Master of Arts (A.M.)
The A.M. program is a two-year foundational program in the academic study of religion for students who wish to acquire the requisite skills to develop a research agenda for doctoral study, or to establish a basis for a career in such related fields as education, publishing, government service, non-profit work, etc.
The A.M. program is two years in duration. Students in the program may apply by course of study petition for Ph.D. admission in the winter quarter of their second year or in the winter quarter of the first or second year following receipt of the A.M. Students are required to complete fifteen courses during the six quarters of residence to receive the degree. This number of courses is considered optimal for achieving the program’s dual goal of genuine breadth of acquaintance with the methods of religious inquiry and some depth of knowledge in a specific area of concentration.Requirements
1. Two years of Scholastic Residence.
2. Proof of competence in French or German.
3. Fifteen courses, including the following:
a) Satisfactory completion during the first year of study of the course “Introduction to the Study of Religion."
b) Satisfactory completion of one additional course from each of the three committees of the faculty. Selected courses in each area of study have been designated by the faculty as appropriate in meeting this requirement. These courses have been so noted in the web-based listing of Divinity School courses for each academic quarter.
Unless otherwise indicated, satisfactory completion signifies work completed at the level of B- or higher.
Elective Course Work
With the exception of the introductory course, “Introduction to the Study of Religion,” A.M. students elect their course work for the degree.Atotal of fifteen courses are required over the two years of the program. They consult with faculty about the courses that would be most useful in helping them to determine the focus and direction of their work. The following guidelines outline the types of work these students should pursue over the two years of the program:
1. Further courses emphasizing breadth in the study of religion—A.M. students must complete three additional courses beyond the introductory course, one from each of the three committees of the faculty.
2. Courses in the area of study in which the student wishes to concentrate Ph.D. study—the A.M. student who applies to the Ph.D. program must have completed three courses in the proposed area of concentration.
3. Language study, further elective course work in the Divinity School, or course work elsewhere in the University.
Application to the Ph.D. Program
The Divinity School's A.M. program is its primary source of Ph.D. students. While admission to the A.M. does not guarantee admission to the Ph.D., the Divinity School does offer its A.M. students the opportunity to apply to the Ph.D. program by in-house petition, and a student's performance in the A.M. program constitutes the central criterion for admission to the Ph.D program.
A.M. students apply to the Ph.D. program in the winter quarter of the second year or the winter quarter following receipt of the A.M. (The A.M. residence requirement makes it impossible for the student to complete all A.M. degree requirements before applying to the Ph.D. program; Ph.D. admission is contingent upon successful completion of all A.M. requirements prior to registration as a Ph.D. student.)
To apply to the Ph.D. program, an A.M. student must accomplish the following:
1. Satisfactory completion of three courses, with grades recorded on the transcript, in the area in which the student proposes to concentrate Ph.D. study. These must be completed by the conclusion of the autumn quarter of the year prior to that in which the student makes application to the Ph.D. program.
2. Submission of an appropriate research paper written for a course offered by the area to which the student is applying. It must be submitted with the grade and original faculty comments.
3. Submission of a course of study petition requesting a faculty adviser, proposing written examinations—listing at least four Divinity School faculty members—and outlining a program of study at the Ph.D. level.