There are three elements to the D.H.L. program, each of which is described in detail in the DHL Handbook.
1. a course of study
2. a set of oral examinations
3. a doctoral dissertation
The core of the program is a course of study in three subject areas--one major field and two minor fields--designed by the student in collaboration with three faculty advisers (one for
each field). There is often a relationship among the three subject areas, but it is not required that there be one. The specific requirements of the course of study may be fulfilled entirely by guided
independent study, or by a combination of independent study and coursework. Either the major or both minors must include substantial study of Hebrew texts. The major and minor areas normally
are selected from the following list (other areas of Judaic Studies maybe considered as well, as long as they are duly approved):
The student is formally admitted to D.H.L. candidacy once three advisers have been secured and the online application form and fee have been submitted to the director of the Pines
School of Graduate Study. Upon admission to D.H.L. candidacy, the program of study for each area must then be formulated with, and approved in writing by, the faculty adviser for that
area. Once all three program outlines have been prepared and approved (including bibliographies), they must be submitted to the director of the Pines School of Graduate Studies[, who presents
them to the Graduate Executive Committee (the School's governing body) for approval].