Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities (Ph.D.), Holistic Studies

A professional Doctoral degree may be awarded to a student who has completed a prescribed level of study normally requiring a minimum of three academic years of full-time graduate study or the equivalent in part-time study; or, if the program leads to a profession or occupation requiring a state licensure, which satisfies the requirements of the state agency. The degree shall include the name of the field in which it is offered (e.g., Doctor of Ministry).

Program Length:  72 Credit Hours

Graduation Document:  Ph.D. Diploma

Potential Entry Level Occupations:

The Ph.D. prepares students for academic careers at the college/university level. Examples include: academic advising, career services, student activities, residence life, counseling, minority/multicultural affairs, and international student affairs. Campus teaching, writing, and learning centers are growing areas of job opportunity for Ph.D.s as well. In numerous industries beyond academia, Ph.D.s engage in, and are specifically sought for, research, writing, public service, consulting, advising, teaching, and publishing.

Program Description:

A Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) is a research- and practitioner–oriented degree requiring a minimum of three years of full–time graduate education or the equivalent in part-time study and as measured by a minimum of 72 credit hours. Such a doctoral program shall include substantial instruction in both theory and research at an advanced level in a designated field and specialty, and may only be awarded to a student who has completed a program of study that includes research methodology and demonstrated learning achievement through original research directly attributable to the student. Each educational program leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree shall involve preparation for scholarship and systematic inquiry.

Students work with program advisers to develop an individualized program that includes both course work and theoretical and practical research in an area of specialization. At the end of course work, students must successfully pass a qualifying comprehensive examination, which will advance them to candidacy. The program is completed with the research, writing and defense of a dissertation.

The program of study will be guided by an academic adviser. An academic committee, along with the Dean of Academic Affairs, will work with the student to devise a personalized program.  

Program Objectives:

The PhD in Humanities supports the Mission of Andrew University by offering an interdisciplinary PhD in the Humanities that enables students to gain advanced expertise in aesthetic studies, the history of ideas, and studies in literature, to place the specific focus of their studies in a larger humanistic context, and to prepare students for academic careers at the college/university level.

Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will be able to describe, apply, and analyze major concepts and goals of research that cross the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines.

  • Students will be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge of a focused, integrated area in the humanities.

  • Students will be able to conduct and produce cogently-written interdisciplinary research in the history of ideas that reflects the ability to aggregate relevant evidence and use evidence to support their interpretation.

  • Graduates will be adequately prepared for professional publication of research and to obtain academic positions at the college/university level.

Admission Requirements:

In addition to the following specific program requirements, applicants must satisfy the General Admission Requirements for all programs. See Admissions Policies and Procedures: General Admission Requirements Pertaining to ALL Programs.

Students must possess a B.A. Degree or MA Degree before they can be admitted to the Ph.D. program.

Students who transfer from other graduate programs may be accepted to advanced standing by applying for admission in the usual way and presenting an official transcript together with the catalog(s) containing the course descriptions of their previous graduate work. Students desiring admission to graduate programs at Andrew University are not eligible for prior experiential learning credits.


Program Prerequisites:

There are no program prerequisites.  

Program Completion Requirements:

  • To receive the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) at Andrew University, the student must complete 72 credit hours. Course requirements for the Ph.D. vary slightly according to your academic status at the time of entrance to the program. Students are required to complete 72 units at least 27 of which are in the student's area of specialization.

  • Applicants for whom English is a second language must complete a three credit-hour course for no credit in advanced English composition during the first year of course work if they have not already done so during the course of undergraduate studies.

  • There is a program completion time limit of ten years from the date of admission.

  • All individual course requirements must be completed with a minimum grade point average of B (3.0), and with no grade below C counting toward the degree. If a student is unable for whatever reason to satisfy the prescribed requirements of an individual course or the program as a whole, then an excellence/tutoring plan may be initiated by the individual instructor or by the Office of Academic Affairs.

  • Fill out a Program Completion Questionnaire at program conclusion.

  • Students are allowed to miss a certain limited number of hours per course. (See Academic Policies: Satisfactory Progress: Attendance.)

  • There are no internships or externships required in this program.

  • Comprehensive Examination:

At the end of course work students must successfully pass a qualifying comprehensive examination, which will advance them to candidacy.

Upon successful completion of a minimum of 9 credit hours in the area of specialization, a student may petition the Dean of Academic Affairs to take a comprehensive examination. The exam’s purpose is to determine the student's ability to integrate theory and practice in the research process necessary for the doctoral dissertation.

A committee of three members chosen by the student in consultation with the Dean will conduct the comprehensive examination. The committee shall be composed of members of the Andrew University faculty holding Ph.D. degrees, two of which are in the student’s area of specialization. One committee member will serve as Director of the Exam. At the discretion of the Director and the candidate, additional faculty holding a Ph.D. may be invited to sit on the Exam Committee.

The examination will include both written and oral sections. Students failing either the written or the oral exam may reattempt each part a maximum of two times. A student who fails on the second attempt in either case will be considered withdrawn from the program in order to establish candidacy.

  • Doctoral Dissertation

The Ph.D. degree also requires the research, writing, and defense of a dissertation.

After completion of course work, demonstration of language competence, and a successful comprehensive exam, the student will be advanced to the status of Ph.D. candidate. The director of the student's dissertation may then be chosen by the student with the approval of the Dean of Academic Affairs. The director must hold faculty status and a Ph.D. degree in the area of the student's proposed research.

The Program Director, in consultation with the candidate, will then propose a dissertation committee of no less than two additional persons who shall be members of the Andrew University faculty possessing Ph.D. degrees. A majority of the committee shall have specialties in the broad area of the candidate’s proposed course of study and hold degrees from institutions accredited by associations recognized by the US Department of Education.

The candidate may then begin research and writing of the dissertation. The Dissertation format must follow the guidelines presented in the Manual of Standards for Theses and Dissertations.

The candidate shall submit the final draft of the dissertation no later than a date to be
determined by the Committee and the Dean of Academic Affairs. Upon completion of the dissertation and approval by the Dissertation Committee, a date will be set for the oral defense of the dissertation.

After a successful oral defense, the candidate must submit to the Andrew University Office of the Registrar two completed and signed copies of the dissertation in the approved format.