Ph.D. Degree Programs

 

Introduction

PhD programs are designed to give you extensive expertise in a specialized field; they train you to pursue a life in academia as a professor or researcher (although many PhDs do not follow this path). Most candidates spend five to six years earning their degree.

PhD programs often offer full scholarships and a living stipend. Master's candidates receive less financial help; in many cases, they receive none at all.

Remember that within some programs, you can enroll for a master's degree and later choose to pursue a PhD if you are so inclined; conversely, you can enroll in a PhD program and leave after earning your master's if the academic lifestyle fails to entice you further.

In the first three years of a PhD program, you take courses to satisfy your degree requirements and gain a broad knowledge of the field. You choose an advisor and write a dissertation proposal, and you develop a working relationship with other professors in your department. Most doctoral students also work as teaching assistants for one or more undergraduate courses during this time, and some work as research assistants.

At the end of the second or third year, PhD students complete a thesis, take comprehensive exams or both. The thesis and/or exams demonstrate your qualification to continue with doctoral work.

In years four through six, you take fewer (or no) courses and focus on writing your dissertation, which is supposed to constitute a new and meaningful contribution to knowledge in your field. Needless to say, this is quite a bit of pressure, and most students spend much of these years in the library. You're not totally isolated, however–you work closely with your thesis advisor and others in your department to revise and refine your dissertation.

When you've finally finished, you are required to present and defend your work before a faculty committee. Rarely does anyone fail a dissertation defense. After all, you should know more about your subject than anyone else in the room. If a committee member does uncover a flaw in your argument, you can generally address it in your revised dissertation.

 

Vision

The Ph.D. program of Princeton Theological Seminary forms scholars, servants, and leaders of the church and the academy through constructive, critical engagement with the Christian tradition in its complexity and diversity, and where appropriate, in conversation with other religious and intellectual traditions in their multiplicity and variety.

Holding together love of God and love of learning in a single vision, Princeton’s program nurtures excellence in (1) research and writing, (2) teaching, and (3) academic citizenship. To that end, it

  1. emphasizes thorough engagement with foundational materials, research traditions, and contemporary debates within and across disciplines; mastery of basic methodologies, requisite languages, and analytical skills; commitment to rigorous, original scholarship contributing to the advancement of knowledge; and cultivation of those virtues of mind and affection that wise scholarly judgment demands and just academic debate assumes;

  2. initiates doctoral candidates into the arts, activities, and habits of good teaching; into the tasks of course design, delivery, and assessment; into the complexities of student evaluation and intellectual formation; and into the opportunities, joys, and challenges of working in classrooms rich in ethnic and racial, religious, cultural, and gender diversity.

  3. encourages self-criticism, collaboration, and community in one’s scholarly life; passion, productivity, and independence of mind in one’s scholarly pursuits; and a commitment to serving God and neighbor, church and academy, through the exercise of one’s scholarly vocation.

 

Ph.D. Degrees

  1. Ph.D. of Economic Science

  2. Ph.D. of Business Administration

  3. Ph.D. of Laws

  4. Ph.D. of International Relations

  5. Ph.D. of Public Administration

 

Ph.D. Campus

The Post Graduate Unit can be found at AEU-Golden-Building, Level 12.

 

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