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Graduate students may study the History of Christianity from its origins in Second Temple Judaism through the ninth century, either as a major field or as a minor field for the doctorate in History. Successful students will be awarded the M.A. degree as they move toward Ph.D. candidacy, but the program cannot accommodate students who seek solely the M.A. degree, because of the number of languages required for work in this field.


A special feature of this History of Christianity program is its emphasis on longitudinal or diachronic research. Typically, students will prepare themselves to write a dissertation in which a particular Christian issue, institution, teaching, social form, etc., is analyzed through a number of centuries. In addition, students whose interest focuses on the Foundational Period (the Maccabean Revolt through Justin Martyr) will become thoroughly acquainted with cross-cultural anthropological approaches to the primary texts.


Three UCLA centers provide additional stimulation for students in the History of Christianity program: The Center for the Study of Religion directed by Professor David Rapoport, The Center for Jewish Studies directed by Professor David Myers, and The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies directed by Professor Patrick Geary. These centers offer colloquia, guest lectures, interaction with visiting scholars, and conferences pertinent to their focus.

Current full-time faculty in this field include: S. Scott Bartchy (M.Div. Harvard Divinity School, 1963; Ph.D. Harvard University, 1971. Christian Origins, Early Church History, History of Religion); Patrick Geary (Ph.D. Yale University, 1973. Medieval History); Ronald Mellor (Ph.D. Princeton University, 1968. History of the Roman Empire; Roman Law); and Claudia Rapp (D. Phil., Oxford, 1992. Late Antiquity; Hagiography).


Strong support is provided by members of the faculties of the Department of Classics and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.


Foreign Language Requirements:


Since advanced scholarship is based on the primary sources in their original languages as well as on dialogue with scholars around the world, the History of Christianity program requires both a fluent reading knowledge of German and a Romance language, and a high level of competence in the ancient language (Greek or Latin) in which the documents relevant to the student's chief interest were written. Students who focus on the Foundational Period need excellent Greek and at least elementary Hebrew, Latin, and Aramaic. Students focusing on the later periods need excellent Latin (for the West) or Greek (for the East), and may need other languages such as Coptic or Syriac.


Because learning to read these languages can consume many precious quarters of a graduate program (and is basically undergraduate work), students who apply for admission to the History of Christianity program greatly increase the possibility of their acceptance by learning these languages prior to application. Indeed, students with weak language background, no matter how strong the remainder of their application file may be, will not be admitted. (Note: What is important for work in the History of Christianity program is not where or how a language was learned but rather simply the competence in using it.) With a substantial portion of language preparation behind them when entering the History of Christianity program, students with a B.A. can anticipate competing the program in 21 quarters or seven years. Students entering with an M.A. in History or an M.Div. with a strong history emphasis should be able to reduce the time substantially.


Course Requirements:


As a candidate for the Ph.D., you must meet (a) the special requirements for admission to the doctoral program listed above; and (b) the general requirements set forth under the Graduate Division. An excellent command of English, spoken and written, the ability to read at least two foreign languages (except for the field of U.S. History where only one foreign language is required), and an acquaintance with general history are expected of all candidates. You are required to complete at least one continuing two-or three-quarter seminar, or alternatively, a continuing sequence of at least two graduate courses approved by the GGCC. This seminar, or its alternative, must include completion of a substantial research paper based at least in part on primary sources.


All students must write a dissertation prospectus (which could be written for credit as a history 596 or 597) expected to contain: (a) a full statement of the dissertation topic; (b) an historiographical discussion of the literature bearing on the topic; (c) a statement of the methodology to be employed; and (d) a survey of the sources sufficient to demonstrate the viability of the topic. The prospectus must be approved by the dissertation adviser prior to the oral part of the qualifying examinations. After approval, copies will be given to each member of the examining committee.


Faculty serving on doctoral committees may require such courses as they deem necessary for preparation for qualifying examinations. Courses taken to fulfill M.A. degree requirements may also be used to satisfy Ph.D. requirements.

Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations:

Before admission to candidacy, you must pass written and oral examinations. Students with outstanding incompletes may not be permitted to sit for these exams.

In the written qualifying examinations, you are expected to show not only a mastery of your special subject, but also an adequate grasp of the wider field of historical knowledge and an ability to correlate historical data and to explain their significance. These examinations are designed to test not merely factual knowledge, but also your power of historical analysis and synthesis, critical ability, and capacity for reflective thinking. A knowledge of the history of any area includes a reasonable knowledge of its historiography and bibliography; of its geography; and of its political, cultural, economic, and other historical aspects.

In the oral examination, you are to be examined in four fields, one of which may be an approved field in anthropology, economics, geography, language and literature, philosophy, political science, or other allied subjects. This allied field must be comparable in size and scope to the history fields listed above. You should select the fields in consultation with your faculty adviser and must receive the Department's approval of all four fields not less than three months before the written qualifying examination is taken. You will need to obtain the "Field Committee Orals" form (orals committee) from the Graduate Office. A copy of "Steps for the Orals" can be obtained from the Graduate Office. A full-time graduate student must begin the written qualifying examinations not later than the end of the ninth quarter of graduate work (See Time-to-Degree).

The written qualifying examination normally includes the major field only. The oral examination will cover all four fields and will normally be held after the written examination. In most fields, the oral examination will be held shortly after the written examination or, at the discretion of the doctoral committee, as late as six months after the written examination. Both the written and oral examinations are to be considered by the committee as a whole in arriving at a judgment of your performance. The written qualifying examination is normally prepared and administered by the chair of the committee and read by the entire committee before the oral qualifying examination.

The written qualifying examination must be passed before the oral qualifying examination can be taken. The members of the doctoral committee determine whether or not an examination may be repeated (normally only once), based on their prognosis of your potential for successfully completing both the written and oral examinations within a specified period of time to be designated by the doctoral committee, but not to exceed one calendar year. The written qualifying examination is not to exceed eight (8) hours and must be turned in to the Graduate Adviser's Office no later than 5:00 pm of the day of the examination.

Professor Scott Bartchy, Department of History, UCLA P.O. Box 951473 Los Angeles, CA 90095-1473 Telephone: 310.825.4570 e-mail: bartchy@history.ucla.edu