2017-08-30 / Local News

Gratz College launches online Ph.D. in Holocaust and Genocide Studies

This fall, Gratz College in Melrose Park, PA, will launch the first-ever online Ph.D. program in Holocaust and genocide studies, making this important field of study accessible to serious scholars everywhere. Gratz will also become the only institution in the United States to offer an actual Doctor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies degree, as opposed to a Ph.D. in a related discipline, like history or sociology.

“This program is a game changer,” said Dr. Rosalie Guzofsky, dean and vice president of academic affairs at Gratz College. “With this degree, Gratz has positioned itself as the place to produce experts in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies.”

The response to the new Ph.D. program has been overwhelming. Within weeks of the program’s accreditation, the College enrolled over a dozen students from across the country.

As world events churn perilously with ethnic hatred and violence, expertise in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies is needed more than ever. Atrocities perpetrated by terrorist groups around the world and hate crimes on the rise in the United States and Europe make the promise of “never again” seem to ring hollow. In response to these acts, experts are needed to inform government policy, educate the public and provide teachers with the tools they need to instruct the next generation on the dangerous repercussions of hatred and intolerance.

This kind of expertise comes from the serious study of genocide. Students in the Gratz Ph.D. program study genocide from multidimensional perspectives, including historical, sociological, psychological, geographical, theological, legal and scientific. The program demands a rigorous course of study, with 13 classes, comprehensive exams and a dissertation.

“It is a really focused program, designed deliberately and specifically for this field,” said Mindy Blechman, program coordinator.

The program was also designed to respond to student demand. Gratz began receiving requests to create a Ph.D. program in 2012 after the College launched its online master’s program in Holocaust and genocide studies. Students graduating from the master’s program were seeking an opportunity to continue their studies. When Gratz finally proposed the idea of launching a Ph.D. program to current, former and prospective students, the responses were effusive. As one student said, “This is a much-needed addition to the academic world.”

Students in the first cohort of the Ph.D. program will receive a special scholarship, resulting in a 25% reduction in the first year’s tuition, which covers six courses in 2017-18.

For more information about the doctorate in Holocaust and genocide studies, contact Dean Guzofsky at (215) 635- 7300, ext. 137, or at rguzofsky@gratz.edu. 

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