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Major and Minor in Judaic Studies

The University of Connecticut offers both a major and minor in Judaic Studies. Students who complete the major program in Judaic Studies receive a Bachelor of Arts degree. The program in Hebrew and Judaic Studies (HEJS) is housed in the Department of Literatures, Cultures, amd Languages (LCL) and supported by the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life as part of its mission to promote the academic and scholarly study of Jewish history, culture, and civilization.

The Hebrew and Judaic Studies program enables students to study the cultures and civilization of the Jewish people from the unique perspective of experts within a truly international department which provides a wide range of courses with exceptional faculty in Classics, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, and Comparative Literatures who present Jewish civilization from biblical times to the present through a wider lens, allowing students to learn about the Jewish experience within the larger context of the many cultures and civilizations with which Jews have interacted over the centuries. Many of our courses are either crosslisted with other departments or offered under their aegis, further enhancing the interdisciplinary but focused orientation of our program.

Students who wish to pursue a graduate degree in Judaic Studies have the option of obtaining the Master or Doctorate of Arts. 

The Hebrew and Judaic Studies program at UConn is intended to introduce students to the culture and civilization of the Jewish people. Courses cover various aspects of the history and literature of the Jews from biblical times to the present. Students who would like to learn more about ancient and modern Israel, the experience of Jews among Christians or Muslims, or Jewish life in contemporary America will find courses of interest among our offerings.  Our courses attract students from almost every department, program, and school of the university. Many HEJS courses meet content area requirements, and honors sections and W courses are often available. 

All students are welcome and encouraged to attend any of our special lectures, seminars, or other events – many of which qualify for honors credits.

For more information, contact Stuart S. Miller, Section Chair of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Academic Director of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life at stuart.miller@uconn.edu.

Education Abroad in Israel

Students may spend a semester or academic year at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, or Ben Gurion Universities. Students are urged to take at least one semester of Hebrew at UConn before studying abroad.

In cooperation with the Hebrew and Judaic Studies section of the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, the Center for Judaic Studies promotes special programs (e.g., archaeological excavations) and internships in Israel for which credit, including for the major and minor in Judaic Studies, may be possible.

In order to ensure the transfer of course credits to UConn, students wishing to study in Israel must contact our Academic Director, Professor Stuart S. Miller in advance of their semester(s) abroad. Email: stuart.miller@uconn.edu.


Major Plan of Study Course Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Judaic Studies

 

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Judaic Studies may be obtained by way of Track A, General Judaic Studies, or Track B, Classical Judaic Studies.

The general Judaic Studies and classical Judaic Studies tracks share some key characteristics, but otherwise have different emphases and goals and are distinct.  Both provide the student with a broad, general background in Jewish civilization and familiarize the student with key texts that inform Jewish culture, religion, and history.  The general Judaic Studies major provides a broader perspective and includes a course concentration in the modern period. This is achieved through the requirement to take courses in the biblical, ancient/rabbinic, medieval, and modern periods.  The classical track focuses on the pre-modern experience, especially in the biblical and rabbinic periods.

Download the Judaic Studies Major Plan of Study Form

General Education Requirements:

To graduate, a student must earn a minimum of 120 credits, earn at least 45 credits in classes numbered 2000 and above, meet the CLAS General Education and Concentration requirements, and have an overall grade point average of 2.0. The field of concentration includes both the major and related groups.  At least 24 credits in one department, or with permission of the major department, in accordance with the Major Requirements listed below.  Students shall submit their plan of study for approval with their HEJS advisor, and, upon approval, with the Registrar by the end of the 4th week of the semester in which they expect to graduate.  Students completing a double major must file a plan of study for each major.

 

Major Requirements -Track A - General Judaic Studies

  • Two years of modern Hebrew (or the equivalent) is required from elementary (HEJS 1151, 1152), intermediate (HEJS 1153, 1154) or advanced (HEJS 3251, 3252) courses.  Credits from Israeli or other ulpan programs may be applied. 16 credits.
  • HEJS 1103 - Literature and Civilization of the Jewish People. 3 credits
  • HEJS 3401W - Jewish American Literature and Culture (may be substituted for SOCI 2509W with approval). This course is included in the 24 credits required beyond the language preparation and HEJS 1103 and satisfies the W requirement for Track A
  • Four courses from Group A, including one from each section (12 credits)
  • Three courses from Group A or B (9 credits)

 

Group A Courses:

 

Biblical Israel:

HEJS 3201 - Selected Books of the Hebrew Bible. 3 credits

CAMS 3253/HIST 3301 - The Ancient Near East. 3 credits

INTD 3260 - The Bible. 3 credits

Ancient / Rabbinic:

HEJS 3218 / CAMS 3256 / HIST 3330 - Palestine Under the Greeks and Romans. 3 credits

Medieval:

HEJS 3301 - Jewish Middle Ages. 3 credits

Modern:

HEJS 2104 - Modern Jewish Thought. 3 credits

HEJS 3251 or HEJS 3252 - Advanced Modern Hebrew I / Advanced Modern Hebrew II. 3 credits

HEJS 3279 - Literature of Modern Israel. 3 credits

HEJS 3511 - American Jewry. 3 credits

SOCI 2509W - Sociology of Anti-Semitism. 3 credits

 

Group B Courses:

 

HEJS 3202 - Sections and Movements in Judaism. 3 credits

HEJS 3203 / HIST 3418 - The Holocaust. 3 credits

HEJS 3241 - Jewish Magic from Late Antiquity through the Early Modern Period. 3 credits

CAMS 3244 - Ancient Fictions. 3 credits

HIST 3340/CAMS 3243 - World of Late Antiquity. 3 credits

HIST 3705 - The Modern Middle East from 1700 to Present

or HIST 3712 - Middle East Crucible

 

The following with approval of HEJS advisor:

HEJS 3293 - Foreign Study. 3 credits

HEJS 3299 - Independent Study. 3 credits

HEJS 3298 - Variable Topics. 3 credits

*Some HEJS graduate courses are open to undergraduates and may be substituted, with permission.  In addition, students may also take upper-level undergraduate or graduate courses in other sections of LCL that have significant Judaic content provided they are first approved by their HEJS advisor.


Major Requirements -Track B - Classical Judaic Studies

  • One year of Biblical Hebrew (HEJS 1149 and 1150). 8 credits.
  • HEJS 3218W / CAMS 3256W / HIST 3330W - Palestine Under the Greeks and Romans. 3 credits. This course is included in the 24 credits required beyond the language preparation.
  • Four courses from Group A (12 credits)
  • Three courses from Group A or B (9 credits)

 

Group A Courses:

 

HEJS 3201 - Selected Books of the Hebrew Bible. 3 credits

HEJS 3241 - Jewish Magic from Late Antiquity through the Early Modern Period. 3 credits

HIST 3340 - World of Late Antiquity. 3 credits

CAMS 3244 - Ancient Fictions. 3 credits

CAMS 3253 / HIST 3301 - The Ancient Near East. 3 credits

INTD 3260 - The Bible. 3 credits

HEJS 3301 - Jewish Middle Ages. 3 credits

 

Group B Courses:

 

HEJS 5316 - Jewish Martyrdom in the Middle Ages. 3 credits

HEJS 5326 - Translating Scriptures. 3 credits

 

One of the following courses may also be included in the 24 credits, depending upon the student's pre-modern period of interest. Approval of HEJS advisor required:

CAMS 3246 - Hellenistic World. 3 credits

CAMS 3250 / HIST 3335 - The Early Christian Church. 3 credits

CAMS 3251 / ARTH 3140 - Greek Art. 3 credits

CAMS 3252 / ARTH 3150 - Roman Art. 3 credits

CAMS 3254 / HIST 3320 - Ancient Greece. 3 credits

CAMS 3255 / HIST 3325 - Ancient Rome. 3 credits

 

The following with approval of HEJS advisor:

HEJS 3293 - Foreign Study. 3 credits

HEJS 3298 - Variable Topics. 3 credits

HEJS 3299 - Independent Study. 3 credits

CAMS 3298 - Variable Topics. 3 credits

If you have further questions, please contact our Academic Director, Professor Stuart S. Miller at stuart.miller@uconn.edu.


Course Requirements for the Minor in Judaic Studies

The purpose of the minor in Judaic Studies is to provide an in-depth study of topics in Judaic Studies reflecting the history, literature, and culture of the diverse experiences of the Jews throughout the world stretching back four millennia to biblical Israel.  While not required for graduation, a minor provides an option for the student who wants an academic focus in addition to a major. Unless a higher standard is noted in the description of a specific minor program, completion of a minor requires that a student earn a 2.0 grade or better in each of the required courses for that minor. The same course may be used to meet both major and minor course requirements unless specifically stated otherwise in a major or minor.

A plan of study for the minor; signed by the department or program head, director, or faculty designee; must be submitted to the Degree Audit Office during the first four weeks of the semester in which the student expects to graduate. The minor is then recorded on the student’s final transcript.

Download the Judaic Studies Minor Plan of Study Form.

Course Requirements

  • Prerequisite: HEJS 1103 - Literature and Civilization of the Jewish People. 3 credits
  • At least one year of biblical or modern Hebrew is strongly recommended
  • A total of 15 credits from 2000-level or above courses is required
  • A minimum of 6 credits in Foundational Courses (Group A) must be taken
  • A maximum of 9 credits from Topical Courses (Group B) may be taken

 

Group A - Foundational Courses:

 

HEJS 3201 - Selected Books of the Hebrew Bible. 3 credits

HEJS 3218 / CAMS 3256 / HIST 3330 - Palestine Under the Greeks and Romans. 3 credits

HEJS 3301 - Jewish Middle Ages. 3 credits

HEJS 3511 - American Jewry. 3 credits

INTD 3260 - The Bible

 

Group B - Topical Courses:

 

HEJS 2104 - Modern Jewish Thought. 3 credits

HEJS 3202 - Sections and Movements in Judaism. 3 credits

HEJS 3203 / HIST 3418 - The Holocaust. 3 credits

HEJS 3241 - Jewish Magic from Late Antiquity through the Early Modern Period. 3 credits

HEJS 3279 - Literature of Modern Israel. 3 credits

CAMS 3244 - Ancient Fictions

CAMS 3253 / HIST 3301 - Ancient Near East

HEJS 3401W - Jewish American Literature and Culture. 3 credits

HIST 3705 - The Modern Middle East from 1700 to Present. 3 credits

HIST 3712 - Middle East Crucible. 3 credits

The following courses may be substituted for Group B Courses with the approval of the student's HEJS advisor:

HEJS 3293 - Foreign Study

HEJS 3299 - Independent Study

SPAN 3200 - Spanish Civilization to the Modern Period. 3 credits

If you have further questions, please contact our Academic Director, Professor Stuart S. Miller at stuart.miller@uconn.edu.

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BA Plan of Study Form

Plan of Study form