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2005 - 2006 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Religion, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15

Applications are evaluated together after the deadline.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Academic recommendations from former faculty who know the applicant best.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

We suggest that applicants come with at least eighteen semester hours in the area.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:


Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:


Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be two or three pages, giving the background that prepares the applicant for graduate religion studies, including their previous successes in academic and research in the field. The applicant should give a description of their area of interest within the field of religion and how the areas of interest coincide with those offered by Temple's Religion Department. The applicant should indicate what teaching and research goals they have and how they believe study at Temple would further these goals.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. 600 + 500 + 500. We weigh the verbal section of GRE more heavily than the quantitative section.

Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted: 250 computer scored. (600)


A resume is required.

Test Waivers:

We waive GREs for international students whose native language is not English. We require them to take TOEFL and score 600 or better instead.

Program Requirements

Campus Location:

Main Campus

Most graduate courses continue to be offered during the day at the Main Campus. Increasingly, courses are offered at TUCC in the evening.

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m.

General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 30

Required Courses:

In addition to the 30 credits beyond the Master's degree, two courses outside of Religion Study in related disciplines. Two courses in religious traditions different from the student's areas of concentration, and two courses in methods of study different from that to be employed in the student's area of research.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: Yes, a language examination is required. Competence in all languages necessary to do graduate level scholarly research in the student's area of concentration.Reading knowledge of a minimum of two foreign languages.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examination:

The purpose of the preliminary examination is to demonstrate critical and interpretive knowledge in specialized areas of religion.

Subject Areas/Major Components of the Preliminary Examination They are examined in all areas of scholarship and research necessary for their area of study. They must have demonstrated reading knowledge of at least a second foreign language(the first having been examined in Unit I). They prepare a dissertation proposal, and an outline of their areas of examinations.

At what point in the program is the student expected to take the preliminary examination At the end of Unit II

Writing the Questions for the Preliminary Examination Members of the student's dissertation committee individually write examination questions. Sometimes faculty are included as "examiners" who will not serve on the dissertation committee.

Evaluating the Preliminary Examination The written exams serve as the basis for the oral preliminary examination. All faculty for whom exams were written participate in the oral preliminary exam.

Criterion for Passing the Preliminary Examination. All examiners and members of the dissertation committee must agree that the student has demonstrated competence in the relevant areas of study, and that this student is capable of completing the dissertation proposed.

Administering, Scheduling, and Proctoring the Preliminary Examination Shudents arrange with their Dissertation Committee when the exams will be taken. Normally exams are done within the Religion Dept., using a computer under supervised conditions.


Dissertation Advising Committee Information A general area of studies is decided upon and a faculty adviser is appointed. Unit I review is conducted at the completion of these requirements and upon recommendation of the faculty, a student may proceed to Unit II. In Unit II students take courses to prepare them for Doctoral Examinations. They are examined in all other languages of scholarship and research necessary for their area of study. They prepare a dissertation proposal, and an outline of their areas of examinations. At least two other faculty members for their Doctoral Advisory Committee are appointed.

Dissertation Examining Committee Information The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense. This committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advising Committee and at least one additional Graduate Faculty member from outside the Religion Department. The Outside Examiner should be identified no later than the beginning of the semester in which the student will defend the dissertation.

Advisor/Committee Information If a student needs to change a member of a Committee, the new member must be approved by the department's Graduate Studies Committee and registered with the Graduate Secretary and the Graduate School.

Dissertation/Monograph Philosophy The dissertation is to demonstrate original and significant contributions to the study of religion. It should make use of primary texts, and demonstrate reading knowledge of appropriate original languages.

Philosophy of the Proposal The proposal demonstrates student's knowledge of the current research in the field on his/her particular problem of interest. Student should show methodological awareness, and state uniqueness of proposed research to ongoing body of scholarly literature.

Criterion for Passing the Dissertation and the Defense. Committee will evaluate the student's written thesis in making an original scholarly contribution to the field, and the student's ability to defend and discuss orally the contents of the thesis.

Dissertation Defense Scheduling Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their Dissertation Advisory Committee and register with the Graduate Secretary at least 30 days before the defense is to be scheduled. The Graduate Secretary will arrange the time, date, and room, and forward to the student the appropriate forms.

Announcing the Dissertation Defense After the Graduate Secretary has arranged the time, date, and room, for the defense, the student must send to the Graduate School (501 Carnell Hall) a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form at least 10 days before the defense. The Department will post fliers announcing the defense.


Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Religion
Anderson Hall, 6th Floor
1114 W. Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090


Department Contacts:


Janice Anthony-Lowe


Program Coordinator:

Graduate Chairperson:

Khalid Blankinship



Rebecca Alpert


About the Program

The Temple University Religion Department began shortly after the Supreme Court declared that the study of religion in state-supported public education was commended, and not to be confused with the practice of religion. Temple's department broke from the "seminary model" of traditional fields such as "church history" and "theology," and instead committed to the multi-traditional and multi-disciplinary study of global religious traditions. This gives our programs an outstanding breadth and cross-cultural diversity. We have a long history of attracting students from all over the world, and our graduates now work in universities not just in North America, but also in places such as Malaysia, Korea, Germany and Japan.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:

Main Campus

Most graduate courses continue to be offered during the day at the Main Campus. Increasingly, courses are offered at TUCC in the evening.

Students are able to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information


Dept. of Religion
Anderson Hall, 6th Floor
1114 W. Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090




Religion programs are not ranked.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

The Department of Religion offers graduate programs leading to the MA and Ph.D. degrees. Students are introduced to the major methods of study in religion, with stress on the critical analysis of religions by the methods of the humanities and the social sciences, including textual and historical analysis, philosophical and hermeneutical studies, and social and cultural analysis. The program thus ensures that a well-rounded course of study is achieved. There are two basic tracks: 1) Global Religious Traditions, within which there are concentrations in Asian Philosophy/Religious Thought, Biblical Studies, & Islam, and 2) Religion and Society.

Job Placement:

We have strong evidence that the kind of education we offer has enabled our Ph.D.s to find jobs in a very competitive job market. For example, some of our graduates in the area of Bible were hired explicitly because they had received some instruction in Islam, and could serve as a resource about that tradition. We are convinced that breadth and diversity is one of the strengths of our program, and we continue to offer coursework in global religious traditions and the roles of religions in society and culture, so as to maintain this strength. Graduates of the Religion Department are employed in colleges and universities in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The most common positions are as faculty in religion studies, although some are administrators in educational governmental administrations and academic administrations.


Graduate Student exchange agreements exist with the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Religious Studies, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. In addition, a coordinated M.A./Ph.D. program in Islamic-Christian Relations is conducted with Hartford Theological Seminary and a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies is offered in cooperation with the Women's Studies Program.

Interdisciplinary Study:

Students are given a broad, interdisciplinary introduction to Religion in the first unit of studies, and take courses in other departments and institutions in the second unit of studies.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Persons not enrolled for a degree program may register for courses as non-matriculated students. Transcripts of undergraduate work should indicate some background in religion studies and an academic average sufficient to maintain graduate work, normally 3.5 or above. Credit toward a subsequent degree program at Temple University is limited to three courses (9 credits). Non-matriculated students may register for courses after an interview with the Director of Graduate Religion Studies, at which time they should present academic transcripts.

Financing Opportunities

It is the normal rule that Teaching Assistants teach sections independently in our department.

Other Financial Opportunities