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The Undergraduate Program

About the Program

The interdisciplinary Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies provides a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum in the history, religion, and cultural traditions of the Jewish people and offers instruction in Biblical Hebrew language and literature. The program offers a major leading to a bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree and minor. It sponsors courses, lectures, and other events of interest to the general student population and the wider community.

Four Year Degree Plan

The degree plan shown is only a sample of how students may complete their degrees in four years. There are alternative ways. Students should consult their advisor to determine the best path for them.

Undergraduate Studies

The Judaic Studies program consists of required core courses taught under the JDST, HBRW, and REL subject codes and related courses taught in the disciplines of participating faculty members, including Anthropology, Art History, Comparative Literature, English, Geography, Germanic languages and literatures, History, Landscape Architecture, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, Romance Languages, Sociology, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Judaic Studies provides a broad liberal-arts background suitable for careers in a wide range of professional fields and prepares students for graduate work in Judaic Studies or related endeavors.

Requirements:  The lower-division credits must include the three core courses which cover the development of Judaism and Jewish culture in a chronological sequence (REL 211, JDST 212, JDST 213), and an Introduction to the Study of the Bible (REL 222). Majors satisfy the university’s foreign language requirement for the bachelor of arts with six terms of biblical Hebrew language and literature (HBRW 111-113 and HBRW 311-313 and 399).

Upper-division requirements total 28 credits and include seven courses, one of which must concentrate on the American Jewish experience. The remaining courses must focus on significant issues in Judaic Studies as defined from the perspective of the instructor’s academic discipline. These courses must be taken in at least two departments. Recently offered courses include Women in Judaism (REL 318), Jewish Writers (ENG 340), Israelis and Palestinians (JDST 342), American Jewish History (HIST 358), and Jewish Folklore and Ethnology (ANTH 429). Other approved courses include Geography of Religion (GEOG 446), Sociology of Religion (SOC 461), Philosophy of Religion (PHIL 320), Religious Life in the United States (HIST 359), Themes in German Literature (GER 368), and Europe in the 20th Century (HIST 428). A list of approved courses is available from the program director preceding each term and they also appear in the class schedule and on the program website.

Major Requirements

Currently, the major requires a minimum of 68 credits, including six terms of biblical Hebrew language and literature. Up to 4 credits in either Internship (JDST 404) or Practicum (JDST 409 or HBRW 409) may be used to satisfy major requirements.

 Lower Division Requirements  28 credits
Biblical Hebrew (HBRW 111, 112, 113) 12
Early Judaism (REL 211) 4
Medieval and Early Modern Judaism (JDST 212) 4
The Jewish Encounter with Modernity (JDST 213) 4
Introduction to the Study of the Bible (REL 222) 4
 Upper-Division Requirements  40 credits
Three biblical or postbiblical Hebrew literature courses 12
One course in the American Jewish experience 4
Six approved elective courses offered by at least two other departments 24


ANTH 429 Jewish Folklore and Ethnology 4
ENG 340 Jewish Writers 4
ENG 380 Film, Media, and History 4
FLR 411 Folklore and Religion 4
GER 368 Themes in German Literature 4
HIST 415 Advanced World History: [Topic] 4
HIST 428 Europe in the 20th Century: [Topic] 4
JDST 320M History of Jewish Art 4
JDST 324 Jewish-Christian Relations through the Ages 4
JDST 330 American Jewish Cultures 4
JDST 340 Israelis and Palestinians 4
PHIL 320 Philosophy of Religion 4
REL 318 Women in Judaism 4

A list of approved courses is available from the program director preceding each term; it also appears in the online class schedule and the program website.

Honors in Judaic Studies

Requirements for a degree with honors in Judaic Studies:

  1. Satisfaction of the requirements of the major.
  2. A cumulative grade point average of 3.50 in courses taken to satisfy the major requirements.
  3. Satisfactory completion of an honors thesis. The candidate for honors must register for 4 credits of research (JDST 401) winter term of the senior year, in order to prepare for writing the thesis, and for 4 credits of Thesis (JDST 403) spring term, when writing the thesis. A faculty committee of two supervises the thesis project. A first draft of the thesis must be submitted six weeks before the end of the term in which the student expects to graduate and the final draft two weeks before the end of the term.

Minor Requirements

The minor in Judaic studies requires 28 credits, including 16 upper division credits. Up to 4 credits in Internship (JDST 404) or Practicum (JDST 409 or HBRW 409) may be used to satisfy minor requirements.

Lower Division Requirements 12 credits
Early Judaism  (REL 211) 4
Medieval and Early Modern Judaism  (JDST 212) 4
The Jewish Encounter with Modernity (JDST 213) 4
Upper Division Requirements 16 credits
Four approved courses, one of which must deal with the American Jewish experience (JDST 330 or HIST 358).