GSAS Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Policies & Forms

Units of Work

  • At least 12 units of work (or the equivalent of two full years of post-baccalaureate study). Units counted toward the M.A. degree at Bryn Mawr College may also be counted toward the Ph.D. degree if the major field remains the same
  • A maximum of four units may be taken at the University of Pennsylvania under the reciprocal program
  • In the Graduate Group in Archaeology, Classics and History of Art, at least one Graduate Seminar (GSem) must be taken

Special Skills

Varies by department; see the GSAS Faculty Rules.

Application to Ph.D. Candidacy

The application is required in order to take the Preliminary Exams.

  • The application to Ph.D. candidacy  can be made as soon as sufficient coursework (as determined by the program Graduate Advisor or Chair) has been completed
  • Requires a dissertation director
  • The program appoints a Ph.D. Supervising Committee, comprising the dissertation director and three other faculty members
  • Outside Chair of the Ph.D. Supervising Committee:
    The role of the chair of the Ph.D. Supervising Committee is to be an impartial moderator at oral examinations, to ensure that examinations are civil and fair, and to ensure that all requirements are completed and that documentation of examinations is accurate and complete. The outside chairs should be tenure-track or tenured Bryn Mawr faculty outside the student's home department. In consultation with the Dissertation Director and/or the departmental Director of Graduate Studies, students may suggest three or more faculty members whom they trust as candidates for their outside chair through completing the online Ph.D. Candidacy application form. The GSAS office will reach out to the suggested faculty members, and other faculty, if necessary, to identify the outside chair. The appointment of the identified outside chair will be confirmed by an official appointment letter from the Dean of Graduate Studies to the outside chair. The GSAS office will notify the student, the Dissertation Director, and the departmental Director of Graduate Studies of this appointment.

Preliminary Examinations

Dissertation

  • Guidelines for Dissertation Format and Submission
  • In graduate programs within the Graduate Group in Archaeology, Classics, and History of Art (GGACHA) the dissertation shall be submitted no later than 45 days prior to the end of classes of the semester in which the candidate expects to complete the work for the degree. See the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) Academic Calendar. If a candidate wishes to hand in the dissertation and take the Final Examination at other times in the academic year, the dissertation must be submitted at least six weeks before the proposed date of the examination.
  • In graduate programs within the Graduate Group in Science and Mathematics (GGSM), the dissertation shall be submitted no later than 25 days prior to the end of the semester. See the GSAS Academic Calendar. If a candidate wishes to hand in the dissertation and take the Final Examination at other times in the academic year, the dissertation must be submitted at least three weeks before the proposed date of the examination.
  • Must be accompanied by a letter from the dissertation director, recommending the dissertation to the Ph.D. Supervising Committee. See Guidelines for Dissertation Format and Submission

Final Examination

  • Is an oral examination on the dissertation, also known as Ph.D. dissertation defense
  • If more than 60 months have elapsed since the candidate's first Preliminary Examination, the final exam must include written and oral re-testing on one of the Preliminary exam fields
  • Guidelines for Outside Chair and Committee Members

Ph.D. Completion