Specialist Studies

Qualification Framework

Specialist Studies meet the particular needs of the Church regarding the in-depth study of subjects that are useful for theological, legal, and philosophical knowledge. They promote the various sciences by coordinating this work with evangelization, in order to achieve a more adequate understanding of Christian Revelation. Furthermore, these specialist studies participate in a particular way in the Church’s mission of service to society.

Specialized Studies

Post Doc:

It is the level of academic specialization that is focused on special and/or pioneering topics in the domain of specialist studies. It can be established in order to delve into a specific topic or meet professional and pastoral updating and retraining needs

Access Criteria:

Each Faculty or Institution can introduce their own criteria regarding the recognition of pastoral and/or professional experience.

Workload: at least 60 ECTS.

Duration: at least 1 year.

Next level:

Not regulated. Courses are organized and degrees are issued under each institution’s responsibility.




Access Criteria:

In order to access the Third Cycle, a Licentiate is required according to the criteria laid down by the Faculty or Specialist Institution [1].

Duration: at least 2 years.

At least as long as the time needed to carry out scientific research aimed at writing a doctoral dissertation [2].

Credits: Not specified.

The 3rd Cycle degree can be awarded to students who:

• have proved they are endowed with a systematic and advanced understanding of the scientific domain they have chosen and related research methods;
• have developed the full capability to use the specialist knowledge they have acquired to devise, design, and implement original research projects, in order to contribute to scientific progress in the light of Christian Revelation and evangelization [3];
• are able to engage in a critical analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of new and complex ideas, constantly referring to the central value of the human person;
• are able to systematically convey the knowledge they have acquired through academic level teaching [4];
• are able to communicate with academic and professional experts, in the different domains of knowledge, in order to contribute to human civilization through the evangelizing mission of the Church [5].

[1] Cf. Veritatis Gaudium, art. 49

[2] Cf. Veritatis Gaudium, art. 49 § 2

[3] Cf. Veritatis Gaudium, artt.: 3, §§ 1-3; 40 § 1 ; 49, § 2

[4] Cf. Veritatis Gaudium, art. 50, § 1

[5] Cf. Veritatis Gaudium, art. 3, § 1. Cf Giovanni Paolo II, «Proemio», Cost. Apostol. Sapientia Christiana, I, II







Access Criteria:

In order to access the Second Cycle, a Baccalaureate is required, according to the criteria laid down by the Faculty or Specialized Institution [1].

Duration: 2 years

Workload: at least 120 ECTS.

Next level: Doctorate.

The 2nd Cycle degree can be awarded to students who:

• have demonstrated an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the scientific domain they have chosen;
• are able to apply their knowledge, understanding, and problem-solving abilities to new and unfamiliar topics, that are part of wider (or interdisciplinary) contexts that are related to their area of expertise;
• are endowed with the necessary independent judgment regarding the relationship between the mission of the Church and the cultural and intellectual processes of human history;
• are able to clearly and unambiguously communicate their conclusions to both specialists and non-specialists;
• are able to convey this theoretical and practical knowledge in fulfilling ecclesiastical posts, with particular reference to teaching in major Seminaries or equivalent schools [2];
• have fully developed the theoretical, methodological, and language skills in the domain of theological studies in order to continue their studies in the 3rd cycle.

[1] Cf. Veritatis Gaudium, art. 48

[2] Cf. Veritatis Gaudium, art. 50, § 1






Access Criteria:

In order to access the First Cycle, appropriate degrees are required to enroll in a university pursuant to the laws existing in students’ countries or in the region where the Faculty is located [1].

Duration: 3 years.

Workload: at least 180 ECTS.

Next level: Licentiate

The 1st Cycle degree can be awarded to students who:

• have demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of their reference subject area;
• are able to apply such knowledge in an ecclesiological context and in the various connections with contemporary culture;
• have the ability to collect and interpret data in their field of study in order to produce independent judgments, including reflections on related social, scientific, or ethical issues;
• are able to convey information, ideas, problems, and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist interlocutors;
• have developed the basic intellectual, methodological, and language skills to enroll in the 2nd cycle.

[1] Cf. Vertitatis Gaudium, art. 32