The Research Degree 

The Collegium Augustinianum offers non-residential, research degrees based upon the European model of higher education, focused on individual research toward the thesis or dissertation directed by a professor in the respective field.  

The First Cycle (The Baccalaureate Degree)

In the First Cycle, for the Bachelor's degree, the student focuses on primary (and original) texts from the Great books of Western Civilization as well as the foundational works of philosophy and theology (depending upon the degree). Generally, a student is required to write six to eight essays focusing on textual analysis and various philosophical themes of the text. The Bachelor's degree normally requires a comprehensive exam and a Baccalaureate thesis.

Every student at the Collegium Augustininaum is assigned a tutor who guides the student through his or her studies. The tutor is a member of the faculty.


The Second Cycle (The Master or Licentiate Degree)


In the Second Cycle, for the Master’s (or Licentiate) degree, the student is generally required to complete a minimum of one year of research and one year of writing the thesis under the supervision of a professor. Generally, the student is required to submit a research proposal to the respective faculty, school or institute at the time of application to the second cycle. The Second Cycle requires the successful completion of a thesis with a minimum of fifty pages, written under the supervision of a professor.

Prior to the submission of the thesis, students in the second cycle are also required to successfully pass a language examination in either an ancient or a modern language relevant to the student’s research. However, at the discretion of the Dean of the respective Faculty, the student may also pass a language course in lieu of the examination.

At the conclusion of the second cycle, the student must successfully pass a comprehensive examination, in written and oral parts, concerning various areas of one's discipline. Each faculty provides a basic reading list to assist the student in preparing for the comprehension exam.

The Third Cycle (The Doctoral Degree) 


The Third Cycle, or the doctoral program, essentially involves research and the writing of the dissertation under the supervision of a directing professor. Likewise, at the time of application to any one of our doctoral programs, the student must present a research proposal for the doctoral dissertation project.

None of our research degrees require residency, except for the doctoral program in Medieval Christian palaeography, which can only be pursued either in Paris or in Philadelphia where the student can conduct research on an original manuscript.

Prior to the conclusion of the third cycle, the student is also required to pass a language examination in two languages, including one ancient language and one modern language relevant to the student’s research.  At the discretion of the Dean of the respective Faculty, the student may also pass a language course in lieu of the examination. In some instances, the Dean of the respective Faculty, may also dispense the student from this requirement.

Upon completion of the dissertation, and with the approval of the supervising professor and the Dean, the student may submit his or her doctoral "argumentum" to the Rector, outlining one's thesis, or theses, indicating one's original contribution to the respective science. Upon approval from the Rector, the doctoral student may register for the defense, which involves a tribunal of three professors including the director of the dissertation. Once the dissertation has been accepted for defense, the Rector and the Dean could invite a recognized scholar to participate as a guest Reader on the defense tribunal if necessary. At this stage, the doctoral candidate will schedule his or her doctoral defense in consultation with the Dean of the respective Faculty or Institute.

Upon successful completion of the doctoral defense, the defense is graded by the respective professors of the doctoral tribunal. Finally, with the publication of at least an excerpt of the dissertation, the doctoral degree is conferred. If applicable, the doctoral degree may be conferred with honors.