University of Minnesota
Center for Jewish Studies
jwst@umn.edu
612-624-4914


Department of Jewish Studies' home page.

Major

Jewish Studies B.A.

  1. Program type: Baccalaureate
  2. Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2015
  3. Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  4. Required credits within the major: 28 to 33
  5. Degree: Bachelor of Arts

This broad, interdisciplinary field studies the civilization of the Jewish people from its beginning in biblical antiquity to the present. The diverse quality of Jewish civilization and the unifying forces of its religion and language offer ample material for the study of continuity, adaptation, and change. The undergraduate program offers courses in the Bible, Jewish history, Jewish literature, midrash, Jewish philosophy, medieval and modern Jewish Studies, Talmud, and rabbinics. The program has links with the departments of American Studies, Sociology, History, English, German, Scandinavian and Dutch, Music, and Political Science. The University's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies offers courses related to the Nazi Holocaust and its aftermath.

Study abroad in Israel or Europe is encouraged as a valuable augment to the major; consult with the Learning Abroad Center for more information.

For Program Requirements, See:

https://webapps-prd.oit.umn.edu/pcas/viewCatalogProgram.do?programID=165

For Specific Courses in the Current and Upcoming Terms, See:

http://jwst.cla.umn.edu/courses/

Required Introductory Coursework

One of the following gateway courses:

  • JWST 1034 - Introduction to Jewish History and Civilization, [HIS] (3.0 cr)
  • or JWST 3034 - Introduction to Jewish History and Civilization, [HIS] (3.0 cr)
  • or RELS 1034 - Introduction to Jewish History and Civilization, [HIS] (3.0 cr)
  • or RELS 3034 - Introduction to Jewish History and Civilization, [HIS] (3.0 cr)

Major Language Requirement

Students are required to complete at least one course in Biblical or Modern Hebrew at the 4th semester or beyond. Students with prior knowledge of Biblical or Modern Hebrew should consult the major program adviser for appropriate placement in each sequence. (Note: these courses require prior completion of prerequisite language courses or placement by the major program adviser upon demonstrated proficiency.)

  • HEBR 3012 - Intermediate Hebrew II (5.0 cr)
  • or HEBR 3090 - Advanced Modern Hebrew (3.0 cr)
  • or HEBR 3102 - Intermediate Biblical Hebrew II (4.0 cr)
  • or HEBR 5090 - Advanced Modern Hebrew (3.0 cr)

Major Courses

Take a minimum of seven 3xxx-5xxx courses for a minimum of 21 credits. Four courses must be chosen from two emphasis areas: (1) Jewish History and Culture in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds; and (2) Jewish History, Culture, Politics and Society in the Modern World. The remaining three courses are elective.

Jewish History & Culture in the Ancient & Medieval Worlds emphasis area

Take at least one "Texts and Languages" course, and one additional course. Note: students who have completed the 4th semester, or beyond, of Modern Hebrew may count a maximum of two of the following courses toward this sub-requirement: HEBR 1101, 1102, 3101 or 3102.

For a list of the "Text and Languages" courses offered, click here.

For a list of the Additional Courses, click here.

The three remaining courses are electives. Please click here for a list of available courses.

Jewish History, Culture, Politics & Society in the Modern World emphasis area

Take at least one "Texts and Languages" course, and one additional course. Note: students who have completed the 4th semester, or beyond, of Biblical Hebrew may count a maximum of two of the following courses toward the sub-requirement: HEBR 1001, 1002, 3011 or 3012.

For a list of the "Text and Languages" courses offered, click here.

For a list of the Additional Courses, click here.

The three remaining courses are electives. Please click here for a list of available courses.

Senior Project

Choose from JWST 4000W (4 credits) or JWST 4001W (1 credit, taken concurrently with an approved upper-division course in the major.)

Students may prepare their final project in any related field of interest. Possibilities include:

  • Ancient Israelite literature or religion
  • The relation between Israelite and cuneiform literature
  • Ancient Judaism
  • Second Temple literature (including sectarian movements, Hellenistic Judaism, the relationship between Church and Synagogue, Dead Sea Scrolls, etc.)
  • Material culture and its role in the reconstruction of Jewish social and religious history
  • Judaism and rabbinic literature in the Greco-Roman world
  • Issues of linguistic and social history, etc.
  • The primary intellectual relationship is between the student and the faculty advisor. The role of the center director is to clarify for all parties the expectations of the final project.

Final Clearance

Final clearance from the DUS is required prior to graduation.

Declare a Jewish Studies Major or Minor

Contact Director of Undergraduate Studies Natan Paradise at parad004@umn.edu to get the process started!