Bachelor of Arts in Judaic Studies

Explore Jewish history and culture in our interdisciplinary program, while taking part in exciting research or study abroad opportunities. You can also choose to minor in Judaic Studies and select from a rich array of exciting classes in six different areas: history, Yiddish, Arabic, Bible, Holocaust studies, and Israel studies.

About the Major

Judaic studies is an interdisciplinary program of study which focuses on the Jews and Judaism, including but not limited to, historical, linguistic, religious, sociological, political, and philosophical perspectives. Our program spans the periods from the beginnings of ancient Israel through the modern Jews and modern Israel. If you have no previous experience with Hebrew language, you are required to complete 42 credits including three required, core courses in Jewish history (9 credits) and two years of modern Hebrew (12 credits). The modern Hebrew requirement may be waived for students who demonstrate equivalent fluency.

Degree Requirements

Core Classes

You must complete a total of 24 credits, which includes core courses and 12 credits of foreign language classes. Examples include:

  • Jewish History from the Exile to the Enlightenment  
  • Modern Jewish History  
  • Bible and Archaeology-Old Testament  
  • Elementary Arabic I and II
  • Hebrew Language I: Elementary Conversational Hebrew  

For more information, and to see a complete list of degree requirements, visit the Course Catalog.

Additional Requirements

Students in upper-level Judaic studies courses undertake substantial written work exclusive of examinations. The emphasis is on helping students learn to write effective analytical research papers. Choose from one of the following two courses:

  • Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Ethics 
  • Modern European-Jewish Literature 

For more information, and to see a complete list of additional degree requirements, visit the Course Catalog.

Electives

You must complete 18 credits of electives, with two being upper-level courses. Select from categories like Bible, History, Literature, Religious Thought and Philosophy, and more. Examples include:

  • Archaeology of the Land of Israel
  • The Holocaust  
  • Modern European-Jewish Literature
  • The Talmud: Its History and Literary Development  
  • Elementary Arabic I

For more information, and to see a complete list of electives, visit the Course Catalog.

Minor Requirements

The minor in Judaic Studies requires 18 credits, three required courses and nine credits of electives. Required courses include:

  • Jewish History from the Exile to the Enlightenment  
  • Modern Jewish History  
  • Bible and Archaeology-Old Testament

For more information, and to see a complete list of minor requirements, visit the Course Catalog.

Tamar Mor

Judaic Studies and Psychology, '20

Tamar says the Judaic Studies program has taught her to think critically about history and the development of a people over thousands of years and has sharpened her oral and written communication abilities and analysis skills. She says the faculty is supportive and adaptive to student needs and there is always someone there to answer her questions and guide her through her studies.

Being a Judaic Studies student has allowed me to study abroad for a semester at Tel Aviv University in Israel. This experience enhanced my learning and truly brought the major to life. I was able to see the things I read about and discussed in class from a different lens, which has been a critical component to my education.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate conceptual knowledge in a variety of disciplines associated with the study of Judaic Studies, ancient and modern Israel, the Bible, and Rabbinic texts, including the study of literature, history, art history, religion, philosophy, modern languages, cinema, archaeology, anthropology/sociology, geography, Hebrew language, and political science.
  • Demonstrate oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrate basic comprehension and proficiency in historically significant languages of the Jews and Jewish history: Hebrew (and language skills in general in the teaching of Yiddish and Arabic language and culture courses).
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and analytic skills for the research of Judaic Studies in primary and secondary sources.
  • Analyze the major arguments of theological and philosophical importance in major texts (Bible, Rabbinics, Modern Jewish literature).

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