satisfactorily fulfill the academic standards of The Antiochian House of Studies. The dissertation must be reviewed by the first and second readers, who as members of the committee will assist the major professor to ensure that satisfactory academic standards are maintained and make useful suggestions.

    • Oral Defense. The defense is chaired by the director who, acting as moderator, rules on questions of procedure and protocol that may arise during the defense. The doctoral dissertation committee (defined as the major professor and two readers) vote on the status of the oral defense and the written document. The decision to pass a candidate may include no more than one negative doctoral dissertation committee member vote. All approved doctoral dissertations are considered “satisfactory,” but the committee may rate a dissertation as approved “with distinction.”

    • Graduation. Doctoral candidates will graduate in the same year if they complete their dissertation and oral defense by June 1 during Spring semester. Otherwise, all others who complete after June 1 will graduate during the following year.

For further information, please refer to the current Doctoral Dissertation Handbook

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