I’m starting college in the fall with hopes of going on to get a PhD in early Christianity and the New Testament; I’ll be doing a major in Religion and the equivalent of a double minor in political science and Greek.
I’ll be minoring in Greek so I’ll have that langauge covered, but I’m also planning on doing two semesters each of Latin, biblical Hebrew, German, and French, and possibly a semester of Syriac.
My question was, excluding my primary research language, is two semesters of the other four languages enough or should I try and up to three? If I did that I’d have 0 elective throughout my entire college career so I really would like to stick to do, but I’d do three if it meant getting into a strong PhD program that’s perfect for my area of study. Do you think I should try and include Aramaic as well? At my school, three semesters of biblical Hebrew is required to do Aramaic.
This is what Harvard’s website for a PhD in Early Christianity and the New Testament says:
Languages: Doctoral candidates are required to demonstrate competence in Greek at an advanced level by passing the department’s Greek qualifying examination, and intermediate to advanced competency in at least one additional ancient language appropriate to their plan of study (usually Latin, Hebrew, Coptic, or Syriac), as well as reading facility in two modern research languages relevant to their area of study (usually French and German). Prior language preparation is a significant factor in doctoral admissions. Once students have passed the advanced Greek examination, they will pursue a Greek reading course offered by the department, or, in rare cases, upon consultation with their advisors, can be exempted from this course for an alternative Greek course (e.g., in Classics) or a course in another ancient language relevant for their research. The above are only minimum requirements, since candidates will find they will need to use all of these languages currently in their studies and research; furthermore, each candidate’s interests will usually dictate familiarity with several additional languages, ancient and modern.
This is what UNC’s website for a PhD in Ancient Mediterranean Religion (Early Christianity including New Testament) says:
Students will be examined on two ancient languages, one (the primary research language) in a Doctoral Examination as specified in the following section and the other (the secondary language) prior to taking the Doctoral Examinations. It is expected that most students will acquire at least a third ancient language (e.g., Latin, Coptic, Aramaic, Syriac) in the course of their program.
A solid competency in both French and German is required of all doctoral students in this field prior to their Doctoral Examinations.
Doctoral candidates will normally be required to pass five written Doctoral Examinations subsequent to the completion of coursework. The examinations will typically cover the following areas:
Language: A translation examination in the language of primary research (Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic).
What do you guys think?