Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 


The Nature of the Ph.D. at Fordham
The doctoral degree is the sign of accredited membership in the scholarly community of the theological academy. Its attainment represents the judgment of the faculty, as representatives of that academy, that the recipient is qualified to perform the essential functions and duties of a professional theologian.

As a university degree, the doctorate of philosophy signifies orientation to the ideals of the university as a community of learning. Not all graduates will eventually function in a university setting; but all are formed by a university environment, and are expected to be committed to what the university stands for:not for simply passing on a body of knowledge, but the advance of learning through personal and communal enterprises.

Duane Library Upon entering the PhD program, a student will be assigned an advisor working in the student’s intended Field of Study.This advisor will assist in the selection of courses, monitor the progress of language acquisition, and fill all additional roles necessary for good progress. By the conclusion of the first year of coursework, students may choose another member of the department to fulfill this role.  All advisors are expected to keep track of the progress of their advisees and submit year-end summaries of progress to the chair. Students certainly may, but are not required to, ask their advisor to serve as the mentor for the dissertation. Some students, through graduate assistantships, will have the opportunity to work closely with individual members of the faculty in some of the everyday tasks of the academy. All students are invited not only to seek advice on their studies, but even more to get to know additional faculty members on a personal and informal basis and to engage with them in theological discussion.


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