The Becket Program FAQ
be a senior or graduate of an undergraduate, accredited institution in a non-native English-speaking country
applicants with previous graduate degrees/masters/certificates will be assessed individually, although our program is mainly directed toward the empowerment of applicants without such credentials
applicants with previous academic experience in the United States will be assessed individually, with special consideration to duration of study, although our program is mainly directed toward applicants without such immersion
exhibit devotion to the Catholic faith and its tenets, maintaining the Precepts of the Church (CCC 2041-2043)
engagement with the Catholic community (teaching catechumens, service projects, etc.) beyond the necessities is highly preferred
have the ability and desire to learn/teach in the United States
have a working English proficiency, demonstrable in conversation and writing
show a desire to pursue a PhD/Masters in the humanities
Deadlines for Ph.D./Masters programs are entirely relative to the university department and can vary depending on academic discipline. However, applicants should apply to the Becket program approximately six months before the Ph.D./Masters deadline. The Princeton Review and Stratus Admissions Counseling offer a simple timeline for the PhD/Masters application process viewable here. For example, if a student wants to begin their PhD/Masters program in August 2020, they should apply to Becket around April 2019. Though there are no hard deadlines for Becket, the sooner the better.
English Level Proficiency
To apply to the Becket Program, applicants must demonstrate English proficiency in writing and speaking. The program’s standards are informal and tested through online calls and a review of some of the applicant’s academic work, but stricter standards may be required by the University system or Institution to which the scholar will submit their application. The Becket Program will assess this proficiency on a person-to-person basis to ensure every requirement is met in the application.
Though “humanities” can vary in definition and range, scholars should demonstrate a deep interest and history of interest in any of the following disciplines: humanities, classics, anthropology, philosophy, theology, political science, some fine arts, language, literature, journalism, history, legal studies, and any associated discipline.
Each student’s academic record will be judged individually and within the context of their university, so applicants interested in the program with only tangentially related majors will be assessed too.
Students in STEM or STEM related fields are encouraged to apply if they have an interest in pursuing the humanities. As is often the case, financial sustainability and “success” are often concerns for students in investing in their education, leading them to choose immediately profitable majors. However, many students who pursue this path wish they had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of ancient texts, Biblical and otherwise, of the philosophy and theology which is so essential to the Catholic intellectual tradition, and of the beauty and complexity of language and its influence in society. Additionally, attaining a PhD/Masters in a humanities field opens a vast number of profitable opportunities in addition to feeding the curiosity for meaningful knowledge and spiritual formation.
If you share these interests and concerns, please indicate them in an interest form so our team can contextualize your passion for the humanities.
What about STEM fields (Science, Engineering, Technology, Mathematics)
Financing and Scholarships
The Becket Program: All mentoring services during the Becket Program are provided without expense to accepted candidates, and the Becket program will work closely with airlines, Catholic housing networks, and other organizations to ensure lower living/traveling expenses.
PhD/Masters Application: Costs and fees associated with the Ph.D. or Masters program application will not be covered by Becket (this includes the TOEFLS, GRE tests, translation fees, and other costs.) Though these costs can be high, the Becket Program will work to reduce these costs by accurately placing candidates into University programs that suit their application to avoid extraneous application fees.
PhD Program: If accepted into the PhD program, the university will provide fellowships/assistantships/teaching-positions which covers all tuition, healthcare, and provides a living stipend for housing and food. PhD students, in teaching/researching, gain valuable experience with professors and as teachers, and are considered employees of the university with all resulting benefits. Most universities also offer merit and need-based scholarships and grants available to students by application. All of these options will be discussed with admitted Becket students and tailored to their specific PhD programs.
Masters Program: Most masters programs are not funded by the university, but fellowships/assistantships/teaching-positions are usually available through the department to help offset the costs. Additionally, departments might offer department-exclusive merit and need-based scholarships for students through application. External national and international scholarships are also available for select programs. All of these options will be discussed with admitted Becket students and tailored to their specific PhD programs.
Though it is helpful to know a Becket applicant’s academic background, interests, and aspirations, part of our service includes identifying “fitting” programs. Knowing to which program you’d like to apply could expedite the application process, but it is not necessary for the Becket Program application.
If applicants to the Becket Program are applying closer to the graduate application deadline, they should have already started parts of the application including program selection. Otherwise, the advisor will not have enough time to properly aid the fellow in their application and preparation.
Should I already know what graduate program I want to apply to?
As an administrator, professor, etc., what is the best way to socialize The Becket Program with my students?
We find that there are several avenues which help socialize Becket with scholars on and off campus. Here are a few that have proven to be quite effective:
emailing individual students/professors who might be great applicants
sending email blasts through the Career Services, International Relations, and departmental offices to students, professors, and alumni
working with existing alumni networks
contacting students pursuing a Masters degree at your university and any relevant professors
publishing the Becket Program on departmental and career/international websites through the university
hanging flyers at the job center and relevant humanities department offices
conducting a video conference for interested students with a member of our team
connecting with the Catholic student center, university parish, or other relevant Catholic-student groups