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.
Second and Third Cycles and Degrees
In the Second Cycle, for the Master’s degree, the student is generally required to complete two years of research and writing the thesis under the supervision of a director. Upon acceptance to any master’s or doctoral programs, the student must present a research proposal within the first year of matriculation to one of our professors who will supervise the thesis. The Second Cycle involves the successful completion of a master’s thesis with a minimum of fifty pages, under the supervision of a professor in addition to an oral examination concerning the student’s thesis involving the supervising professor and one other professor of the faculty. Generally, the student is also required to pass a language examination in either an ancient or a 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 at one of our affiliate institutions or at a recognized university.
The Third Cycle, or the doctoral program, essentially involves research and the writing of the dissertation under the supervision of a directing professor. Likewise, upon acceptance to any one of our doctoral programs, the student must present a research proposal within the first year of matriculation to one of our professors who will supervise the thesis. None of our research degrees require residency, except for the Ph.D. 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. Generally, the student is also required to pass a language examination in an ancient and/or a 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 at one of our affiliate institutions or at a recognized university. 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 directing professor, the Dean and 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 have the option of scheduling his or her defense that may be held in Orlando, Philadelphia, Dresden or Paris. The defense will be graded according to distinction if applicable. Upon successful completion of the defense and with the publication of at least an excerpt of the dissertation, the doctoral degree is conferred.
Faculty of Philosophy
There are three available areas of specialization for the doctoral program in philosophy. The Ph.D. degree may be pursued in “Philosophy,” “Augustinian Studies” or “Classical and Christian Humanities” The dissertation may be in English, Italian, French, Spanish, German or Dutch depending upon the competency and permission of the supervising professor. The doctoral program usually takes between two and four years to complete, depending upon the student. The entire degree program consists of independent research and the writing of the doctoral dissertation under the direction of a supervising professor. The Faculty of Philosophy offers the following doctoral degrees:
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Philosophy.
At the Collegium Augustinianum, all students are encouraged to connect their research with Augustine or the Augustinian tradition; and in general, students are accepted based upon a research interest in these areas. However, the doctoral program in philosophy may pursue any area of research in philosophy that is of interest to the faculty. The faculty is especially interested in Augustine, patristic philosophy, medieval philosophy (particularly Anselm, Bernard de Clairvaux, Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas), Reformation theology (especially Luther and Calvin), Continental philosophy, and especially Existentialism, Phenomenology and postmodern philosophy.
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Augustinian Studies.
With this degree, the doctoral dissertation must focus on the thought of St. Augustine of Hippo directly, on some topic, thinker or text within the Augustinian tradition, or concerning some connection between Augustine and some other philosophical school of thought or discipline.
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Classical and Christian Humanities
In the doctoral program in Classical and Christian Humanities, the student concentrates on the study of the ancient Greco-Roman world, history, literature and culture and its intersection with ancient Christian sources, including patristic and byzantine texts. The student is encouraged to pursue the the philosophical and intellectual relationship with Greco-Roman thought and Christianity.
The Master of Philosophy (Ph.M.) degree in Philosophy
This degree is intended for those students who wish to continue for the doctorate either at the Collegium or at another institution, but this may also be a terminal degree. Although the student is not required to choose a specialization, the Faculty of Philosophy offers four specializations for the Second Cycle: 1) Patristic and Medieval Studies, 2) Augustinian Studies, 3) History of Philosophy, or 4) Classical and Christian Humanities. The Ph.M. degree may also be conferred “in cursus” for doctoral students who submit a thesis and fulfill language requirements.
The Bachelor of Philosophy (Ph.B.) degree in Philosophy
In exceptional situations, and at the discretion of the Dean, the Faculty of Philosophy of the Collegium Augustinianum Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology offers a two-year Bachelor of Philosophy degree (Ph.B.) in Philosophy. The student may choose one of the following specializations for this degree: 1) Classical Philosophy, 2) Augustinian Studies, 3) Classical and Christian Humanities. Inspired by Continental education and the Classics (Literae Humaniores) degree at Oxford University, the degree program focuses on the study of primary ancient texts and requires a minimum of eight papers. The student may also earn a certificate in Greek and Roman Classics to further specialize their studies. The Dean may dispense the transfer student or those already holding a Bachelor’s degree in another field from a semester or a year’s work in recognition of advance study (and credits) from a recognized college or university.
Faculty of Theology
The Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.Th.D.) degree in Theology
The doctoral dissertation may be on any topic in theology; however, since we have a highly specialized faculty dedicated to the thought of Augustine, the Augustinian tradition and the influence of Augustine on the history of philosophy and theology through the ages, the student is encouraged to either focus on Augustine of Hippo, or make some connect with Augustine and the Augustinian tradition. The dissertation may be in English, Italian, French, Spanish, German or Dutch depending upon the competency and permission of the supervising professor. The doctoral program usually takes between two and four years to complete, depending upon the student. As with most of our degrees, the doctoral program in theology is a non-residential, research degree under the supervision of a directing professor.
The Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) degree in Theology
There are three specializations for the Second Cycle: 1) Patristic Studies, 2) Augustinian Studies or 3) Historical Theology. The S.T.M. degree may also be conferred “in cursus” for doctoral students who submit a thesis and fulfill the language requirements.
The Graduate Diploma in Theology (Dipl.Th.) in Theology
This Diploma is usually a one-year program that requires three research papers. There are three specializations for the Graduate Diploma in Theology: 1) Historical Theology, 2) Augustinian Studies or 3) Philosophical Theology.
Institute of Medieval Studies
The Institute of Medieval Studies also offers two degree programs: The Ph.D. degree in Medieval Christian Palaeology, which has a residency requirement either in Paris or in Philadelphia; and the M.M.S. degree in Medieval Christian Civilization, both of which are joint degree programs. For more on these programs, please visit the Institute page.
Joint Degree Programs
Students may also pursue a joint degree program in two faculties by submitting a proposal to the respective Deans, requiring the approval of both Deans and the Rector. The student may pursue the Ph.D./S.T.D. or the Ph.D./S.T.M. degree programs in addition to the Ph.D. program in Medieval Christian palaeography. The Institute for Medieval Studies also offers an interdisciplinary M.M.S. (Master of Medieval Studies) degree. Joint programs may also be pursued through the School of Divinity. Joint programs require full tuition for both degree programs.