UConn's Judaic Studies graduate program provides a unique opportunity for students with specialized interests in Jewish literature, culture, and history to pursue their research in the context of other relevant literatures, cultures and languages, all of which are taught within UConn's integrated Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (LCL) and which include, aside from Hebrew and Judaic Studies (HEJS), sections devoted to Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Chinese, Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, French and Francophone Studies, German Studies, Italian Literary and Cultural Studies, and Spanish Studies. Students may also take relevant courses in other programs and departments beyond LCL, especially Medieval Studies, which has a particularly strong relationship with LCL and Judaic Studies.
A terminal Master of Arts in Judaic Studies, administered by the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, may be pursued. Students who wish to pursue the Doctorate of Arts degree do so through the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages by combining their interest in a relevant culture and literature (e.g., German, Spanish, Italian, French, Arabic) with a concentration in Hebrew and Judaic Studies.
Our core faculty, which includes Center Director Jeffrey Shoulson, Academic Director and HEJS Section Chair Stuart S. Miller, Professor Susan Einbinder, and UConn Stamford Center for Judaic and Middle Eastern Studies Director Nehama Aschkenasy, provide expertise in Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Judaic Studies, with special focus on Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations, and is strengthened by the larger Hebrew and Judaic Studies (HEJS) faculty and affiliated colleagues from other departments.
The Center also offers support for graduate studies in the form of teaching and research assistantships. Students enrolled in the M.A. program in Judaic Studies are eligible for these assistantships, which cover tuition and fees and include a stipend for living expenses. Students who apply for admission to the MA program will automatically be considered for funding.
Students who have an interest in expanding their knowledge of Judaic Studies for professional or personal reasons are encouraged to apply.
Admission to the Degree Program:
The Judaic Studies Admissions Committee considers applications for admission to the master’s program. An undergraduate major in Judaic Studies is not necessarily required, but, before admission, students must display evidence of adequate preparation and interest. Students are encouraged to articulate a coherent plan of study that takes advantage of the integrated approach described above.
To be admitted to the M.A. program in Judaic Studies, a student must meet UConn's admissions standards, which include a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Additional criteria specific to this program include:
- Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores is highly recommended
- 3 Letters of reference that address the applicant's level of scholarly potential and academic commitment
- A personal statement addressing the applicant's goals, accomplishments, research interests, and the time frame for degree completion.
Also desirable, but not required, are a personal interview with the applicant by UConn Judaic Studies faculty; submission of any exemplary written work (publications or scholarly papers) to enhance consideration for admission; undergraduate experience in Judaic Studies, theology, and/or relevant life experience; and courses in the history of religion, comparative religion, and the history of the ancient Near East.
Requirements for an MA in Judaic Studies
Work leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Judaic Studies may be undertaken either with Plan A (15 credits, a thesis, and a final oral exam) or Plan B (24 credits, and a final written exam, without thesis). In either case, course work in Judaic Studies is to be distributed among several sections in LCL, Medieval Studies, and, on occasion, other departments. The student’s advisory committee is composed of representatives of these constituencies.
The Center for Judaic Studies in conjunction with Hebrew and Judaic Studies, organizes a number of special seminars throughout the academic year featuring faculty and visiting lecturers, which graduate students are expected to attend.
A minimum of two years of college-level Hebrew language instruction (or its equivalent) is required in order to receive the Master’s degree.
- The pursuit of philosophical, historical, literary, theoretical and empirical approaches to the field of Judaic Studies through creative scholarship.
- Independent inquiry that advances Judaic Studies as a respected discipline.
- Advanced instruction for graduate students with professional interests in the field of Judaic Studies.