Ph.D. Program

The following information briefly describes and denotes the curricular requirements for the Ph.D. Program. Please see our departmental policies and procedures for more detailed information.

The Ph.D. Program

The Doctor of Philosophy program offers a course of study intended to meet the needs of students possessing foundational graduate training in theology and religion who aspire to pursue careers in higher education or in other vocations requiring academic credentials at the highest level of attainment. Typically, our Ph.D. students are admitted “fully funded,” receiving a full tuition scholarship as well as a research or teaching assistantship which provides a living stipend and health insurance supplement, guaranteed for five years of study. Exceptions are made only when the student has alternative means of funding their studies, such as Marquette employee tuition benefits or through a student’s religious community.

Program Requirements

Requirements of the program include the completion of a minimum of sixty credit hours of doctoral coursework, or twenty courses, twelve additional credit hours of dissertation research, fulfillment of language requirements, passing a qualifying examination, and successfully completing and defending a dissertation. The student may choose to specialize in one of four principal areas of research:

  • Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity
  • Historical Theology
  • Systematic Theology
  • Theological Ethics

Students also may choose one of our interdisciplinary specializations:

  • Theology and Society

    In the interdisciplinary Theology and Society concentration (TAS), students complete graduate coursework in theology and another allied research discipline, preparing to conduct original research using the methods of academic theology and the allied discipline. Students interested in applying to the Ph.D. in TAS are advised to consult the list of master’s and Ph.D. programs offered by Marquette and information about graduate exchange programs to ensure that they will be able to enroll in graduate-level courses in the allied discipline most appropriate to their research interests. Students interested in researching interdisciplinary questions using primarily theological methods may do so in any of our principal areas of research and do not need to enroll in TAS.  

  • Health Care Mission and Ethics

    The Health Care Mission and Ethics concentration is designed to provide students interested in careers in Catholic health care with a deep grounding in the major theological disciplines along with academic training in practical issues related to the provision of health care and immersion in health care environments. Students in this concentration complete graduate coursework in theology and in other fields at Marquette that pertain to health care.

Doctoral students must spend at least two semesters or their equivalent in residence at Marquette. Students entering the program with a master’s degree may apply some of their previous coursework to their curricular requirements.

Ph.D. Learning Outcomes and Assessment Plan