Jump to content

Cheapest way to get PhD?


Recommended Posts

I've been attending University of Central Florida for a few semesters now. Working two jobs full time in order to pay for school and boarding is taking away from my actual learning. I'm doing badly because I have to spend almost all effort on paying for school.

Anyways, so I was thinking of just dropping out of UCF and trying to find something a lot cheaper, where I can survive with just one of my jobs while I take classes. Online or wherever I need to go, what would be the cheapest way to get a PhD in Religious Studies?

I'm not looking into being a Pastor or focusing on Christian teachings, I'd like to learn a lot about all religions and not just the main 3 Monotheistic ones. I'd hope to one day teach a religious history or religious theory class where I expose everyone to a wider range of religions. I've always found it important for people to find the religion that was meant for them.

Anyways, thankyou! I'm trying to figure this all out quickly before this semester ends and they end up kicking me out of the school :wacko:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The cheap part is the Ph.D. What you need to do is find some way to do the very best you can in your undergrad so that you can get into one of the top M* programs and go on to a Ph.D from there. The best programs are going to be fully funded.

Secondly, I don't know of any program where you can just do general "religious studies" and study everything. That sort of training works well in an undergraduate model, not so well in a doctoral program. You will have to specialize within a tradition and then specialize within that. Any program you could do online would not get you hired anywhere. In an environment where people from top schools are flooding the market, one who has a Ph.D from an online program would obviously stand no chance of being hired.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the most part, I agree with LateAntique. There are no "general" PhD programs that I know of -- there are some quasi-general M* programs though which is something you should look at if you don't know what you want to get into.

Don't worry so much about feeling like you need to know what you want to focus on for 4-6 years in a PhD program, going into the program. Most people do have an idea of what their research/dissertation/etc will be on it but few essentially already have it mapped out. While I was at Yale I met several PhD students who knew they wanted to focus on say "American religious history" (which is required to get into programs) but beyond that, that weren't settled on their dissertation yet. Some were tossing around various topics, others were very open that they had no desire to invest much time into considering a topic until later (generally Spring) of their 2nd year, etc.

From your description it sounds like you want to teach World Religions and similiar general studies courses. Unfortunately more and more schools are outsourcing these classes to PhD students, Instructors who only have a M* degree, etc -- very few tenured faculty teach these courses (particularly in larger schools) since it's in all honesty, a waste of their time. Sure, some professors love teaching the Freshman courses but for the most part, it's grunt work passed down to students or instructors who will do it for the cheapest pay.

If you are in fact looking to teach World Religions and similiar courses, I'd honestly suggest that you get your M* degree and look to teaching at the community college level or for for-profit schools. More and more schools (esp. community colleges) are also moving these classes to online and as such are generally open to telecommuting the work to instructors who live all over the world. I met a MDiv alumnus from Yale who does this very thing, he teaches World Religions and some other very general religion courses (Intro to NT/OT, etc) for 4-5 community colleges and makes a decent living from it.

Edited by Balatro
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use