Master of Arts in Jewish Studies

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College graduates with a basic Jewish studies background can further their knowledge generally, or focus on specific areas of advanced Jewish learning. The Master's in Jewish Studies offers a broad range of topics, appealing to students, professionals and the community at large. It also provides a firm foundation for doctoral work in Jewish education.

The master's program requires 36 credits, which may be completed online, on campus, or in a blended format. Candidates must demonstrate Hebrew competency at the level ordinarily attained after completing 6 credits of academic study.

For more information, contact Dr. Joseph Davis, Academic Coordinator of the Distance Program; Associate Professor Jewish Thought. 215-635-7300 x142.

Requirements for the Master of Arts in Jewish Studies

Option 1: Master of Arts in Jewish Studies

36-credit program for students who do not specialize and who fulfill the minimal 6-credit Hebrew prerequisite. The requirements for this Masters option are as follows:

  • 36 graduate credits in Jewish studies courses.  Students entering with little or no college-level background in Jewish studies must include:
    • Seminar in Classical Judaism (Thought 30750) - 3 credits
    • Judaism's Encounter with Modernity (Thought 30751) - 3 credits
    • Classical Jewish Studies - 9 credits
    • Modern Jewish Studies  - 9 credits
    • Electives - 12 credits

Candidates for the Masters in Jewish Studies must demonstrate competency in Hebrew language at the level ordinarily attained following the completion of six credits of academic study. Students who have not attained this level of proficiency may satisfy the requirement through study in the College's regular academic Hebrew program or in the ulpan courses offered by the Samuel Netzky Division of Continuing Education.

Option 2: Master of Arts in Jewish Studies with a Major

For students who opt to take 18 credits in a specific subject area. Masters and/or Certificate programs already exist at Gratz College which specialize in Jewish Education, Music, or Jewish Communal Service.

MAJS with a Major in Bible, Rabbinics, or Literature:

  • 18 prerequisite credits in Hebrew
  • 18 graduate credits in a Major (Bible, Rabbinics, or Literature)
  • 9 credits in the Classical Period (Bible, Rabbinics, Medieval Studies)
  • 9 credits in the Modern Period (Medieval Studies, Modern History, Modern Thought, Modern Literature, Music, Contemporary Jewish Studies)

Students must take a variety of courses in the Classical and Modern periods and are not permitted to fulfill the distribution requirement by taking all 9 credits in one subject area (e.g., the 9 credit requirement in the Modern Period cannot be fulfilled by taking all 9 credits in History).

Courses in Medieval Studies may count toward the requirement in either the Classical or Modern Periods.
The distribution requirements necessitate taking courses that are outside a student's major field (e.g., Bible majors must take courses in Rabbinics and Medieval Studies to fulfill the 9-credit requirement in the Classical Period).

MAJS with a Major in History and/or Jewish Thought; Contemporary Jewish Studies:

  • 6 prerequisite credits in Hebrew
  • 18 graduate credits in a Major (History and/or Jewish Thought; Contemporary Jewish Studies)
  • 9 credits in the Classical Period (Bible, Rabbinics, Medieval Studies)
  • 9 credits in the Modern Period (Medieval Studies, Modern History, Modern Thought, Modern Literature, Music, Contemporary Jewish Studies)

Students must take a variety of courses in the Classical and Modern periods and are not permitted to fulfill the Distribution requirement by taking all 9 credits in one subject area (e.g., the 9 credit requirement in the Modern Period cannot be fulfilled by taking all 9 credits in History).

Courses in Medieval Studies may count toward the requirement in either the Classical or Modern Periods.
The distribution requirements necessitate taking courses that are outside a student's major field (e.g., Bible majors must take courses in Rabbinics and Medieval Studies to fulfill the 9-credit requirement in the Classical Period). If a student chooses to write a Master’s Thesis (worth 6 credits), the 18-credit requirement in the Major is reduced to 12 credits.