Students are required to take twelve courses (in addition to any language courses), and this is normally done during the first two years of study. Student must earn a grade of Honors in two graduate courses, a requirement set by the Graduate School.
The expectation is that students will take at least five of their twelve courses with core teaching faculty in Religion and Modernity. These five may include the required doctoral pro-seminar in the study of religion, RLST 510. In addition, students are encouraged to study with affiliated teaching faculty in Religion and Modernity, as well as to explore other fields within the Department of Religious Studies and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
In preparation for the qualifying examination, students coming out of coursework will, by the end of second year:
I: Decide upon a primary faculty advisor, if they have not already done so.
II: Constitute their exam committee of two additional faculty members in consultation with their primary faculty advisor, who will chair the exam committee.
III: Develop exam bibliographies in three areas, each of which will be supervised by one of the three faculty members on the exam committee. The number of books on each list will be between thirty to sixty books.
IV: Set dates for both the written and the oral components of the exam.
By the end of the third year and before the qualifying examination, students are to prepare two written works: a scholarly review of a recent book that bears directly on the proposed dissertation area and an essay written with an eye to publication in a scholarly journal. The essay may emerge from course work. Both pieces of writing will be developed in conversation with advisory faculty.