VII. Degree Courses and Requirements

A.  The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is designed for students who, by ability and aim, will pursue prolonged intellectual activity that advances specific scholarly disciplines.  Requirements for the Ph.D. degree are met by completing at least three years of full-time study, the first two of which are spent in course work completed by a series of comprehensive examinations.  The third year is spent in dissertation research, preparation and writing.  The requirements are:

1. Completion of two years of course work (12 courses), with a grade point average of at least 3.1 for students entering before Fall 2009, at least 3.4 for students entering the GDR in or after Fall 2009.  Students entering the GDR in or after Fall 2009 are also required to attend the GDR Interdisciplinary Colloquium during the first two years of course work.
2. Demonstration of a scholar’s reading competence in the foreign languages required by the student’s Area.
3. Completion of the comprehensive examinations.
4. Completion of two semesters of dissertation research (18 credits), an approved scholarly dissertation, and its oral defense. Dissertations shall ordinarily be in the range of 175-300 pages.

B. The Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) degree is offered to candidates who have completed all of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree except those relating directly to the dissertation.  For students matriculating in the Fall of 2011 or later, it is offered only as a terminal degree.  Students matriculating before Fall 2011 and continuing to the dissertation stage may receive the degree by special petition to the Registrar’s Office.

A terminal M.Phil. may be conferred in all Areas if a student chooses to withdraw from the Ph.D. program after successful completion of all requirements except those relating directly to the dissertation, or if, in the judgment of the Committee on Academic Standing, a student’s doctoral candidacy is no longer sustainable. In some cases, a Terminal M.Phil. may be awarded even if the student has not completed all of his or her comprehensive examinations successfully.
a. The student’s Area may recommend to the Committee on Academic Standing that the student be given terminal M.Phil. status.
b. The Committee on Academic Standing may initiate the action itself in consultation with the Area and the student involved.
c. The student may request the Area to recommend the action.
d. Students given terminal M.Phil. status shall not be eligible to reapply for admission to a Ph.D. program in the Graduate Division of Religion.

[See the Student Guide on Degree Requirements and on special concerns regarding student loans in relation to the M.Phil.]   [return to contents]


VIII. Admission of Students

A. NotificationAll applicants whose folders are complete by January 1 shall be assured of prompt notification.  Financial Aid and Scholarship decisions should be made in order to coincide with the letters of notification as closely as possible.

B. LanguageFor students whose native language is not English, recent Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of Written English (TWE) scores must be submitted.  The TOEFL score must be at least 585 (paper score) or 240 (computer score), and the TWE score must be at least 4.  Scores no older than two years are accepted.  Non-native English speakers whose primary language of instruction has been English may elect to submit GRE in lieu of TOEFL/TWE scores.

C. Master’s requirement for Ph.D.In order to be considered for admission to Ph.D. programs in the Graduate Division of Religion, applicants must have a Master’s degree in a relevant field, or the equivalent.

D. Unclassified AdmissionStudents admitted to the Graduate Division of Religion are expected to have gained a broad mastery of fields pertinent to their graduate study.  If, in the judgment of the Admissions Committee, a student’s record suggests uncertain or inadequate preparation, that student may be admitted as unclassified. The student’s academic record will then be reviewed by the appropriate Area at the end of one semester’s course work.  Thereafter, the student will either be classified as working toward a specific degree or will be asked to withdraw.  In some cases, the Area may ask the student to sit for a special examination before the end of the first year in residence.

E. Graduate Record Exam (GRE)The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Aptitude Test is required of all students applying from within the U.S. and Canada, who are native English speakers.  Scores no older than five years are accepted.  To present a competitive application, a student should have a minimum score of 500 on both the quantitative and verbal sections and a minimum score of 4 on the analytical writing section.

F. Reinstatement/Readmission PolicyIf less than three years have elapsed since withdrawal, and the student was in good standing at the time of withdrawal, he or she may petition the Academic Standing Committee for reinstatement.  Before submitting the petition, however, the student must first get the approval of his or her academic advisor.  If there are concerns or questions regarding the student’s status, the student shall be asked to submit a letter to the Committee on Academic Standing outlining previous academic work, future plans, and the basis for successfully completing the program.  When more than three years have elapsed, the student must apply for readmission to the program through the GDR Admissions Office.

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IX. Definitions of Student Status

A. All Graduate Division of Religion students must maintain enrollment in the Theological School until the completion of their degree program.  To fulfill this requirement, each semester all matriculated graduate students must be either registered for course work, dissertation research, maintaining matriculation, or on an approved leave of absence.

1. Students registered for courses: While full-time status is strongly recommended for each student, circumstances may make less than full-time study necessary.  The following definitions are given for academic purposes.  NOTE:  These definitions are not necessarily the same as those used by the Office of Financial Assistance.
a. Full-time students carry 3 courses per semester.  In rare instances a student may, with the approval of his/her adviser and the GDR Chair, register for four courses for credit in a given semester.
b. Half-time students carry 2 courses per semester.
c. Part-time students carry 1 course per semester.

2. Students in the dissertation year: Students registered for dissertation year (DISST 998 and DISST 999) are full-time students in each of the two semesters they are so registered, carrying 9 credits per semester. Students may not register for DISST 998 without an approved prospectus.

3. Maintaining Matriculation: [Note that numbers for Maintaining Matriculation categories are pending confirmation by the Registrar.]

Graduate Division of Religion regulations require that all students in matriculated programs maintain enrollment until the completion of their degree program.  To fulfill this requirement, each semester all graduate students who are not registered for course work or dissertation research must be either registered for maintaining matriculation or on an approved leave of absence.  Students should register for maintaining matriculation statuses in sequence as they complete the remaining requirements for their degree program.  Most maintaining matriculation statuses are non-repeatable.  In some exceptional cases, students can repeat certain statuses with the approval of the GDR Chair or Academic Standing Committee.

There are eleven different maintaining matriculation statuses (including both part-time and full-time versions of each), some of which can be repeated once.  Ideally, however, students should not use them all, and cannot if they are to complete their program in the seven years allowed:  these seven years include two years of course work, one year of dissertation work, and up to four years (8 semesters) of maintaining matriculation to complete comprehensive examinations and dissertation. Also, registration fees rise significantly when a student enters his or her fifth semester of maintaining matriculation.

Students require an adviser’s signature to register for all maintaining matriculation statuses.  Additional signatures are also required for certain of these statuses, as detailed below.

a. Language preparation
Students who have been full-time while taking course work, but who cannot proceed with course work or the comprehensive examinations because they have not met the language requirement may be considered full-time students for no more than one semester while they maintain matriculation for a particular language preparation.  Students who have been less than full-time during course work will retain the same status as they maintain matriculation, unless a change of status is approved by the Associate Academic Dean.  Such approval may depend on submission of evidence that the circumstances which necessitated less than full-time study have changed, enabling the student to devote him/herself to a full-time schedule of study.  The visa status of international students may be affected by such classification, as may the deferment of required repayment on federal student loans.

T P01F 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., F.T., 1st LANG PREP.
For Ph.D. students not registered for course work while preparing for the first language examination.  Not repeatable.  Full-time status.

T P02F 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., F.T., 2nd LANG PREP.
For Ph.D. students not registered for courses while preparing for the second language examination.  Not repeatable.  Full-time status.

T P01P 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., P.T., LANGUAGE PREP.
For Ph.D. students not registered for courses while preparing for the first language examination.  Not repeatable.  Part-time status.

T P02P 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., P.T., LANGUAGE PREP.
For Ph.D. students not registered for courses while preparing for the second language examination.  Not repeatable. Part-time status.

b. Comprehensive exam preparation
Students may not register for comprehensive exam preparation until they have met all their course and language requirements.  Students who have been full-time while taking course work may be considered to be full-time students for two semesters while they maintain matriculation in preparation for comprehensive examinations; for these purposes the August examination period may be considered part of the prior spring semester and the January examination period part of the prior fall semester.  In special circumstances (including but not limited to failing one or more of the comprehensive examinations),a student may be considered a full-time student for one additional semester upon approval of the GDR Chair, and for a second additional semester upon successful petition to the Academic Standing Committee.  Students who have been less than full-time during course work will retain the same status as they maintain matriculation, unless a change of status is approved by the Associate Academic Dean.  Such approval could follow on submission of evidence that the circumstances which necessitated less than full-time study have changed, enabling the student to devote him/herself to a full-time schedule of study.

T P03F 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., F.T., COMP. EXAM PREP., 1st SEMESTER
For Ph.D. students in their first semester of comprehensive exam preparation after courses and second language certification.  Not repeatable.  Full-time status.

T P04F 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., F.T., COMP. EXAM PREP., 2nd SEMESTER
For Ph.D. students in their second semester of comprehensive exam preparation after courses and second language certification.  Not repeatable. Prerequisite: P03.  Full-time status.

T P05F 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., F.T., COMP. EXAM PREP.
Additional Semester.  GDR Chair’s approval required.  In special cases for students in their third or subsequent semester(s) of comprehensive exam preparation after courses and after passing the second language.  Repeatable once, by successful petition to the Academic Standing Committee.  Prerequisite: P04.  Full-time status.

T P03P 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION, P.T., COMP EXAM PREP., 1st SEMESTER.
For Ph.D. students in their first semester of comprehensive exam preparation after courses and second language certification.  Not repeatable.  Part-time status.

T P04P 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION, P.T., COMP EXAM PREP., 2nd SEMESTER.
For Ph.D. students in their second semester of comprehensive exam preparation after courses and second language certification.  Not repeatable.  Prerequisite: P03.  Part-time status.

T P05P 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., P.T., COMP. EXAM PREP.
Additional Semester.  GDR Chair’s approval required.  In special cases for students in their third or subsequent semester(s) of comprehensive exam preparation after courses and after passing the second language.  Repeatable twice, by successful petition to the Academic Standing Committee.  Prerequisite: P04.  Part-time status.

c. Dissertation prospectus preparation
Students may not register for dissertation prospectus preparation until they have passed all their comprehensive exams.  Ordinarily, students should take no more than one semester to prepare the dissertation prospectus.  However, a second semester of maintaining matriculation for students at this level is allowed upon presentation to the GDR Chair of a plan of study approved by the student’s adviser.

T P06F 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., F.T., DISS PROSP. PREP., 1st SEMESTER
For Ph.D. students in the first semester of approved dissertation prospectus preparation or field research.  Not repeatable.  Full-time status.

T P07F 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., F.T., DISS PROSP. PREP., 2nd SEMESTER GDR
Chair’s approval required.  For Ph.D. students in the second semester of approved prospectus preparation or field research.  Not repeatable. Prerequisite: P06F.  Full-time status.

T P06P 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., P.T., DISS PROSP. PREP., 1st SEMESTER
For Ph.D. students in the first semester of approved dissertation
prospectus preparation or field research.  Not repeatable.  Part-time
status.

T P07P 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., P.T., DISS PROSP. PREP., 2nd SEMESTER
GDR Chair’s approval required.  For Ph.D. students in the second semester of approved dissertation
prospectus preparation or field research.  Not repeatable.  Prerequisite: P06P. Part-time
status.

d. After dissertation year
These statuses are indicated as “after dissertation year,” and assume completion of DISST 998 and DISST 999.  There are a maximum of four semesters allowed at this final maintaining matriculation level.  After the first semester, additional approval from the GDR Chair or Academic Standing Committee is required; in each case, the student must present a satisfactory plan of study that has been approved by the dissertation director.  Note that those students who successfully complete their oral defense before the first day of the Fall or Spring Semester can register for P11P for a minimal fee rather than maintain matriculation for the following semester in order to graduate.

T P08F 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., F.T., AFTER DISSERTATION-YEAR WORK 1st SEMESTER
For Ph.D. students in the first semester after the dissertation year  (DISST 998 and DISST 999).  Not repeatable. Full-time status.

T P09F 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., F.T., AFTER DISSERTATION-YEAR WORK 2nd SEMESTER
GDR Chair’s approval required.  For Ph.D. students in the second semester after the dissertation year (DISST 998 and DISST 999).  Not repeatable.  Prerequisite: P08.  Full-time status.

T P10F 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION, F.T., AFTER DISSERTATION-YEAR WORK 3rd SEMESTER.
GDR Chair’s approval required.  For PhD students in the third semester after the dissertation year (DISSSTU 998 and DISST 999).  Repeatable once, by successful petition to the Academic Standing Committee.  Prerequisite: P09.  Full-time status.

T P08P 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., P.T., AFTER DISSERTATION-YEAR WORK 1st SEMESTER.
For Ph.D. students in the first semester after the dissertation year (DISST 998 and DISST 999).   Not repeatable. Part-time status.

T P09P 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., P.T., AFTER DISSERTATION-YEAR WORK 2nd SEMESTER.
GDR Chair’s approval required.  For Ph.D. students in the second semester after the dissertation year (DISST 998 and DISST 999).  Not repeatable. Prerequisite: P08. Part-time status.

T P10P 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION., P.T., AFTER DISSERTATION-YEAR WORK 3rd SEMESTER.
GDR Chair’s approval required.  For Ph.D. students in the third semester after the dissertation year (DISST 998 and DISST 999).  Repeatable once, by successful approval of the Academic Standing Committee.  Prerequisite: P09. Part-time status.

T P11P 001 MAINTAINING MATRICULATION, P.T., AFTER DISSERTATION DEFENSE.
GDR Chair’s approval required.  For students who have already defended their dissertation, with only minor revisions required, and await the conferral of their degree.  Not repeatable.  Part-time status.

B. All students must either be enrolled in courses of study or must pay maintaining matriculation fees in order to be considered students in the Graduate Division of Religion who are proceeding toward a degree.

C. Withdrawal from the Graduate Division of Religion.
1. A student who wishes to withdraw from the Graduate Division of Religion must submit a withdrawal form obtained at the Registrar’s Office.  Students withdrawing must see the Associate Academic Dean to sign the form.
2. Refunds are made only upon formal withdrawal and as indicated in the Graduate Division of Religion Catalog.
3. A student who has withdrawn may be readmitted under VIII.F above.  The reentry process is initiated in the Graduate Division of Religion Office by the student obtaining a reentry form from that Office.

D. A graduate student who wishes to enroll in another degree program at Drew shall formally withdraw from the Graduate Division of Religion program in which he/she is enrolled.  The student may apply for readmission under VIII.F above, except that the maintaining matriculation fees will be waived.

[See the Student Guide on Maintaining Matriculation; Detailed Timetable for Earning the Ph.D.; and Student Status]
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X. Registration

A. ProcedureRegistration is required of all candidates each semester on dates announced in the University calendar.  Registration should take place in person or through Campus Web.  No registrations will be accepted by telephone.

B. Language CoursesNormally, language courses will not satisfying course work requirements.  However, in special cases, students may petition the Academic Standing Committee for permission to take a language course for credit.  Such special cases might include, for example, study of relevant languages that go beyond and are in addition to those required by the Area.

C. TutorialsNormally, only one tutorial per semester shall count as one of the three full-time courses.  Normally, only two tutorials are allowed in the Ph.D. program.

1. Procedure for securing approval for a tutorial shall be as follows:
2. The student shall file a completed tutorial petition form in the Graduate Division of Religion Office, containing the requested details of the proposed tutorial and bearing the signatures of the proposed instructor and the student’s faculty adviser. The GDR Administrative Office shall then forward the petition to the Committee on Academic Standing.
3. Failure by the student to comply with this procedure at any point will mean loss of credit for the tutorial..
4. Tutorial petitions for the Spring Semester are due in the GDR Administrative Office by December 1.  Petitions for Fall Semester tutorials are due in the Office by April 1.

D. Auditing 1. GDR students seeking to audit courses unofficially in the Theological School require the approval of the instructor and the Associate Academic Dean.  Unoffical auditors do not register for courses, nor is audit credit entered in their permanent transcript record.

2. A spouse of a currently enrolled student may unofficially audit courses in the Theological School without charge, with the approval of the instructor and the Associate Academic Dean, and as space allows.  Such auditors do not register for courses, nor is audit credit entered in their permanent transcript record.

3. In no case shall an auditor be allowed to displace a tuition-paying student.

4. If the student (or spouse) wishes to have the course recorded on his/her permanent transcript record, he or she must:
a. secure permission from the instructor and the Associate Academic Dean to audit the course;
b. register for the course as an audit;
c. have the instructor certify to the Registrar that the requirements for an audit have been satisfied;
d. pay the audit tuition (see the current Catalog for the charge).

E. Residence Credit at Other Institutions
1.
Credit up to three courses for the Ph.D. may be given for courses taken at other graduate schools while the student is enrolled at Drew, if such courses are deemed essential to his/her program of study by the Area.
a. The student must petition the Committee on Academic Standing to take such courses prior to enrollment.
b. Such courses will be regarded as under the direction of the Graduate Division of Religion and as work done in residence.

2. This rule also applies to tutorials to be given by off-campus instructors.  When such tutorials have been approved by the Committee on Academic Standing, the Chair of the Graduate Division of Religion shall send a letter of agreement to the instructor.

F. Advanced Standing
Ordinarily the Committee on Academic Standing does not honor a student’s request for advanced standing (credit transferred from other institutions) until the student has completed one year of full-time study (or the equivalent) and passed at least one language examination.  Students are advised not to present requests for advanced standing until they have met these conditions.

1. Up to one semester (three courses/9 credits) of course credit may be given for previous work at graduate level in a student’s field on the recommendation of the Area concerned and with approval by the Committee on Academic Standing.  Before making a recommendation to the Committee on Academic Standing, the Area should consider carefully not only whether the student’s previous work is appropriate for doctoral credit but also whether the student is likely to be sufficiently prepared to proceed to comprehensive examinations with less than 36 GDR-earned course credits.  No student is guaranteed advanced standing and indeed advanced standing is normally discouraged, regardless of a student’s level of performance.

2. Any Area may recommend credit toward advanced standing for graduate courses (regardless of the degree earned) on a course-by-course basis.  Normally, work undertaken for professional degrees such as the M.Div. or D.Min. degrees (or their equivalent) is not eligible for credit toward advanced standing unless the academic content of the courses is clearly demonstrated as appropriate for doctoral credit.

3. In the special case of transferring S.T.M. Credits to the Ph.D., note that:
a. GDR candidates need to complete the S.T.M. before beginning a GDR program.
b. A maximum of one semester (three courses/9 credits) of advanced standing in a GDR program may be granted on the basis of credits completed in the S.T.M.  S.T.M. students, however, have no guarantee of advanced standing.
c. Each Area may either a) designate courses not transferable for graduate credit, or b) individually evaluate S.T.M. candidates.
d. Completion of the S.T.M. degree does not guarantee admission to the GDR Ph.D. program.

4. Students desiring credit for advanced standing must initiate the process by submitting to the GDR Administrative Office a written request supported by syllabi, transcripts, and other academic credentials as necessary (including, for example, copies of major papers written for the courses in question), which will then go to the Area for action, and finally to the Committee on Academic Standing.

G. Translation from One Degree Program to AnotherTranslation from one course of study (Area or program) to another requires the approval of the receiving Area.

[See the Student Guide on Registration; Courses;
and Transfer
Credit
] [return to contents]


XI. Time Limits for Earning Each Degree

A. All requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must be completed within a period of seven (7) years.

B. All requirements for the Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) degree must be completed within a period of two (2) years after the completion of course work.

[See the Student Guide on typical time to degree, and the Detailed Timetable for Earning the Ph.D.]   [return to contents]

 


 

XII. Leave of Absence

A. A student may take a leave of absence for a period not to exceed one year with the approval of the student’s academic advisor and the GDR Chair. In special cases, a second year of leave may be approved by the advisor and the GDR Chair. A student requesting a leave of absence must meet with his or her advisor to seek approval before meeting with the GDR Chair.  Leaves of absence are ordinarily granted on only three bases: (1) physical illness, (2) mental or emotional illness, or (3) extreme financial difficulty.

B. As the student pays no tuition or fees during a leave of absence, he or she is not entitled to use any of the resources of the University: library, faculty, housing, or grants-in-aid.  Time spent in leaves of absence will not be counted as part of the seven-year time limitation for the Ph.D.  Repayment for any student loans must begin in a leave of absence, by federal regulation.

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XIII. Course Grades

A. The Grading System
1. Grades are given as letters including + or – as follows:

A+ Highest possible achievement
A Excellence
B Average
C Below average
U Unsatisfactory/Fail
I Incomplete (see E and F below)

2. Numerical equivalents are:
A+ = 4.33; A = 4.0; A- = 3.77
B+ = 3.33; B = 3.0; B- = 2.67
C+ = 2.33; C = 2.0; C- = 1.67
U = 0

3. Courses dropped between the end of the second and the end of the ninth week of classes are graded W (Withdrew); courses dropped after the ninth week of classes are graded U.

B.  Grade Requirements
1. Ph.D. candidates entering the program before Fall 2009 must have a GPA of at least 3.1, those entering in or after Fall 2009 a GPA of at least 3.4 [B+], and must manifest excellence at certain points in course work in order to (a) sit for the comprehensive examinations, and (b) undertake the dissertation.

2. Areas will review a student’s academic performance before approving the petition for the comprehensive examinations.  The maintenance of the minimum required GPA, therefore, does not necessarily qualify the candidate to complete the doctoral degree inasmuch as the doctorate represents something more than an overall minimal performance.

3. Students who have not met the required average at the conclusion of the stipulated number of courses required for a given degree may not seek to meet the required average by taking additional courses without specific permission from the Committee on Academic Standing, in consultation with the Area.
a. In evaluating a student’s standing, courses failed shall count as courses taken.
b. Unresolved or permanent Incompletes shall be considered courses taken which did not meet Drew’s required standards.
c. Students may retake a course when offered in which the grade of U was originally earned with the permission of the instructor and the Dean.  The original and subsequent grades are both calculated in the grade point average.  Courses with grades of C- or higher may not be retaken for credit.

C.  Review of Candidacy
By the Areas:
Reviews of first and second year students in the Graduate Division of Religion shall be conducted by Area faculty and put in writing for communication with the student and entry in the GDR records.  It shall be noted whether the student’s progress is excellent, satisfactory or not satisfactory, and specific areas of strength and weakness shall be identified.

By the Academic Standing Committee:
1. The candidacy of any given student whose record falls below the required averages or who fails to meet other standards of progress set by the Graduate Division of Religion (e.g., completion of the degree within the stipulated time limit) shall be reviewed by the Committee on Academic Standing.

2. The Committee shall ordinarily review such records as soon as possible following the conclusion of each semester.  Review may also occur at other times.

3. The Committee is empowered to take the following actions relative to students who fail to meet the stipulated Grade Point Averages or other standards of progress: issue letters of academic warning (probation); in consultation with the student’s Area, recommend or require leaves of absence or withdrawal; enforce (or, where deemed warranted, grant limited exceptions to) the schedule for meeting the foreign language requirements.  A letter of academic warning or probation notice serves as a warning to the student that unless the deficiencies noted in the letter are corrected, involuntary withdrawal from the program may result.  It is not entered onto the transcript and it expires immediately upon the successful correction of the student’s academic deficiency (low GPA, excessive Incompletes, etc.).

4. The student, the GDR Chair, the student’s academic adviser, and the Area convener shall be notified of all actions taken with respect to a student’s academic status.

D.  Failure to Maintain Required Grade Point Average
Students failing to maintain the required Grade Point Average normally will be dealt with as follows:
1. At the conclusion of the first semester in which a student’s average falls below the minimum required GPA, a letter of warning shall be issued; should the record be deemed seriously deficient, more stringent action may be taken.  Should this occur in the semester in which the student would normally complete the course work stipulated for the degree, permission from the Committee on Academic Standing must be secured before additional course work is undertaken.
2. A student who fails to secure the required minimum average, or to demonstrate promise of excellence in some area of study, by the end of the semester following the first warning letter, may be advised or required to terminate his or her program.
3. A student whose average is deficient for a third semester normally will be required to terminate his or her program.
4. Normally, students allowed to undertake additional courses in order to rectify the Grade Point Average shall be expected to achieve good standing in no more than an additional full semester, failing which, they shall be involuntarily withdrawn from the program.

E.  Incompletes 1. Students are expected to complete and submit all assigned work for a course no later than the end of the semester in which the course is taken.

2. In special circumstances, a student may request from the instructor of the course an extension of time for the completion of the work.  If the instructor concurs, he or she should set an appropriate date for completion.  The student shall fill out the Incomplete Request Form, have it countersigned by the instructor, and deliver it to the office of the Associate Academic Dean.  Students should not request an Incomplete without having explored reasonable possibilities for completing the assigned work on schedule.

3. Requests for extensions must be initiated and settled before the end of the grading period (3 weeks after the end of the term).  Exceptions must be approved by the Committee on Academic Standing.

4. Work left incomplete from the Fall Semester must be completed by April 15th.  Work left incomplete from the Spring Semester must be completed by October 1st.  Where work for a course has not been completed by those final dates, the instructor may submit a grade based on whatever work is in hand, with due deduction made for the work outstanding.  In extraordinary circumstances, he or she may record a permanent I (Incomplete).  After November 1st and June 1st respectively, any grades registered as Incomplete from the previous semester shall be converted automatically to U.  Subsequent change of the grade will require the permission of the Committee on Academic Standing.

5. Students shall be limited to one incomplete per semester.

F. Submission of Grades
1. Grades for Graduate Division of Religion courses shall be submitted by the faculty no later than three weeks after the semester ends or by the deadline set by the University Registrar.

2. Where a student’s work is not completed by the final date for reporting grades and no process for an Incomplete has been initiated, a final grade shall be reported based upon the work submitted, with appropriate deductions for missing work.

[See the Student Guide on Grade Requirements; Incompletes & Review of Candidacy; and Incompletes][return to contents]


XIV. Language Requirements

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree in the Graduate Division of Religion are required to demonstrate a scholar’s reading competence in the language or languages required by their Area.  Unless noted, this demonstrated competence is not a prerequisite for admission into the program but may be attained during the course of the program, in accordance with the deadlines for completion of the language requirements (see Section XIV.B below).

A. Language Requirements by Area
1. Biblical Studies and Early ChristianityDemonstrated reading competence at the appropriate level in the relevant ancient languages is a prerequisite for admission into the Biblical Studies and Early Christianity M.A. and Ph.D. programs.  Proficiency in these languages is usually demonstrated by evidence of at least two semesters of prior course work in each language at a minimum of 3.0 grade level.

Demonstrated reading competence in German and one of the following languages is also required:  French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, or modern Hebrew.

If another language of biblical scholarship is deemed relevant to the student’s program, the student may petition for a substitution, which requires the recommendation of the student’s Area and the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing. This approval is contingent upon the availability of appropriate testing and grading resources.

2. Historical Studies
In Historical Studies, language requirements are necessarily tailored to the period and/or context of study.  Students of Late Antiquity are required to demonstrate reading competence in two scholarly languages other than English and two ancient languages, typically Latin and Greek.  Students of medieval Europe are required to demonstrate competence in medieval Latin as well as two scholarly languages other than English.  Students of Wesleyan/Methodist Studies are required to demonstrate competence in two scholarly languages other than English.  Students of American Religion and Culture are required to demonstrate reading competence in one language other than English.

Students in any specialty may pursue initial exams in German or French without petition.  If another language is deemed relevant to the student’s program, the student may petition for a substitution, which requires the recommendation of the student’s Area and the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing. This approval is contingent upon the availability of appropriate testing and grading resources.

Proficiency in ancient languages is usually demonstrated by evidence of at least two semesters of course work in each language at a minimum of 3.0 grade level.

3. Liturgical Studies

Demonstrated reading competence in two of the following languages is required: French, German, Latin, Koine Greek.

If another language is deemed relevant to the student’s program, the student may petition for a substitution, which requires the recommendation of the student’s Area and the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing.  This approval is contingent upon the availability of appropriate testing and grading resources.

4. Religion and Society

Demonstrated reading competence in two of the following languages is required: French, German, Portuguese, or Spanish.  International students whose native language is other than English may use English as their second research language.  They must, however, pass French, German, Portuguese, or Spanish before they commence their second year of coursework.

If another language is deemed relevant to the student’s program, the student may petition for a substitution, which requires the recommendation of the student’s Area and the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing. This approval is contingent upon the availability of appropriate testing and grading resources.

5. Theological and Philosophical Studies
Demonstrated reading competence in both French and German is typically required.

If another language is deemed relevant to the student’s program, the student may petition for a substitution, which requires the recommendation of the student’s Area and the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing. This approval is contingent upon the availability of appropriate testing and grading resources.

B. Deadlines for Completion of Language Requirements 1. A candidate for the Ph.D. cannot begin a second year of full-time study without having satisfied at least one of the language requirements.  In exceptional cases, a student may take two additional courses (without petition), but no further exceptions shall be allowed.

2. Students cannot petition for advanced standing from courses taken elsewhere until they have passed at least one language examination.

C. Additional Rights of Areas Pertaining to LanguagesBy virtue of the important role played by linguistic competence in the various disciplines, a given Area may:

1. require competence in additional languages (e.g., Hebrew, Greek, Latin) and determine how such competence is to be demonstrated;

2. propose the examination texts to be used by candidates in its Area;

3. set an accelerated schedule for meeting language requirements, and determine its own sanctions for failure to meet this schedule;

4. require its candidates to achieve a higher level of competence in a foreign language or languages than that prescribed for the GDR as a whole, and determine the means by which such competence is to be demonstrated.

D. Level of Proficiency Required in Language ExaminationsThe candidate must be able to use the language as a dependable tool.  A qualifying examination shall show understanding of the essential content of the passage at hand and shall avoid misconstruing the essential argument of the text being translated.  No thought or idea is to be left out, added or changed.  It is not required that the candidate demonstrate an ability to translate without error or write a polished translation; it is, however, expected that the translation will make sense in English and will show understanding of common idioms, grammar, syntax, and technical vocabulary appropriate to the candidate’s field.

E. Language Substitution 1. The initiative for substitution lies with the student, and the petition is addressed to the student’s Area.  On recommendation of the Area and approval by the Committee on Academic Standing, a candidate may substitute another language, normally a modern language, for one, and only one, of the languages prescribed, when the faculty of the Area deems such a language especially relevant to the candidate’s program of study, including the dissertation.

2. Petitions for language substitution will be entertained only after a student has passed one of the required language examinations.

3. The following criteria will be the basis for the determination by the Area and the Committee on Academic Standing of the legitimacy of such petitions:
a. the scholarly value of the proposed substitute language, that is to say:
i. the importance of the subject matter for which the language will be used in research; and
ii. the location of the literary corpus which is to be employed in such research;
b. the student’s knowledge of the proposed language;
c. whether the Graduate Division of Religion has funds to employ qualified scholars outside its faculty, when necessary, to supervise research in the substituted language.

4. Should the Area approve the student’s petition for language substitution, it shall be responsible for appointing a qualified reader for the exam.  (Should the result of the exam be disputed, the Area shall also be responsible for appointing a second reader.)  The Area and/or the reader shall identify an appropriate text from which the passage for translation shall be drawn.  The reader must be appointed and the text identified before the petition is sent on to the Committee on Academic Standing.  The Area shall also be responsible for seeing that the Caspersen School staff overseeing the exam is provided with access to the text and/or passage for translation.  The staff requires at least six weeks from the time the Committee on Academic Standing approves a language substitution to the date when the student sits the exam.  The Committee shall notify the staff when a substitution is approved.

5. Should the student be petitioning to substitute his or her native language for one of the prescribed languages, and should that language meet the criteria stipulated in A.3 above, no examination in the language will be required.  (English shall not be eligible for such substitution.)

F. Language Examination Procedures 1. Demonstration of a scholar’s reading competence in a foreign language is by written examination only.

2. One sitting of foreign language examinations will be administered four times a year, spaced so that there are no less than six weeks between sittings to allow for grading and further student preparation (normally August, October, January and April).  These are announced in the University calendar. In special cases, at the discretion of the GDR Administrative Office in consultation with the Chair, examinations may be given on dates other than those officially set. Students must register for examinations at least four weeks before the scheduled date.

3. Lists of suitable texts for translation practice may be provided by individual Areas, at their own discretion.  Sources from which examination passages are taken will not, however, be identified in advance.

4. The administration of language examinations and their grading will be the responsibility of the GDR Administrative Office, as follows:
a. at least three weeks before the scheduled date, the Office will notify Area conveners of any students from their Area registered to take examinations in a given sitting;
b. the convener will consult with Area members regarding suitable passages for the examinations and submit the passages at least one week before the scheduled date;
c. the Office will reproduce passages for an examination;
d. the Office will oversee the examinations;
e. the Office will send the examination papers to the readers, will record the results, and will notify students, advisers, the GDR Chair, and the Registrar.

5. Any printed translation tools may be brought to a language examination except previously translated practice examinations.  Mechanical translation devices, cell phones, and briefcases may not be brought into the examination room.

6. Grading of language examinations will be done by members of the language departments of the College of Liberal Arts, chosen by the Chair of the GDR in consultation with the GDR Steering Committee, preferably persons who have not been involved in the instruction of graduate students.  A grading rubric reflecting the required level of proficiency described above (XIV.D) shall be used by the reader; feedback—including specific examples—will be provided to any student who fails an examination.

7. Certification of successful completion, with a grade of B or higher, of language courses offered through the Princeton University Graduate School Summer Language Program or the CUNY Graduate Center Language Reading Program will be accepted as demonstration of a scholar’s reading competence in lieu of the examinations administered by the GDR.  This certification should come directly to the GDR Administrative Office from the certifying institution.  Students may petition their Area and the Academic Standing Committee for acceptance of certification from similar programs.

8. Failure of a language exam.
a. A student who fails an exam may retake the exam without  petition.
b. On the third failure of a given exam, the GDR Administrative Office shall report the failure to the Convener of the student’s Area.
c. The Area is then obligated to review the student’s status and to bring a recommendation to the Committee on Academic Standing such as the following:
i. that the student be required to withdraw;
ii. that the student will be involuntarily withdrawn from the program
iii. that the student be permitted to take the exam a fourth time upon demonstrating an appropriate plan of action.
d. If the student fails the fourth time, involuntary withdrawal from the program is automatic.  However, if the Area is firmly convinced of that student’s scholarly potential, the Area may appeal the automatic involuntary withdrawal of student status and request the Committee on Academic Standing to approve a final retake.  It states the grounds for this appeal in a letter to the Committee.  If the Committee grants the retake, a member of the language faculty shall review the last failed exam.  They may choose an appropriate alternative to the language exam, such as an oral examination on an assigned text conducted by a language instructor.  Such an oral examination will be both thorough and comprehensive.

G. Non-Native Speakers of English
1. As English is the language of instruction in the Graduate Division of Religion, all students are expected to be fully competent in English as a condition of their acceptance and matriculation.

2. All non-native speakers of English are required to take field-specific English reading and writing competency examination prior to matriculating for the first semester of their graduate study.  This examination shall be designed by the ESOL Coordinator in consultation with the student’s adviser.  If the examination reveals deficiency, a program to address that deficiency will be formulated by the ESOL Coordinator, again in consultation with the adviser.

[See the Student Guide on Languages and Language Requirements]     [return to contents]


XV. Comprehensive Examinations: General Regulations

Once a student in a Ph.D. program of the Graduate Division of Religion has completed his or her coursework and fulfilled his or her language requirements, he or she then prepares to take a series of intensive examinations in major aspects of his or her field of concentration and in preparation for his or her dissertation research.

A. Procedure for Approval of Examinations

1. Preparation for comprehensive examinations begins with a conference between the student and adviser to discuss the topic of each exam and possible readers, and to clarify standards and expectations.  (See Section XV.A.3.c below for guidelines regarding the selection of exam readers.) Subsequently, the student approaches the possible readers to determine their willingness to serve in this role and to discuss exam topics and bibliographies.  (In the exceptional case of an external reader, the faculty adviser should make contact as well; subsequently, upon notification by the faculty adviser, the GDR Administrative Assistant will send a letter to the external reader with relevant information.) After these consultations, the student shall fill out a comprehensive examination petition form, appending the following:
a. a framing statement of approximately 250 words locating the exam topics in the context of the student’s broad scholarly and teaching goals; note that if a student submits the comprehensive examination petition in two stages, each petition should include a framing statement and the second one should reference all four exams;
b. descriptions of approximately 250 words and bibliographies of approximately 25 monographs (or the equivalent in chapters or articles) for each individual examination; in some Areas, description and/or bibliographies of disciplinary exams may be standardized but should still be included.
c. names of proposed readers for each exam.
The form with appended descriptions and bibliographies, signed by the adviser, should be returned to the GDR office.  Consult Section XVI below for Area-specific policies regarding the comprehensive examination requirements and petition process:

2. When the GDR Administrative Office receives the petition, it shall satisfy itself:
a. that the student has met all of his or her language requirements;
b. that he or she has met, or will meet, his or her course requirements by the end of the current semester.
Thus satisfied, it shall send the petition to the Area for approval.

3. Upon receiving the petition from the GDR Administrative Office, the Area shall satisfy itself:
a. that the student’s academic record warrants the administration of the examinations;
b. that the topics proposed for examination are appropriate to the Area and to the student’s course of study and that the bibliographies are well-researched and up to date;
c. that the proposed readers are appropriate to the topics and that they include adequate faculty representation. No faculty member should read more than three of a given student’s exams or be first reader on more than two;  effort should be made to include at least one non-Area faculty member as reader of the interdisciplinary exam; and at least four faculty members should be involved in the grading of the exams of a given student. Readers of exams are typically GDR faculty.  When deemed appropriate by the Area, affiliate faculty or non-GDR faculty – the latter designated as an “Outside Reader” – can be appointed as either first, second, or (when needed) third reader of exams.   In rare situations the Area may appoint affiliate faculty or Outside Readers as both first and second readers of not more than one exam.

Thus satisfied, the Area shall forward the petition with its approval to the GDR Chair (via the GDR Administartive Office) for final confirmation that the petition is in conformity with GDR and Area requirements. If the Area is not prepared to approve any aspect of the petition, it shall recommend changes to the student.

B. Area Responsibility for Examinations Although an individual faculty member may compose a particular examination, an Area is ultimately responsible for overseeing such exams.  The Area should ascertain that its examinations are appropriate to its programs and pedagogic goals, as well as the specific time allowed for writing.  If individually composed examinations are not reviewed by the Area on a routine basis, they should at least be reviewed periodically.  Examinations composed by a faculty person outside the Area should be reviewed by the Area or its representative(s) to ensure the exam’s appropriateness.

C. Scheduling of Examinations 1. Comprehensive exam proposals are typically submitted to the GDR Administrative Office after the successful completion of course work and all required language exams.  In these cases, students may reserve exam dates with the GDR Administrative Assistant upon submission of the proposal.  These reservations are provisional, to be confirmed or canceled depending upon whether the proposal is approved by the Area.

2. In consultation with the student’s advisor, comprehensive exam proposals may be submitted during the student’s final semester of course work, if language requirements will also have been met before the start of the next semester.  If and when the proposals are approved, however, the student must wait to schedule exams until their transcript shows that all required language exams have been passed and all course work has been successfully completed.

3. Proctored comprehensive examinations shall be scheduled during certain weeks in August, late October/early November, January, and April selected by the GDR Administrative Assistant in consultation with the GDR Chair.  Comprehensive examination dates shall be filled on first come first served basis.  Dates for take-home examinations may be set at any time agreeable to the student and the writer of the examination, and paper-format examinations may be turned in anytime during the examination year, which typically ends with the second August following completion of course work.

4. Once comprehensive exams have been scheduled, students may not reschedule them with less than two weeks notice and approval by the adviser and first reader.

5. The Areas should submit all written exams (whether proctored or take-home) to the Graduate Division of Religion Office at least a week prior to the examination date.

6. Ideally, all four comprehensive exam proposals should be submitted simultaneously.  The Area has flexibility, however, to approve submission of petitions in two stages (with at least the two disciplinary exams being part of the initial proposal).

7. All four comprehensive examinations must be concluded within a period of fifteen months from the completion of coursework; under special circumstances, an extension of one semester may be granted by approval of the GDR chair, an extension of a second semester by approval of the Academic Standing Committee.

8. Any exam graded as Not Qualifying must be retaken within forty-five days.

9. Delays in completing exams may affect student status classification and therefore scholarship awards, visa eligibility, and federal loan obligations.

D. Administration of Examinations 1. The Graduate Division of Religion Office shall be responsible for administering the comprehensive examinations under guidelines approved by the faculty.

2. Materials permitted for closed-book examinations
a. Examinations may be handwritten or done on a laptop computer provided by the exam Proctor (ordinarily the GDR Administrative Assistant).
b. Students may bring pens/pencils, watch/clock and snacks to the examinations.  Nothing else is permitted except as specified in writing for a particular examination (e.g., a Greek-English New Testament; ordinarily such texts will be provided by the Proctor).
c. A tablet for jotting down notes and any other necessary materials will be provided by the Proctor.
d. Briefcases and cellular phones may not be taken into examination rooms.
e. All computer disks will be provided by the Proctor.  No other disks are permitted.

3. Time for writing examinations
The established time for completion and submission of a given examination shall be clearly stated and strictly observed.  No examination shall be accepted if it is submitted after the terminal hour announced.  Areas should exercise care that examinations are appropriate to the time for writing specified in the examination slate.

4. Place for taking closed-book examinations
All closed-book examinations, without exception, must be taken in rooms assigned by the GDR Office.  If necessary, two or more students may be assigned to the same room.  Students are expected to remain in the assigned examination area except for the necessary amenities.

5. Observance of regulations governing examinations
Students are responsible for observing the regulations governing the writing of the comprehensive examinations, including the Standards of Academic Honesty. (See Section XXI on “Academic Integrity”).  Note that consultation with others is not permitted in the case of take-home examinations or paper-format examinations and will be considered a breach of academic integrity, with one exception, namely, proof-reading of paper-format examinations.  If a proof-reader is consulted (whether a paid professional or a friend or family member), he or she must sign a statement verifying that corrections have been limited to minor mistakes of grammar, punctuation, or spelling and no help has been given with the content or structure of the exam or paper.
E. Grading Examinations
1. The Area is responsible for grading examinations in a timely fashion, ideally within two weeks for closed-book or take-home exams and four weeks for research papers, between August 15th and June 15th. Faculty member are not expected to grade examinations between June 15th and August 15th.

2. Two readers shall be appointed for each examination, and designated the first reader and the second reader.  The first reader shall have primary responsibility for composing the examination.  The examination shall be accorded one of three grades by the readers as follows: Qualifying (Q), Qualifying with Distinction (QD), or Not Qualifying (NQ).  The criteria by which exams are evaluated are described on the Comprehensive Examination Grading Rubric available on the GDR website. The readers shall initially assess exams independently of each other but may confer subsequently.  They may submit a single grade/rubric with a single set of merged comments under both readers’ names; a single grade/rubric but two sets of comments with individual readers identified; or two grades/rubrics and sets of comments with individual readers identified.  In cases where two grades are submitted and one is qualifying and the other is not qualifying, a third reader will be consulted to decide whether the exam is qualifying or not.  Third readers will remain anonymous and are not expected to submit comments.

3. It is not necessary that the first and second readers agree that a qualifying paper be awarded a distinction or not.  Once the student has completed all of his or her exams, if at least three-quarters of the grades awarded by individual readers are QD, the Area may recommend to the Committee on Academic Standing that “Passed with Distinction” be recorded on the student’s transcript.

4. Each examination shall be treated as a separate unit with its own integrity.  No pattern of excellence or of failure shall be read out of the examinations as a whole.  The candidate must demonstrate competence in each examination.

5. With respect to each examination, failure to qualify will allow the candidate one additional opportunity to take the examination. In the case of paper-format exams, the student will be given specific guidelines for revising the paper; no further retakes will be allowed if the initial revisions are not deemed acceptable. With all other exam formats, the student may apply to his or her Area in writing for permission to sit for a second retake if he or she does not qualify with the initial retake. The Area shall decide whether or not to permit the second retake.  The second retake may be administered in a different format, at the Area’s discretion.  The Area shall report its decision on the student’s petition to the Committee on Academic Standing.

6. If the Area decides not to permit the candidate to sit for a second retake examination, or if the candidate fails the second retake examination, the Area can recommend that:
a. the examination results qualify the candidate to receive a terminal M.Phil.;
b. his or her connection with the Graduate Division of Religion should be terminated without any degree being awarded.

7. Announcement of examination results
Although the Committee on Academic Standing oversees final approval of the results, readers’ grades shall be made available to the student approximately two weeks after an exam.  No report can be issued, however, until all grades have been received on an exam.  When all of a student’s exams have been completed, the Area shall discuss the results and forward a report to the Committee on Academic Standing. If the examination results are not deemed strong enough cumulatively to indicate readiness to proceed to write a dissertation, the student may be recommended for a terminal M.Phil., even if he or she has received a qualifying grade for each individual exam.

[See the Student Guide on Comprehensive Examinations]    [return to contents]


 

XVI. Comprehensive Examinations: By Area

Comprehensive examinations, as indicated below, vary according to the Ph.D. candidate’s field of study within the Graduate Division of Religion.  The exams are ordinarily taken at the completion of two years of residence coursework and the fulfillment of the language requirements.  The subjects of the exams, chosen by the student in consultation with his or her adviser, must be submitted, with the endorsement of the Area, through the GDR Office for approval by the Committee on Academic Standing well in advance of the anticipated time of writing (see Section XV.A above for further details).  GDR comprehensive examinations shall ordinarily be administered during four exam periods distributed throughout the academic year.  At the appropriate time each year, the GDR Administrative Assistant in consultation with the GDR Chair shall select certain weeks in August, November, January, and April to be the designated exam periods.

The common template for comprehensive examinations in the GDR is as follows.  Four comprehensive examinations are required of each candidate for the Ph.D.:
two Area-based disciplinary exams, in formats that the given Area deems appropriate;
one interdisciplinary exam, the format to be determined by a consultation between the student, the advisor, and the exam writer;
one topical exam, which may be directly related to the student’s dissertation interests, in the format of a 30-35 page research paper.

Each Area has adapted this common template to meet the specific needs of its own programs and students.

A. Biblical Studies and Early Christianity
1. The Area-based disciplinary exams
The two Area-based disciplinary exams for both Hebrew Bible: Critical Issues in Biblical Literature, and Religion in Ancient Israel: Popular and Official, are as follows:
The Literature of the Hebrew Bible;
The Religion and Culture of Ancient Israel.
The two Area-based disciplinary exams for New Testament and Early Christianity are as follows:
The Literature of the New Testament;
The History and Formation of Early Christianity.
All four are closed-book exams.

2. Length of time allowed for closed-book exams
All closed-book exams in the Biblical Studies and Early Christianity Area are six-hour exams, the intention being to create conditions in which the student shall have ample time to display his or her knowledge of the subject.  Students shall, however, identify one or other of their two Area-based disciplinary exams as their major exam.  More extensive preparation shall be expected for the major exam than for the minor one, and it may contain more questions.

3. The interdisciplinary exam
The format of the interdisciplinary exam is variable (e.g., closed-book, forty-eight hour take-home), and shall be determined by the first reader of the exam in consultation with the student.  A range of options is also possible with regard to the content of the exam.  It could be a matter of a Hebrew Bible/Ancient Israel student taking one of the Area-based disciplinary exams offered by New Testament and Early Christianity, for example, or conversely of a New Testament and Early Christianity student taking one of the Area-based disciplinary exams offered by Hebrew Bible/Ancient Israel.  Or it could be a matter of the student taking one of the comprehensive exams offered by another GDR Area, or of him or her taking an exam outside the field of religion or religious studies altogether—e.g., in anthropology, literary theory, sociology, or women’s studies.

4. Exam proposals
With their comprehensive exam petition form (see Section XV.A.1 above), Biblical Studies and Early Christianity students shall also submit proposals for their interdisciplinary and topical exams for approval by the Area and the Committee on Academic Standing.  (No such proposals are required for the two Area-based disciplinary exams.) The proposal shall consist of 50-100 words for each exam. In addition to a clear description of the scope of the proposed exam and its potential value to the student, each proposal shall include the name of the proposed first reader.  The student shall have consulted beforehand with the proposed first readers for both the interdisciplinary and topical exams and secured their agreement to write the exam or set the research paper topic.  A policy of anonymity will be maintained for second readers, however.  In other words, the student shall not ordinarily know the identity of the second reader.

5. The topical exam
When the student is ready to embark on the topical exam (which shall consist of a 30-35 page research paper, as stipulated above), he or she shall consult with the proposed first reader to develop a viable topic, proposal, and bibliography, and settle on an appropriate deadline for completion.  Neither the first nor second reader shall read and comment on drafts of the paper prior to the final draft, however, so that its production will be a true examination of the student’s scholarly capabilities.

6. Exam bibliographies
Students shall compile a bibliography of 30-40 works (books and significant articles and/or essays) for the Area-based disciplinary examination that they designate as their major one (see A.2 above).  Students shall compile a bibliography of 20-25 works for each of the remaining three examinations.  Students shall be encouraged to include in their bibliographies at least some items in the modern languages in which they will already have been examined.  The bibliography for each exam shall be discussed with, and approved by, the proposed first reader.  Following his or her approval, the bibliographies shall be submitted with the petition and proposals for the exams for the approval of the Area and the Committee on Academic Standing.

7. Petitioning for fewer than four exams
Students should be encouraged to petition for all four of their comprehensive exams together.  The Area and the Committee on Academic Standing shall, however, have latitude to approve a petition for the two Area-based disciplinary exams only, the student deferring petitioning for the interdisciplinary and topical exams until a later date.

B. Historical Studies

1. The disciplinary exams (6-hour, closed book, followed by 1-hour oral exam)
The student shall select two periods/contexts in the history of Christianity on which to be examined, choosing either from among the following options or from a proposed alternative:
Early Roman Empire (circa 50-300)
Late Roman Empire (circa 300-500)
Early Medieval Europe (circa 500-1000)
High and Late Medieval Europe (circa 1000-1500)
Early Modern Atlantic World (circa 1500-1800)
Modern U.S. in Global Contexts (1800-2000)

2. The interdisciplinary exam (6-hour, closed-book, plus 1-hour oral OR 48-hour take-home OR 30-35 page research paper)
The interdisciplinary examination may address a discipline or sub-discipline outside History (e.g., feminist theology; social ethics; ritual studies; literary theory); a topic that straddles History and other disciplines (e.g., historiography); or a sub-field within Historical Studies (e.g., a theoretical or methodological topic, including a historical period/context, different from the student’s primary expertise).

3. The topical exam
A 30-35 page essay on the contemporary scholarly discussion that underlies a central issue in the student’s prospective dissertation, including a survey of the historical antecedents of this discussion.  The essay should not so much argue a thesis as define a field of discourse (although the definition of such a field of discourse may itself constitute a kind of argument, or set of arguments).  The scholarly discussion or field of discourse mapped by the essay may be confined largely to one traditional academic discipline; it may engage an ongoing interdisciplinary exchange; or it may seek to open up new exchanges across disciplines.  Overlap between the essay and the other three comprehensive examinations should be minimal.  As in the case of the other examinations, a definite time frame for completing the exam is set at the time the examination topics are approved.

C. Liturgical Studies
Three six-hour closed book examinations and one research paper are required as follows:

1. The interdisciplinary exam
An interdisciplinary examination is understood to include disciplines within the Liturgical Studies field such as: Homiletics, Liturgics, and Music as well as disciplines taught by faculty outside the Area.  First readers who are not Liturgical Studies faculty members may request an alternative exam format.

2. The period exam
Liturgical developments in one of the following historical periods:  Early Christian, Medieval, Reformation, or Modern.

3. The figure or movement exam
One figure or movement of importance to liturgical or homiletical development chosen from options outside the Period examination.

4. The topical research paper
This 35 page research paper shall be the final comprehensive requirement.  The paper research shall begin the semester immediately following the last examination and the time limit for its completion is one semester. It should be relevant to the student’s dissertation interests, and demonstrate a critical and systematic analysis of a topic of significance in Liturgical Studies.

Further regulations specific to the Liturgical Studies Area and pertaining to comprehensive examinations:

1. A student may submit the proposal for the comprehensive examinations to the Area at the end of his or her final semester of coursework, presuming the successful completion of those courses.  Failure to complete the coursework at the end of the semester will require a resubmission of the proposed examinations.

2. If a comprehensive examination is considered marginal on the basis on one of the answers being considered as Not Qualifying, but the rest of the exam is considered as Qualifying, the readers shall have the option of offering the student the opportunity to write a substantial essay (15-20 pages) in response to the given question.  The essay shall be turned in for review no later than three weeks after the date on which the comprehensive exam was taken.  If the essay satisfies the readers as meeting the requirement for a Q, then the final grade will be changed to a Q.

D. Religion and Society
1. There are four required exams in the Religion and Society Area:
a. History and Theory Exam:  An exam on the history and theory of the student’s area of concentration (6 hr closed book)–sociology of religion; psychology and religion; Christian social ethics.
b. A Major thinker and/or a School of Thought:  An exam relative to major figure(s) or a school of thought in the student’s area of concentration – For this exam, students should also be able to discuss the social and intellectual context of the figure(s). If a student chooses two figures, they will be expected to compare the figures. (6 hr closed book or 48 hr open book).
c. Interdisciplinary Exam:  An exam exploring the intersection between the student’s area of concentration and another field within R&S, or another discipline within GDR.  Students may petition to include other relevant disciplines. (all formats).
d. Topical Exam:  A contemporary issue related to the area of the student’s concentration.  In this exam, students are encouraged to be interdisciplinary in their approach. This exam may be directly related to the student’s dissertation interests (30-35 page paper).

2. There are four possible formats for the comps from which the student can choose (with certain limitations):
a. A 6-hour closed-book exam
b. A footnoted essay of 30-35 pages.
c. A 3-hour oral exam.
d. A 48-hour take-home exam.

3. Special notes
a. Exam proposals should include a one-page doubled spaced statement and a bibliography.
b. Only one of the exams can be an oral exam.
c. The History and Theory exam can only be a 6-hour closed-book exam.
d. Taking an oral exam is not required, but it is recommended.
e. Students with special needs may petition the Area for exceptions to these comprehensive examination regulations.
f. In evaluating exams, faculty will be attentive to the format of the exam.  For example, more extensive citations will be required in a take-home exam or a footnoted essay than in an oral or a closed-book exam.

E. Theological and Philosophical Studies
After the completion of course work and the two language exams, three written examinations and a research essay are required (see details under each concentration).  Working in consultation with his or her adviser, a student shall develop a proposal for the first three exams.  That proposal should include a rationale and bibliography for each exam, and should be no longer than ten pages.  The document is then submitted to the Area for approval.  The research essay may be proposed at the same time, or at any time up until one month following the completion of the third exam.

1. Theological StudiesThe concentration requires two six-hour examinations, an interdisciplinary exam and a research essay, distributed as follows:

a. School, method or figure
A method, school of thought, or figure that exemplifies a significant approach to theology within the modern period.

b. Theological theme or doctrine
The development of a theological theme or doctrinal issue pertinent to the student’s current interest will be traced through two historical periods and put in critical relation to contemporary theological discussion on that theme or doctrine.

c. The interdisciplinary exam
An exam on a theological figure, topic, or movement, focusing on the intersection and cross-fertilization of theology with another discipline, either within or outside the Area – e.g., philosophy, historical studies, biblical studies, ethics, liturgical studies, sociology or anthropology of religion, psychology, etc.  The exam is to be constructed in consultation with faculty of that other discipline when possible.  Interdisciplinary engagement with the natural sciences is also a possibility, given availability of appropriate faculty.

d. The research paper
A 30-35 page essay on the contemporary scholarly discussion that underlies a central issue in the student’s prospective dissertation, including a survey of the historical antecedents of this discussion.  The essay should not so much argue a thesis as define a field of discourse (although the definition of such a field of discourse may itself constitute a kind of argument, or set of arguments).  The scholarly discussion or field of discourse mapped by the essay may be confined largely to one traditional academic discipline; it may engage an ongoing interdisciplinary exchange; or it may seek to open up new exchanges across disciplines.  Overlap between the essay and the other three comprehensive examinations should be minimal.  As in the case of the other examinations, a definite time frame for completing the exam is set at the time the examination topics are approved.

2. Philosophical StudiesThe concentration requires two six-hour examinations, an interdisciplinary exam and a research essay, distributed as follows:

a. Field and figure
The history of a single field of philosophy approached in light of the work of one or more major figures in that field.  Possible fields include: philosophy of religion, metaphysics, epistemology, hermeneutics, or ethics.  The historical scope of the field within which the key figure or figures are set is from ancient Greece to the present.

b. Period
A single period in the history of philosophy: Ancient Greece through the 13th century; Renaissance through Kant; or Hegel to the present.  The exam addresses theological and religious, as well as philosophical, issues, introducing into philosophical studies work from the other concentrations.

c. The interdisciplinary exam
An exam on a philosophical figure, topic, or movement, focusing on the intersection and cross-fertilization of philosophy with another discipline, either within or outside the Area – e.g., theology, historical studies, ethics, sociology or anthropology of religion, psychology, etc.  The exam is to be constructed in consultation with faculty of that other discipline when possible.  Interdisciplinary engagement with the natural sciences is also a possibility, given availability of appropriate faculty.

d. The research paper
As described above for Theological Studies.

[See the
Student Guide on Comprehensive Examinations
]    [return to contents]


XVII. Doctor of Philosophy Dissertation and Defense

A dissertation demonstrating the student’s ability to perform and creatively to interpret advanced research is an essential requirement of the doctorate.  The student should expect that it will take at least a year of full-time work to research and write the dissertation.  The student must register for two semesters of dissertation research (18 credits total).

A. Formation of the Dissertation Committee
1. The selection of a dissertation topic and preliminary definition and exploration of that topic may commence at any time in the student’s graduate program.

2. After all comprehensive examinations have been passed, the student should discuss the proposed dissertation project with the faculty member (not necessarily the student’s current academic adviser) likely to be the Dissertation Committee Chair.  The Chair must be a full-time member of the Graduate Division of Religion faculty.

3. The Dissertation Committee shall typically include  three faculty members and shall only exceed four members under exceptional circumstances.  Dissertation committee members shall typically be drawn from the GDR faculty.  In cases where our faculty cannot provide necessary expertise, the inclusion of an external reader may be considered upon submission by the student of a rationale for the inclusion, with the signed support of the probable Dissertation Committee Chair.  After the student and probable Dissertation Committee Chair have mutually chosen the other potential members of the Committee, the student should ask those who are members of the Graduate Division of Religion whether they are willing to serve.  In the case where a scholar from outside Drew is proposed for membership on the Committee, no contact should be made with the external scholar unless and until the Committee has been approved by both Area and GDR Chair.  At that point, it is the responsibility of the Committee Chair, not the student, to initiate contact.  If the external scholar accepts the invitation, the Committee Chair shall inform the GDR Chair, who shall issue the official letter of invitation.

4. The student shall submit a completed Dissertation Committee form to the Area Convener for action by the Area.

5. If the Area approves the proposed Committee, it shall be sent to the GDR Chair for final approval; where there is a conflict of roles or interest, it shall be sent to the Steering Committee.  If the Area does not approve the proposed Committee, it shall recommend further discussion among the relevant parties.  If problems arise at any point in the process, the student, or members of the Committee, may bring the matter to the attention of the Area or the GDR Chair and request assistance in solving the matter.  Should such negotiations fail to bring about a resolution satisfactory to all parties, the Dean shall make the final decision on the membership of the Dissertation Committee.  If, for any reason, a faculty member leaves a Dissertation Committee, the GDR Chair, in consultation with the Area and the student, shall make arrangements for a new reader.

B. The Dissertation Prospectus
1. The student shall develop a dissertation prospectus in consultation with the Dissertation Committee.  The prospectus must follow the standards outlined in the “Guide for Writing the Prospectus” (available from the Graduate Division of Religion Office.)

2. The student is required to meet with the Dissertation Committee to discuss a full draft of the prospectus.  At this meeting, it is also advisable to discuss how the student will interact with the committee members during the dissertation writing process.  Following initial approval by the Committee, the prospectus shall be submitted to the GDR Chair for review by the Academic Life Constellation.  The recommendation of the Academic Life Constellation will be sent to the student and his or her Dissertation Committee within four weeks of the submission.  Determination of revisions to be made, if any, and final approval of the Prospectus rests with the Dissertation Committee and should be registered with the GDR Office via the Dissertation Prospectus Form.

C.    Writing the Dissertation
1. The student and the Chair of the Dissertation Committee, in consultation with the other members of the committee, should determine how they will interact during the dissertation writing process.  For example, it may be decided that the Chair will review and comment on the student’s work chapter by chapter while the other committee members await a final draft; alternately, the entire committee may read and comment chapter by chapter.  When a chapter is submitted, the Chair (and, if agreed, the other members of the committee) is responsible for getting back to the student in a timely fashion, ideally within four weeks during the academic year (August 15 to June 15).  Faculty members are not obliged to read dissertations between June 15 and August 15, a period set aside for the purpose of study, writing, and course development.

2. The dissertation should be formatted according to the guidelines of The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). The current edition is the 16th, published in August 2010.

D. Final Reading and Oral Examination of the Dissertation
1. Three copies of the dissertation, in final form—contained in spring binders or three-ring binders provided by the degree candidate, or boxes provided by a printing company hired by the candidate—shall be submitted by the Ph.D. candidate to the GDR Administrative Assistant for the purpose of final reading and oral examination.  The deadlines are set in the GDR calendar.  The deadlines for May, August, and December graduations are set in the GDR calendar.  Faculty time shall be protected from June 15 to August 15.

2. On receipt of the dissertation in final form, the GDR Administrative Assistant will forward copies to the Dissertation Committee.

3. A ballot will be attached to each copy of the dissertation in its final form.  Each member of the Dissertation Committee must mark and return the ballot, stating whether or not the dissertation is ready for examination.  If the Dissertation Committee reports two negative judgments, the dissertation will be considered not ready for examination.  If the three members of the Dissertation Committee agree that the dissertation is ready for examination, and so indicate on the ballots provided, then the student shall proceed to arrange a day and time for an oral defense through the GDR Administrative Assistant.  Once the date and time is established with the Committee members, the Administrative Assistant shall reserve a room where the defense will take place.  If conference call technology is required to enable participation by an external reader, the Administrative Assistant shall also make the necessary arrangements.

4. A 350-word abstract of the dissertation shall be prepared by the candidate and submitted in three copies to the GDR Office no later than the time of the oral defense.

5. The Administrative Assistant shall provide the Chair of the Dissertation Committee with the Oral Examination Certificate used in an oral defense.

6. The members of the Dissertation Committee shall question the candidate on the dissertation, hear his or her defense, and reach a judgment by majority vote in accordance with the following schedule of evaluations:

a. Pass
Certain minor typographical and/or stylistic changes to the dissertation may be required.

b. Pass with Major Revisions
The dissertation is essentially sound and the candidate shows strength in its defense, but portions of it may need to be recast or more extensively elaborated.  Such revisions must be approved by the Dissertation Committee.

c. Pass with Distinction The Dissertation Committee may recommend to the GDR faculty that “Distinction” be recorded on the student’s transcript.

d. Fail
Submission of a rewritten or new dissertation is permissible.  This is a clear failure; however, the committee will advise the student how this judgment is to be construed in his or her case.

e. Final Fail No provision for resubmission is permitted.

7. Following a successful defense, the candidate shall meet with the Administrative Assistant regarding the final submission of the dissertation on at least 25% cotton fiber content or acid-free paper.

E. Further Customs of the Doctoral Defense
1. The defense of a doctoral dissertation shall be open to members of the faculty of Drew University, to students of the Graduate Division of Religion of Drew University, and to whichever appropriate members of the public the candidate chooses to invite.  With regard to invitations extended to the public, consultation with the dissertation advisor is recommended.

2. The examining committee shall meet privately before and after the public defense–before, to review the candidate’s academic record and to discuss the main questions to be put to the candidate and other matters of procedure; after, to determine the outcome of the defense.  The candidate is not present at either of those meetings.

3. It shall be at the discretion of each examining committee whether to permit questions to be put to the candidate from other members of the University faculty who are not on the examining committee.

4. Under very special circumstances, on written recommendation of a Dissertation or Thesis Committee, the Dean is empowered to declare an oral defense private, in which case only the candidate and the Committee are permitted to attend.

F. Microfilming the Dissertation
The contract with
University Microfilms for microfilming the dissertation and including
the abstract in Dissertation Abstracts must be signed and the fees for
this service paid in order for the degree to be conferred.

[See the Student Guide on the Doctoral Dissertation]    [return to contents]


XVIII. Policy Governing Retention of Student Records

The following is the policy of the Graduate Division of Religion with regard to the retention of student records:

A. An academic folder shall remain “active” until the student has been graduated or withdraws.  Then it shall become “inactive” and shall be stored for a period of an additional five years, after which it shall be offered to the University Archives.

B. Comprehensive examinations shall be retained for one year after their disposition by the Committee on Academic Standing.

C. Language examinations shall be retained for one month after their grades are reported to the student and the Registrar.

D. Proposals and prospectuses shall be retained in a student’s academic folder, as such shall be subject to the process outlined in A. above.

E. Admissions folders shall be treated as follows.  The folders of students who are accepted are given to the Registrar.  The folders of those who do not enroll are returned to the GDR Admissions Office where they are retained for a period of three years.  The folders of those who do enroll are retained by the Registrar for a period of five years.  Thereafter parts of the folder are microfilmed and retained in perpetuity.  The folders of students who are rejected are retained in the Admissions Office for a period of three years.

F. All documents pertinent to financial aid shall be kept in the office of the Director of Financial Aid for a period of seven years.

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XIX. Transcripts and Dossiers

A. Transcripts of Drew students and graduates are mailed to other schools or potential employers at student or alumni/ae request only when financial records are clear and no outstanding bills are owed the university.

B. For dossier needs, GDR students and graduates are advised to use Interfolio, a well  respected online credentials service. Interfolio offers a secure dossier service, acting as a third-party depository for letters of recommendation, writing samples, curriculum vitae, and other pertinent documents, for their clients. Upon request, Interfolio will deliver the dossier to the requested institution by either electronic or hard copy. Express delivery options are available. Clients are able to track the progress of their request, and confirm shipment of the documents.

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XX. Appealing a Grade

A. Responsibility for GradesThe assignment of final grades for a course shall be the responsibility of the instructor in charge of the course.

B. Appeal of gradesA student who believes a final course grade to be in error, unfair, or inappropriate should take the following steps:
1. The student shall first seek to resolve the matter in conversation with the instructor of the course.

2. If after conferring with the instructor of the course the issue is still not resolved, the student should confer with the Area Convener, or with the GDR Chair, if the course falls outside the Area or if the instructor of the course is also the Convener of the Area.  If the course is within the Area and the instructor is not the Convener, the Convener may confer with the instructor or convene a meeting of the Area faculty to consider the matter.  If the instructor is also the Convener of the Area, the GDR Chair shall confer with the instructor/convener.  If deemed desirable, the GDR Chair may convene a meeting of the Area faculty to consider the matter, either chairing the meeting or asking a member of the Area other than the Convener to chair the meeting.

3. If the matter is not resolved through the Area, or the course falls outside the student’s Area, the student may appeal to the GDR Chair with a request that the complaint be heard by the Committee on Academic Standing.  If the GDR Chair deems that the matter cannot be otherwise resolved, he or she will forward the appeal to the Committee.

4. No complaining instructor or student who is party to the appeal shall sit as a member of the Committee while it is hearing the appeal.

5. A student appealing to the Committee on Academic Standing shall submit a written statement setting forth the reasons he/she believes the grade to be in error, unfair, or inappropriate.  This statement shall be forwarded to the instructor, who shall submit a statement explaining the reasons the grade was given and why a change is not appropriate.  The instructor’s statement shall be furnished to the student prior to the hearing.  The Committee may require of both the instructor and the student copies of all documents it judges to be relevant to its deliberations.

6. The Committee shall invite both the student and the instructor to attend the hearing.  The student and the instructor may be counseled, advised, and represented before the Committee by any Drew faculty member, administrator, or student who is not a member of the Committee and who agrees to serve.  Using such representation is optional.

7. With the approval of the Committee, either party may invite Drew faculty members, administrators, and/or students other than the principals to make either written or personal statements to the Committee, provided their relevance to the issue can be demonstrated in advance.

8. In its conduct of the hearing and in its deliberations, the Committee shall seek to determine to what extent the issue is one of procedure in the treatment of a particular student, and to what extent the issue is one of substance, i.e., the evaluation of the quality of the student’s work.

9. After the hearing, the Committee, in executive session, shall determine its conclusions.
a. If the issue is determined to be basically procedural, the Committee will decide whether the grade has been fairly assigned.  If it decides that a change should be made, it may request the Registrar to do so.  The Committee’s decision shall be put in writing and copies forwarded to the GDR Chair, the Area Convener, the student, and the professor.
b. If the issue is determined to be basically substantive, the Committee may recommend that the instructor reconsider the grade in light of considerations that the Committee sets forth, or it may recommend that the GDR Chair appoint a panel of faculty to review the student’s work and recommend a grade.  In the latter instance, work of other students enrolled in the course should be included in the review, if at all possible, in order to relate the work of the student under review to the instructor’s evaluation of the work of other students in the course.  Such a review panel shall communicate its decision to the Committee on Academic Standing, which will make a decision and recommend a grade to the Registrar.  This decision will be reported in writing to the instructor, his/her Area Convener, the GDR Chair, and the student.

10. The sequence of any appeal can be outlined as follows:
a. to instructor
b. to Convener
c. to Area
d. to Committee on Academic Standing and Curriculum

11. Time Limit:  Any appeal of a grade must be made within the semester immediately following its assignment.

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