The Tri-University doctoral program exists for, and is committed to, the pursuit of excellence in graduate research and teaching. Its objective is to prepare candidates for a scholarly career in teaching and research. The PhD field preparations are designed to provide a wide intellectual basis for scholarship and teaching as well as to allow reading complementary to a student's proposed area of doctoral research. Field seminar discussions are intended to develop skills in critical analysis and historical synthesis. Through the process of completing required research papers and a doctoral thesis, students acquire the capacity to conduct independent research and to produce written work of a sufficient standard to be acceptable for scholarly publication.