The formal requirements for the Ph.D. are the following: 72 points of graduate course credit are required. These points will include research seminars (see below), supervised independent study, supervised fieldwork, and courses taken in NYU departments or other universities. A maximum of 23 points may be transferred from another institution.
Students must enroll in one research seminar (4 points each) each semester during the first three years, for a total of 24 points. No specific courses are required of all students. After the third year, such participation will be strongly encouraged whenever the student is in residence in New York. Students typically enroll in 30 points in each of the first two years and 12 in the third year for the normal distribution of the 72 points. The student’s supervising committee will have the authority to vary this distribution, however. Apart from the research seminars, these points will come from the supervised independent study described above plus graduate courses or seminars. Only graduate-level language classes will be counted toward this point total.
Students are expected to have four appropriate foreign research languages at minimum. It is expected that most students will learn more, however, and additional languages will be specified in the “contract” for individual students. The supervising committee for a student may, where appropriate (for example, in the case of a student working mainly on preliterate societies), permit the substitution of a comparably demanding scholarly technical skill for one of the languages. Satisfaction of the language requirement will be demonstrated by examination or successful completion of a course at an appropriate level.
Students are expected to gain teaching experience of a minimum of two semesters. This experience may be gained in a combination of Core Curriculum courses and departmental courses.
Students must pass comprehensive doctoral examinations, to be taken during the third year of study. These consist of an initial written component, followed by an oral examination. The examinations cover three subject areas to be discussed between the student and his or her committee and specified in the “contract” for the individual student.
Students must write a dissertation and do fieldwork as required by the dissertation. It is expected that most dissertations will require either archaeological fieldwork or research in archives and museums abroad.
The minimum time to degree will be three years, of which a minimum of two years must be spent in residence at ISAW; one year of previous advanced study (with minimum of 18 credit hours and maximum of 23) may be credited toward the minimum time to degree. The total length of the course of study will depend on individual factors like needed fieldwork. The normal length is anticipated to be six years. The M.Phil. degree will be awarded at the completion of all requirements for the doctorate except the dissertation.