The third cycle entails at least two years of study and preparation of a dissertation of original research in one of the areas of specialization offered in the second cycle.
After finishing the cycle requirements, the student is awarded the title of Doctorate.
Conditions for Admission to Doctoral Studies
Students in the third cycle must complete, in agreement with their thesis Director, three bibliographic works which will be evaluated by their respective Department. With the consensus of the Coordinator of Studies, students may substitute these works by attending lectures offered in the License cycle which they have not previously attended. In such a case, it is sufficient to just attend the lessons, although students may take the related exams if they wish. Any student who did not obtain their license from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross however, must take and pass the related exams. Fifteen ECTS credits must be obtained from these lectures.
To be admitted into the third cycle, students must possess a Specialized License in Theology, have achieved a minimum grade point average of Magna cum laude (8,6/10), and have otherwise obtained the same minimum grade on their License thesis.
If the specialization in which the student obtained their License does not coincide with the specialization they wish to pursue at the Doctorate level, admission will only be granted if the new specialization demonstrates continuity with their License topic. In this case, the student must also follow the lessons designed for the License in their new specialization, which will be indicated by their thesis Director.
Norms for Drafting the Doctoral Thesis
By December 3 of the first year of registration, students are responsible for presenting the Registrar with a request for approval of their dissertation's topic. The request is made with the appropriate form available from the Registrar, and addressed to the Dean of the School. It will be screened by the Department.
Approval of a thesis topic is valid for five years, beginning with the date on which the student registered in the third cycle. An extension can be granted annually by the School's Management Committee.
Each year, the School submits a report on thesis progress for evaluation. If the review is unfavorable, the student will have to follow a schedule provided for them by the School in order to continue their studies in the doctoral program.
Once completed, students must present the Registrar with a typed copy of their work. It must first be seen by the student's thesis Director, and is then given to a co-director chosen by the Dean of Faculty. The co-director has fifteen working days at his disposition (plus one day for every 25 pages over 350) to give the student his observations and suggestions, by means of the thesis Director. During exam periods, correspondence concerning the thesis is not carried out. During periods when there are no classes (Christmas, Holy Week, and summer), the deadline for correspondence work is entrusted to the discretion of the School's Managing Committee.
After taking the co-director's observations and suggestions into account, the student must turn in a set number of bound copies of the dissertation to the Academic Registrar. The thesis Director's signature must be on the first page of each bound copy, and a corresponding fee must be paid. Once the Academic Registrar has placed the University's stamp on the thesis' first page, one copy will be given back to the student.
Discussion of the Doctoral dissertation and granting the Doctorate Degree
The academic degree of Doctor in Theology, with specializations in Moral Theology, Dogmatic Theology, Liturgical Theology, Biblical Theology, and History of the Church, is granted to students who have completed the three bibliographic works (or have attended the substitute courses), and who have developed a doctoral dissertation and discussed it in a public session before a commission of professors. The thesis must also be published, at least in its principal part, according to the indications of the commission.
The doctoral dissertation is presented in the time period between October and June. The date (usually one month, and not less than three weeks, after turning in the thesis) and the time are communicated by the Academic Registrar.
For the dissertation's publication, see the General Norms.