1. Description: This is a two-year course ending with the conferment of Doctorate in Sacred Theology. The program aims to bring the students to scientific maturity principally by means of a Doctoral Thesis which would contribute to the progress of theological science.

2. Admission Requirements: Students applying for the program should:

a. Have a Licentiate Degree in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) or its equivalent to be evaluated by the Dean and the Admission Committee; those students who have only completed a Master of Arts in Theology degree, granted that he/she has completed a Bachelor in Sacred Theology degree, may be advised to first undergo the Licentiate program. Students who may have earned the units required for both the STB and the STL degrees, may be admitted to the Third Cycle, upon the recommendation of the Admission Committee, on the condition that they are willing to take the required bridging courses, if any;

b. Should submit a written permission from their Ordinary or Major Superior (for clerics and religious); or a certificate of good moral character issued by their Ordinary (for the lay people).

c. Must take and pass the entrance examinations, which include Latin. Applicants without background in Latin will be required to take Latin courses for their language requirements.

d. International applicants must have all the legal documents required for them to pursue their studies in the University.

e. Successful international non-English speaking applicants are required to take and pass an English proficiency examination. Otherwise, they shall be required to attend English proficiency classes.

3. Requirements for the Degree:

a) A six-unit teaching experience of a theological subject, properly certified by the proper authorities.

b) A one-year residence to study two specially designated theological subjects, two seminar courses, a reading course and theological research.

c) A doctoral dissertation that will really contribute to the progress and development of Theology. This central requirement includes: presentation and public defense of the dissertation proposal, approved by the Adviser and the Dean, before a panel of five (5) members; public defense of the dissertation; approval of the dissertation by a panel of five (5) examiners; publication of the dissertation, at least in its principal part, and as decided by the panel.

d) Successful Lectio Coram (a teaching demonstration before the panel of five examiners) done twenty-four [24] hours after the defense of the dissertation.

e) The final grade for Doctorate in Sacred Theology is composed of: General weighted average (20%), written evaluation of the thesis (40%), oral defense of the thesis (30%), Lectio Coram (10%).

4. Reading Course

a. Course Description: A three-unit course designed to give the student the opportunity to apply the steps in writing a book/article review from preparing to read and review, to reading the book/article, organizing concepts, writing the review and, finally, wrapping up the final report under the guidance of a supervisor. The course engages the student in reading and writing that call for the higher-level skills of critical thinking such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation. It will conclude with the submission of the Final Report deduced from a comparative study of the issues arising from the books/articles reviewed. The books/articles are reviewed in view of a chosen topic which will hopefully be a future dissertation topic. Basically, this course is, therefore, a book/article review of the reading materials the choice of which is determined by an agreed, particular topic in view of considering it as a future, dissertation topic.

b. Course Objectives: (1) To gauge, cultivate and acquire a comprehensive and critical knowledge about a particular topic and the different issues that surround it; (2) To be able to critically read and express one’s thoughts systematically based on the principles of critical thinking given a particular viewpoint; (3) To be able to submit a Final Report.

c. Course Mechanics: (1) The student must submit to the Dean’s Office five (5) reading materials (5 books or 3 books and 2 refereed articles); (2) The student and supervisor agree on the frequency of the mentoring to monitor the progress of the work; (3) There is no limit to the number of pages of the Final Report but a minimum of 20 pages is set; (4) The Final Report is to be submitted within a semester’s time-frame (The Final Report follows a certain format).

Steps For Fulfilling The Requirements For The Course:

1. The student enrolls in Reading Course. It is highly advised that the student should first enroll in it before enrolling in Thesis Writing IA.

2. The Dean meets the class as a group on the scheduled day to explain the Course.

3. The Dean gives a copy to the students of the Course Syllabus on Reading Course.

4. The student submits to the Dean the list of reading materials together with the tentative title of his/her Dissertation. The student may submit a list of names of prospective Supervisors.

5. The Dean formally assigns the Supervisor through a letter of appointment with a copy of the Syllabus accompanying the letter. The letter also contains the list of the reading materials to be reviewed. The student is furnished a copy of this letter of appointment.

6. The Dean’s Office arranges the first meeting of the student and supervisor.

7. The student submits the list of reading materials to the Supervisor in their first meeting to decide with finality on the list.

8. The student and the supervisor decide on the frequency of their meetings.

9. The student and supervisor set the deadline of submission of the Final Report before the Semester ends.

10. The Supervisor submits to the Dean’s Office the grade obtained by the student in the Course.



5. Thesis Writing

a) At an opportune time, the student shall enroll in Thesis Writing I (THWIA). This course requires that the student submits both the Thesis prospectus and the Thesis proposal.

b) The approval of the prospectus (which contains the Title, Background of the Study, Statement of the Problem, Methodology, Bibliography and the name of the Proposed Moderator) is a major requirement for the appointment of the moderator. When a moderator is appointed for a particular student, the latter must proceed with the writing of his thesis proposal with the help of the former. The student will be required to pay an adviser’s fee from the semester of the adviser’s appointment until the completion of the thesis. The adviser must be formally appointed by the Dean.

c) After the completion of the Thesis Proposal, the student shall then secure the endorsement of the moderator for the public presentation and defense of the Thesis Proposal. He must secure the application form at the Office of the Ecclesiastical Faculties, pay the corresponding fees, and submit six copies of the proposal.

d) The Dean shall then appoint five examiners, other than the moderator, who shall also constitute the panel for the presentation of the proposal. The public presentation of the proposal shall be done three to four weeks after the submission of the application. After the presentation, the student shall incorporate, in coordination with the moderator, all the required revisions, and present, for approval, the revised proposal to all the members of the panel. The student must secure the approval of ALL the members of the examination tribunal before s/he is issued a Certificate of Candidacy, which marks the completion of THWIA for the Doctoral program. If this process is not completed within a semester’s time frame, students must re-enroll Thesis Writing I by enrolling TW1B or THW1B on the succeeding semesters.

e) A student granted with Certificate of Candidacy may already enroll in THWII during the registration period of the following semester. The expected output for THWIIA is the completion of the entire thesis. A student completes his thesis when he finally obtains the endorsement of his moderator for the presentation of the thesis for final defense. After the initial enrollment of THWII, any student is expected to enroll in a thesis writing course every semester. The re-enrollment of THWII is THW2B. Any student who does not wish to enroll in a semester must secure a Leave of Absence from the Dean, or else the student is charged with an Absence Without Leave (AWOL). Students charged with AWOL must be ready to abide with the corresponding sanctions (like refresher courses) upon re-admission.

f) Any student who intends to defend his/her thesis on a given semester must enroll THW III during the registration period of that semester. S/he must secure the endorsement of his/her Moderator and submit six (6) copies of the completed and endorsed thesis to the Office of the Ecclesiastical Faculties at least a month before the desired date of the thesis’ public presentation and defense. Any student who already enrolled in THWIII, but failed to defend the thesis on a given semester, may re-enroll the course on the next semester and proceed with the public presentation and defense.

g) The examination of the completed thesis must be done by five members of a Tribunal (excluding the moderator). Upon submission of the completed thesis to the Office of the Ecclesiastical Faculties, a copy is sent to each member of the examining tribunal and the adviser. The date of the defense shall also be set by the Dean. The examiners are given until not later than ten (10) days before the date of the defense to submit their written comments and evaluation of the thesis. If none of the examiners has raised serious objection against the work, then the public presentation and defense of the thesis shall proceed as scheduled. However, if one or more of the examiners have serious objections against the work, the student must be given time to discuss the comments with his moderator and revise the thesis if needed. The date of the defense will be deferred until an understanding between the examiners and the student (with the adviser) is reached. If no understanding is reached, the Dean shall decide on the issue and may recommend for the reconstitution of the examination tribunal or the disqualification of the student from the degree. Any examiner who may decide to vacate his post as an examiner must submit a formal notice to the Office of the Dean.

h) The presentation and public defense of the thesis shall not be less than one and a half hours. The candidate is given 25-30 minutes to present the problem, findings, and conclusions of the thesis. Each of the examiners is also given 10-15 minutes to cross-examine the student regarding the presentation and the content of the thesis. The student is required to answer the questions raised, and to take note of the suggestions, which should be reflected in the revised thesis that will be finally stored in the library.

i) After the presentation, the examiners shall secretly cast their votes. The grade of the thesis defense (which is only 20% of the final grade) is determined according to the following grading system:



Summa Cum Laude



Magna Cum Laude



Cum Laude



Bene Probatus





6. Post-defense Requirements


a) After the Oral Defense, the following steps need to be done: revise the Dissertation according to the instructions of the members of the panel of examiners; secure from the Office of the Ecclesiastical Faculties the Approval Sheet and have it signed by the Adviser, the members of the Tribunal, and the Dean; submit to the Office Two (2) Hard copies of the Revised Dissertation containing the required revisions, the Approval Sheet (as signed), Certificate of Originality (as signed), and the Abstract of the Dissertation.

b) The revised Dissertation should be hard bound, and the cover is colored white while the texts on the cover are printed either in Gold or Black. The spine of the document should contain the following information: year of graduation (top), the title of the Thesis (in capital letters and placed on the middle), and the name of the author (bottom).

c) In addition, the student must also submit to the Office Three (3) soft copies (in separate CDs) of the Dissertation and the abstract, and three (3) separate hard copies of the dissertation abstract.

d) The student must then seek appointment with the Dean with regard to the mandatory publication of thirty (30) copies of the dissertation. The Dean will inform the student whether the dissertation will be published in part (partialiter) or in whole (totaliter). Please check below for the guidelines for publication. The student must submit the thirty (30) copies of the dissertation as published, and one (1) soft copy (in a CD) of the published dissertation. Only those students who completed the post-defense requirements may apply for original copy(ies) of the Transcript of Records and diploma. (Note: It takes 7 working days to obtain the Transcript of Records, and 30 days for the Diploma).


·         The student is required to publish his work (dissertation) partialiter (“partially”) or totaliter (“completely”)


·         The student must follow the instructions laid below, and must remain faithful to the prescribed format.


·         In the event that the panel members have not identified part/s to be published, the student must seek audience with the Dean and discuss the part/s to be published.


·         When the chapter/s to be published are identified, the student must arrange the publication of the Dissertation (either partialiter or totaliter) with the UST Publishing House or other publishing house/s. The publication may identify the name of the publisher or printer.


·         The student may seek the help of a proofreader or editor when there is a need to improve the text.


·         The first galley proof of the publication must be presented to the Dean for approval. Without the prior approval of the Dean’s Office, the printed material may be rejected by the Dean’s Office if it does not conform to the standards set by the Faculty.


·         Once the Dean’s approval is obtained, the student may proceed with the publication and must submit to the office of the Ecclesiastical Faculties thirty (30) copies of the said publication.


Alternative Formulations:

Dissertatio ad laurem
In Facultate Sacrae Theologiae
Partialiter Edita


Part/s of the Dissertation in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements of the Degree of
Doctorate in Sacred Theology

FORMAT OF THE IMPRIMATUR/NIHIL OBSTAT AND APPROVAL PAGE (placed on the back of the cover page)


·         Cover page


·         Title Page (same text as of the cover page)


·         Nihil obstat/Imprimatur and Approval page (back of the title page; please check the sample format above)


·         Table of Contents


·         Dedication (optional)


·         Epigraph (optional)


·         Preface


·         Foreword (optional)


·         Acknowledgments


·         Abbreviations


·         List of Illustrations and List of Tables (if necessary)


·         General Introduction: Rewrite Background of the Study, Statement of the Problem, Significance of the Study, Methodology; and include the findings and conclusion of the dissertation to suit introducing the excerpt/s of the study.


·         The part(s)/excerpt(s) to be printed: Include the chapter Number/s and title/s


·         Appendix (if necessary to the printed part/s)


·         Bibliography


·         Outline of the whole dissertation


1. The cover of the publication should be plain white. Pictures, special designs and other lay-outs are discouraged on the cover, and are not allowed without the approval of the Dean. The book should be 24 cm X 17 cm in size.

2. At the back of printed material, include the official logo of UST Quadricentennial celebrations.


Alternative formulations:

Dissertatio ad lauream
in Facultate Sacrae Theologiae


Dissertation in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements of the Degree of
Doctor in Sacred theology



·         If so desired, the printing of the whole dissertation may be formatted to fit into the requirements of publishing a book; and this requires rewriting Chapter I of the dissertation; otherwise, the whole dissertation in its final draft as approved should be published.


·         Composition:

·         Title Page


·         Nihil obstat/Imprimatur and Approval page (back of the title page; please check the sample format above)


·         Table of Contents


·         Dedication (optional)


·         Epigraph (optional)


·         Preface


·         Foreword (optional)


·         Acknowledgments


·         Abbreviations


·         List of Illustrations


·         List of Tables


·         General Introduction:

i. May have to rewrite the whole Chapter I of the original dissertation retaining the following sections: Background of the Study, Statement of the Problem, Significance of the Study, Scope and Limitations and Methodology. However, it is not necessary to retain the titles of these sections so that this introduction could also serve as an introduction of a book; or

ii. Retain the Chapter I as it is.


·         Chapters


·         Appendix (if necessary to the printed part/s)


·         Bibliography


1. Use either the original footnote or the endnote documentation style.

2. The cover of the publication should be plain white. Pictures, special designs and other lay-outs are discouraged on the cover, and are not allowed without the approval of the Dean. The book should be 24 cm X 17 cm in size.

3. At the back of printed material, include the official logo of UST Quadricentennial celebrations.


     ust round logo.jpg

Ask the office of the Ecclesiastical Faculties for the Soft copies



Ecclesiastical Faculties
Fathers' Residence Building
University of Santo Tomas
Espana Boulevard,
Sampaloc, Manila, 1015

 (+632) 406-1611 loc. 8261
  (+632) 731-4066

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