• Doctor of Philosophy

  • Requirements

    Credit Requirement

    Forty-two credits beyond those accepted for the Master of Arts degree apportioned as follows:

    • 18 credits in the major, at least 3 of which must be in a doctoral seminar or the equivalent
    • 6 credits in a related field of general studies, selected in consultation with the dean and adviser in the field of concentration
    • 6 additional credits in or out of the field of concentration to be determined in consultation with the faculty adviser
    • 6 credits (Subject) 9978 Doctoral Planning, consisting of preparation for doctoral examinations and formulation of a dissertation topic
    • If additional semesters are needed for doctoral planning, students register for (Subject) 9979 Doctoral Planning II
    • 6 credits of (Subject) 9981 Doctoral Research
    • If additional semesters of residence are required, students register for (Subject) 9982 Doctoral Research II

    In addition to the 42 credits, a student may be required by the faculty of a given concentration to master particular skills or areas of knowledge deemed necessary for the doctoral research.

    Residence Requirement

    Setting aside the 12 credits of doctoral planning and research, the PhD program consequently requires 30 course credits beyond the Master of Arts degree. Twenty four of these must be taken at the school or by prior arrangement with the school. It follows that up to 6 credits may be transferred toward the PhD degree from other institutions. These must be doctoral-level courses taught in accredited graduate programs.

    Since up to 6 credits may also be transferred toward the Master of Arts degree, a student accepted into the doctoral program who has taken graduate courses in another institution but has not received a master's degree recognized by Revel may transfer up to 12 credits toward the 72-credit requirement. At least six of these must be doctoral-level courses, while the remaining six may be master's-level courses. The applicability of a course to the Revel doctoral program is determined on a case-by-case basis.

    Full-Time Residency

    For students taking coursework, at least 9 credits each semester are required for full-time status. The dean may certify students in doctoral planning or doctoral research as full-time irrespective of the number of credits for which they are registered.

    Language Examinations

    The student must pass examinations in French and German, administered or approved by the School, before the approval of a doctoral proposal. With permission of the faculty advisor and the Dean, a research language may be substituted for one of these.

    Field Examinations

    Upon completing all coursework, the student must pass comprehensive examinations testing:

    • A broad knowledge of the field of concentration.
    • Knowledge of areas of general and/or Jewish studies related to the field of concentration.
    • In some concentrations, skill and ability to handle primary sources.

    These examinations are based on knowledge of the primary and secondary literature.

    Dissertation Requirement

    As a first step, the student meets with a sponsor to develop a potential topic; then the dean in consultation with the sponsor chooses an additional reader of the proposal to further monitor the beginnings of research. Out of these consultations will emerge a formal proposal that will be submitted to the faculty for approval.

    When a proposal has been approved, the dean, in consultation with the sponsor and the faculty, appoints an appropriate dissertation committee. At this time, the student must also meet with an appropriate member of the Office of the Registrar concerning the proper format for the dissertation.

    After the dissertation has been completed and approved by the dissertation committee, a defense is scheduled.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress:

    Federal regulations now require all institutions to establish, publish, and apply standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for federal financial aid eligibility.  Since these must be at least as rigorous as the school’s policy for students not receiving such aid, these regulations effectively mandate the establishment of standards for all students.

    The BRGS policy is as follows:
    PhD Degree:
    Students admitted as full-time doctoral students are required to complete their degree within ten years.  All course assignments must be completed within a semester and summer of the completion of a course, though faculty may require more timely submission.  Students who have enrolled in 12 credits or more in the doctoral program must have completed at least 75% successfully in order to remain in good standing.   Withdrawals—even without penalty—count in this calculation.  To remain in good standing after the completion of 12 credits, a student must have maintained a grade point average of 3.0.  Full time status can be maintained after the completion of regular courses if the Dean and primary doctoral adviser affirm that the student is engaged in full time work on preparation for language examinations, the general examination in the major and minor fields, and the writing of the dissertation proposal and the dissertation itself.

    For full-time students who enter the program with an MA degree in the same field as the doctoral concentration:

    At least six courses must be completed in the first year, and the remaining four courses other than doctoral research and planning must be completed by the end of the second year.  In cases where the two required outside courses were not readily available during the second year, completion of the ten required courses may be postponed to the third year.  The two language examinations must be completed by the end of the fourth year.  However, students must consult with their advisers to determine whether their research obligations require them to pass one or both language examinations at an earlier point.  The general examination in the major and minor fields must be completed by the end of the fifth year.  The dissertation proposal must be submitted by the end of the sixth year.  Subsequent to approval of the proposal, work on the dissertation must proceed at a pace certified as satisfactory by the dissertation advisor.

    For full time students admitted directly from college with a BA degree or with a M.A degree in a field other than the doctoral concentration:

    At least six courses must be completed in each of the first two years. The remaining eight courses other than doctoral research and planning must be completed by the end of the third year.  In cases where the two required outside courses were not readily available during the second or third year, completion of the twenty required courses may be postponed to the fourth year.  The two language examinations must be completed by the end of the fifth year.    However, students must consult with their advisers to determine whether their research obligations require them to pass one or both language examinations at an earlier point.  The general examination in the major and minor fields must be completed by the end of the sixth year.  The dissertation proposal must be submitted by the end of the seventh year.  Subsequent to approval of the proposal, work on the dissertation must proceed at a pace certified as satisfactory by the dissertation advisor.

    Students admitted as part-time doctoral students are required to complete their degree within twelve years.  They must complete their course work other than doctoral planning and research as well as their language examinations by the end of the summer following their seventh year.  However, students must consult with their advisers to determine whether their research obligations require them to pass one or both language examinations at an earlier point.  The general examination in the major and minor fields must be completed by the end of the eighth year.  The dissertation proposal must be submitted by the end of the ninth year.  Subsequent to approval of the proposal, work on the dissertation must proceed at a pace certified as satisfactory by the dissertation advisor.

    Progress will be reviewed annually.

    Students who entered the program before the issuing of these regulations (September 2014) must either meet these deadlines or complete the program by September 2017.

    Students who have taken a leave or otherwise experienced special circumstances may request an extension of these deadlines.  Students granted such an extension should contact the Office of Student Finance to determine their eligibility for government assistance.

    Needless to say, students are encouraged to work more quickly and complete their degrees as expeditiously as possible

    Administrative Requirement
    • Approbation of the faculty and president
    • Filing an Application for Graduation during the registration period of the semester in which the student completes all requirements

    Please contact Rona Steinerman at steinerm@yu.edu if you have further questions.

Yeshiva University
500 West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033
212.960.5400

Connect With YU