Graduate Degree Information
All applicants to the Graduate Program in Religion at Temple must apply either for admission to the M.A. or to the Ph.D. program, and a student’s admission will be to one or the other of these. Students admitted to the Ph.D. program directly may pick up the M.A. degree on the way to their Ph.D. when they have fulfilled the M.A. requirements. Students admitted only to the M.A. program may apply for the Ph.D. program separately upon completing their M.A.; such applications are considered on the same basis as all other new Ph.D. applications.
As a component of a large state-related university, the Graduate Program in Religion at Temple deals with religion as an academic discipline without bias or favoritism for one religious or philosophical tradition over another, nor for any particular form of spirituality or secularism. While part of the Graduate Program’s purpose is to offer a broad coverage of the phenomena of religion in the world in general, it also possesses certain areas of greater strength according to the specializations and knowledge of its faculty. One area of major emphasis is Religion, Race, and Ethnicity.
Students will encounter two broad categories of graduate courses at Temple. First are general introductory courses, called Foundations courses , for specialists and non-specialists alike. These cover a broad spectrum of religious traditions. Each course covers the basic thought, practices, and history of one of the following: African religions, African American religions, Buddhism, Chinese religions, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, or Judaism. Other Foundations courses deal with methodologies in the study of religion, including historical-textual, social scientific, and philosophical approaches. Foundations courses are designed to provide a broad background both in discrete religious traditions and in methodology for students in the M.A. program or in the first two years of the Ph.D. program. Second are Advanced or Specialized seminars in the areas of expertise of the professors. These include in particular courses dealing with Religion, Race, and Ethnicity in various traditions, time periods, and areas of the world. Other courses outside of this area are also available. Some specialized seminars may be counted on a case-by-case basis as Foundations courses at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies.
Before commencing a graduate program, and at intervals during a program as their interests develop and focus, students should determine if their intended subjects of specialization are matched by the resources and strengths of the Department.
Our Program Guide contained in this webpage and its respective subordinate links represents the structure of the current curriculum, which may be altered from time to time. The provisions of this Program Guide do not constitute the offer of a contract that students may accept through admission and enrollment in the university. The university and the department reserve the right to change the provisions, offerings, or requirements at any time within the student’s period of study at the university. We do not award a degree for the completion of a definite number of courses alone, but upon determination of the competence of the candidate in the chosen subjects of study. Students will find a spirit of healthy concern on the part of the faculty here to help them win the degree they are pursuing. If necessary, that same faculty will be frank to recommend to them that they discontinue.