Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

PhD Studies FAQ

What are the prerequisite degrees for the PhD program?
Applicants must hold the MDiv, ThM, or STM degree, or their equivalent. Applicants holding the MDiv degree will apply to Stage 1 of the PhD program. Applicants holding the ThM or STM degree will apply to Stage 2 of the PhD program.
Is there a minimum GPA requirement in order to be considered for the PhD program?
Normally a GPA of 3.5 or higher is required for admission to the PhD program. However, all areas of an applicant’s background are considered in the application process.
Am I required to take the GRE?
No. At present we do not require the completion of the GRE for application purposes.
What are the Greek and Hebrew requirements for the PhD program?
Applicants entering Stage 1 must give evidence either by transcript or by examination of at least one year of study in biblical Hebrew and two years of study in New Testament Greek. Applicants entering Stage 2 must give evidence either by transcript or by examination of at least two years of study in biblical Hebrew and two and a half years of study in New Testament Greek. Any deficiencies in these areas must be made up without credit in the PhD program.
Must a master’s thesis be completed before applying to the PhD program?
Applicants holding the MDiv degree and applying to Stage 1 of the PhD program will complete a master’s thesis once admitted to Stage 1 of the PhD program.

Applicants holding the ThM or STM degree may apply to Stage 2 of the PhD program while their thesis is in process. However, the thesis must be satisfactorily completed by May 15 for full acceptance into Stage 2 of the PhD program.
How many credit hours are required for completion of the PhD program?
Stage 1 requires completion of 26 credit hours (including a 2 credit hour thesis). Stage 2 requires completion of 35 credit hours (including a 3 credit hour dissertation).
How do I advance from Stage 1 of the PhD program to Stage 2?
Either upon completion of all Stage 1 course work, or during your last semester of Stage 1 course work, you must satisfactorily complete a written and oral qualifying exam for advancement to Stage 2 of the PhD program. Once you satisfactorily complete all course work and the written and oral qualifying exams, you may advance to Stage 2.
What if I do not pass the qualifying exams for advancement from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of the PhD program?
If you do not pass the qualifying exams for advancement to Stage 2 of the program, you may elect to transfer your credits into the STM degree program. You can then complete an additional six credit hours to earn the STM degree.
Can I transfer any master’s courses into Stage 1 of the PhD program?
Transfer of master’s level courses into Stage 1 of the PhD program is rare, but it is considered on a case-by-case basis.
Can I transfer any PhD course work from another institution?
Normally work done in other institutions may not be credited toward Stage 2 of the PhD program.
Must I have reading proficiency in French or German before applying to the program?
Reading proficiency in French and German is not necessary before applying to the PhD program. Once admitted to the PhD program, a student must demonstrate proficiency in one modern language before the completion of the first semester of Stage 2 course work and must demonstrate proficiency in the second modern language before the completion of the third semester of Stage 2 course work. Courses in Reading Theological French and Reading Theological German are offered in alternating summer terms subject to availability of staff. Students may take and satisfactorily complete those courses to meet the modern language requirements or they may study on their own and take a proficiency exam given through the PhD Studies Office.
Can other modern languages be substituted for French and German?
In most cases French and German are preferable for research purposes. However, a student may petition for a substitution if his/her dissertation research requires reading of sources primarily in another language.
Do you provide any online or distance learning courses?
Our PhD program is strictly a resident program. We do not offer online or distance learning courses.
What is the residency requirement?
All of Stage 1 of the PhD program must be completed on the Dallas campus. Stage 2 of the PhD program requires a minimum of two years in residence, at least one semester of which must be for dissertation research.
How long does it normally take to complete the PhD program?
Stage 1 of the PhD program must be completed within two years from the time of matriculation. Stage 2 of the PhD program normally includes at least three years of study but must be completed within eight years from the time of matriculation.
Do you offer any financial aid for PhD students?
Scholarships are available for students in the PhD program who meet the scholarship criteria. For a listing of available scholarships and eligibility criteria, see the General Information section of the seminary catalog. For general information regarding financial aid, see the Financial Information section of the seminary catalog as well as the Financial Aid Department. A limited amount of financial aid is available to international PhD students.
What are the application deadlines?
The application deadline for the fall semester is January 15. The application deadline for the spring semester is September 15.
When is the Stage 2 written qualifying exam given?
For entrance into Stage 2 in the fall semester, the written qualifying exam is given on or before the third Monday of February. For entrance into Stage 2 in the spring semester, the written qualifying exam is given on or before the third Monday of October.