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Course Requirements - PhD

39 credit hours are required for the Ph.D. degree in Religion, consisting of the following:

  • Core courses: 20 hours
  • Track course: 3 hours
  • Restricted electives: 12 hours
  • Electives: 4 hours

All PhD students are required to take at least 16 hours of 8000 or 9000 level courses. Note: 9000 and 9300 cannot count towards the 16 hours of 8000/9000 level course requirements.

All of the courses will be chosen only with the approval of the major professor.


Core Courses

Unless they have taken them as an MA student, all PhD students, regardless of track, are required to take the following courses:

  • GRSC 7001, GradFIRST Seminar, 1 hr, must be taken during first year at UGA
  • RELI 7771, Teaching Religious Studies, 3 hrs. (or GRSC 7770 if RELI 7771 is not being offered)
  • RELI 8770, Theory and Methods in the Study of Religion, 3 hrs. (if not taken during M.A.)
  • RELI 9000, Doctoral Research, min. 3 hrs.
  • RELI 9300, Dissertation writing, min.10 hrs.

Track Courses

One of the following two courses is required for Track A, Religion in a Global Society:

  • RELI 8000, Religion in Global Society, 3 hrs.
  • RELI 8100, Religion and Globalization, 3 hrs.

The following course is required for Track B, Religion in the Americas:

  • RELI 8200, Religion in the Americas, 3 hrs.

Restricted Electives

12 hours of 8000-level courses (excluding directed readings, independent studies)

Some examples of restricted electives include:

  • RELI 8000 Religion in Global Society, 3 hrs. (max. 6 hrs.)
  • RELI 8005 Canons and Their Discontents 3 hrs. (max. 3 hrs.)
  • RELI 8100 Religion and Globalization, 3 hrs. (max. 6 hrs.)
  • RELI 8200 Religion in the Americas, 3 hrs. (max. 6 hrs.)
  • RELI 8210 Seminar in Traditional and Contemporary Topics in African Traditional Religion, 3 hrs. (max. 9 hrs.)
  • RELI 8220 Seminar in Interactions of Religious Traditions in Africa, 3 hrs. (max. 9 hrs.)
  • RELI 8450 Seminar in Problems and Topics in Biblical Research, 3 hrs. (max. 9 hrs.)
  • RELI 8460 Seminar in Problems and Topics in Judaism, 3 hrs. (max. 9 hrs.)
  • RELI 8480 Seminar in Problems and Topics in Islamic Research, 3 hrs. (max. 9 hrs.)
  • RELI 8490 Seminar in Problems and Topics in Asian Religions, 3 hrs. (max. 9 hrs.)
  • RELI 8500 Seminar in the History of Christian Thought, 3 hrs. (max. 9 hrs.)
  • RELI 8510 Seminar in Problems and Topics in Theology, 3 hrs. (max. 9 hrs.)
  • RELI 8520 Seminar in Christian Theologians, 3 hrs. (max. 9 hrs.)
  • RELI 8610 Seminar Topics in Religion, Theory, and the Arts, 3 hrs.
  • PHIL (RELI) 8630 Seminar in Philosophy of Religion, 3 hrs. (max. 9 hrs.)
  • RELI 8700 Seminar in Problems and Topics in Religion Research, 3 hrs. (max. 12 hrs.)
  • SOCI 8030 Sociology of Religion, 3 hrs.

Note: Track A students are required to take either RELI 8100 or RELI 8000. If they take both courses, they can use one of them as a restrictive elective. Track B students can use both of these courses as restrictive electives. RELI 8200 is a required course for Track B and can be used as a restrictive elective for Track A students. The content of the seminars listed above will differ from year to year and will be designed so that the topics meet the needs of each track.


  • 4 hours minimum, any course offered at UGA that the student can take in order to broaden their expertise in their area with the approval of their major professor.

Total Hours: 39

Research Skills Requirement

Two modern secondary research languages plus any other primary languages deemed necessary and appropriate and approved by the student’s major professor.  The modern, secondary research languages must be other than English, languages in which contemporary scholars present and publish their research and discuss and critique other scholars’ research. Primary languages are those in which the principal texts of one’s research are written or spoken.

This assessment shall be taken prior to the Ph.D. comprehensive examinations; no dissertation proposal will receive final approval until all language requirements have been met. Students are expected to meet this requirement by demonstrating a reading knowledge of the foreign languages applicable to research in their fields, as determined by their major professors. This requirement must be satisfied by one of the following methods:

  • Earning a grade of B or higher in a University of Georgia language course specifically designed for graduate students who are attempting to fulfill their language requirements. Such courses include (but are not limited to): SPAN 2500, GRMN 3500, and FREN 2500.
  • Receiving a passing grade on a departmental foreign language translation test. These tests are offered once a semester by Romance Languages, Germanic and Slavic Studies, and other departments.
  • Passing the language exam given by a faculty member. Students who elect to satisfy the language requirement in this manner must have the permission of their major professors and the Graduate Coordinator.



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