Academic Programs

Department of Religious Studies

Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Religious Studies is an advanced research degree leading to a dissertation. Research and writing skills are developed to the level necessary to participate in professional academic discourse. A doctoral degree is awarded on the basis of evidence that the recipient possesses knowledge of a broad field of learning and expert mastery of a particular area of concentration within that field.

UWest offers two concentrations in its doctoral program. First, doctoral students may specialize in Buddhist Studies. This is for advanced research in the comparative study of Buddhism in relation to another religion, or the intensive study of an aspect of Buddhism, leading to a dissertation. Second, a doctoral student may choose Comparative Religions. This is for advanced research in the comparative study of religions.

Progress through the doctoral program is determined by coursework, language requirements, and the successful completion of qualifying examinations and a dissertation. As a means of tailoring the program to the needs and interests of individual students, the number and content of these examinations will be individualized by the doctoral committee. Failing any qualifying examination twice in a row may result in termination of the student’s enrollment in the program.