Integrated Programs

Concurrent MAPh/MATh Degree Requirements

Students currently enrolled in the Concurrent M.A. (Philosophy) / M.A. (Theology) must consult the DSPT Student Handbook pdf for program details.

Coursework - The Concurrent M.A. program (CCMA) requires a total of 18 courses: 8 from philosophy and 10 from theology, while observing distribution requirements for both programs. Students should work closely with their advisor in planning courses as outlined in the CCMA Course Requirement Checklist pdf . Program requirements are distributed as follows:

Required Areas


Systematic Philosophy


History of Philosophy




Historical Theology


Systematic Theology


Moral Theology


Non-Christian Religion








Language Proficiency Requirement - Students must possess a reading knowledge of a modern or classical foreign language. Those students in the concurrent MA program who are in the Thomistic Studies concentration must fulfill this requirement with Latin. Language proficiency must normally be certified by the beginning of the third semester in the program. DSPT's policy for certifying language proficiency is based upon the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) policy for the GTU Common M.A. and is described in detail in the DSPT Student Handbook pdf. Foreign students whose native language is not English may fulfill the language requirement by passing the ETS/TOEFL examination.

Research Readiness Paper Review (RRP) - The RRP review pdf helps students, advisors, and Department faculty assess and refine student research skills. As such, the RPR is a prerequisite for submitting a thesis proposal and must be completed by the end of the first semester in the program.

Master's Thesis

The capstone demonstration of the student's mastery of philosophical and theological research and writing skills and the ability to use another language in that research is achieved by writing and defending a thesis of approximately one-hundred twenty (120) pages in length. Writing the thesis is a fundamental learning experience in which the student employs and sharpens research, language, analytic, and writing skills. The defense provides an opportunity to demonstrate not only acquired knowledge and insight but also oral communication skills.

See the Student Forms page for all forms needed for the Master's thesis.

Proposal - Students in the concurrent MA program must present a proposal for the thesis to be reviewed by the entire Faculty. The proposal must demonstrate the ability to organize a project of philosophical and theological inquiry into a brief, coherent statement. The proposal is written in consultation with a proposed thesis coordinator. Each student presents the proposal, along with the signed "MA Thesis Petition Form" (see next paragraph) to the Academic Dean at least one week before the Faculty meeting at which it is to be discussed. Faculty meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the academic year (except January).

Using the DSPT MA Thesis Petition Form pdf, the student nominates a coordinator and two readers for the thesis. These must be approved by the Faculty, which may, at its discretion, make substitutions in light of the nature of the thesis. It is the responsibility of the coordinator to assist the student in the writing of the thesis in whatever way is deemed appropriate. The coordinator cannot be changed without the approval of the Faculty.

Students in the concurrent DSPT MAPh/GTU Common M.A. program must also complete the GTU MA Thesis Proposal Form pdf, obtaining the signatures of the committee members and the Deans of the GTU and DSPT, and filing the Request with the GTU Dean's Office.

Thesis - The thesis is to be about one-hundred twenty (120) pages in length and written according to the standards prescribed in the most recent edition of A Manual for the Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations, by Kate Turabian external link. A comprehensive bibliography of the appropriate sources and modern treatments of the subject matter of the thesis should be included in the final copy. Each thesis is to be defended and passed by the posted GTU deadline of the intended year of graduation (see the GTU Academic Calendar external link for the specific date). Students are responsible to see that a copy of the thesis to be defended is in the readers' and coordinator's hands at least three weeks before the scheduled defense. Members of a committee are not obliged to meet during breaks in the academic calendar. Upon approval and successful oral defense of the thesis, the required copies suitable for binding and approved by the GTU Library are to be submitted. Students in the concurrent DSPT MATh program submit three copies to the DSPT Registrar. Students in the Concurrent GTU Common M.A. program submit two copies to the to the Academic Secretary in the GTU Student Affairs Office and two copies to the DSPT Registrar. Please see the Academic Calendar for the current deadline.

Oral Defense - The oral defense of the thesis will be conducted by the coordinator and the assigned readers. The defense shall not exceed one and one half hours in length. A student, whose thesis and oral defense are deemed outstanding by all three examiners, may be granted the degree "with honors."

Back to MAPh / MATh Program Description.