Doctor of Philosophy

Program Overview

Atlantic Coast Seminary has adopted the British Model for the awarding of the Ph.D. degree. British Universities award the Ph.D. on the basis of an acceptable thesis. At universities in the U.K., the term thesis is usually associated with the Ph.D. (doctoral) and research Master’s degrees. The term dissertation is the more common title for a substantial writing project submitted as part of a Master’s degree.

Depending on the country in which a university is located, the Ph.D. degree award may require the completion of specific courses and the thesis (dissertation). By adopting the British university requirements, the Atlantic Coast Theological Seminary Ph.D. curriculum has no courses in addition to the thesis requirement.

Be sure to check with the Admissions Counselor regarding your path to earning the doctorate:
Ph.D. by Thesis Only
Ph.D. with Focus

Program Materials

One criterion for admission to the Ph.D. degree program is that the candidate has demonstrated,through prior educational and/or professional experiences, the ability to complete the Ph.D. thesis by independent study. Distance Education Ph.D. candidates are expected to complete the thesis, from Abstract through completed soft bound final draft submitted to faculty, without assistance from Atlantic Theological Seminary faculty. This demonstrates that the Ph.D. has been awarded to a candidate who has proven to be competent to perform research and writing as an independent scholar.

This Study Guide contains thesis requirements; additional information and helps related to development and structure; appendices with various examples of thesis types; and sample pages.

Table of Contents

I. Choosing a Ph.D. Topic
II. How long should it take to write your thesis?
III. A Suggested Sequence for Your P.h.D. Thesis
IV. Thesis Structure
VI. Sources and Citation
Appendix A: Proposal Outlines
Appendix B: How to Outline
Appendix C: Types of Theoretical Thesis and Their Structure
Appendix D: What to Include in a Five-Chapter Empirical Thesis

Thesis Research & Resource Sites

Library of Congress 
Search the LOC database for an annotated list of reference websites for dissertations and theses.

JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. All articles are scholarly and academic, and almost all journals are peer-reviewed. JSTOR provides full-text searches of almost 2,000 journals with  free read-online access to 100 articles per month.

Google Scholar
Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. Search across a wide variety of disciplines and sources for articles, theses, books, etc., from educationally-reputable sources.

Rutgers University Library
Search dissertations and theses over a wide range of Universities.

Internet Public Library Collection of Essays
Search over 500,000 essays by topic.

FRED Database
The Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) is a database maintained by the Research division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis that has more than 765,000 economic time series from 96 sources.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
BLS produces statistics on many different characteristics, including demographics and statistics by industry, business costs, occupation and geography. 

Supported by the Economic Development Administration, StatsAmerica allows you to search for demographic, industry and occupation statistics by state.

Other Resources