Graduate Program

Homer Babbidge Library evening

A Unique, Interdisciplinary, and Global Graduate Program in Judaic Studies

The MA and PhD in Judaic Studies at the University of Connecticut at Storrs

Interested in pursuing graduate studies that incorporate the study of the history and cultures of the Jews within a single, consolidated program that extends well beyond Near or Middle Eastern Studies?

Look no further.

The University of Connecticut’s graduate program leading to a MA or PhD in Judaic Studies is sponsored by the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (“LCL”), which is home to the Hebrew and Judaic Studies Section (“HEJS).”

What makes this graduate program truly unique is that “HEJS” is situated within “LCL,” a department that has other sections devoted to Arabic Studies, 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. Many of these sections maintain strong connections to the university’s History, Medieval Studies, and Human Rights programs, which further allow for optimal interdisciplinary and methodological approaches.

HEJS includes a specialist in the history and literature of the Jews in Greco-Roman Palestine (Stuart S. Miller), a scholar of the medieval period who concentrates on the Hebrew literatures of France, Provence, and Iberia with a related interest in Jewish physicians and medical practitioners (Susan Einbinder), and a modernist whose research focuses on the aftermath of the Shoah, particularly as it relates to refugees and creation of the State of Israel (Avinoam Patt).

Aside from these three core members of HEJS, the section includes faculty from German Studies (Sebastian Wogenstein), French and Francophone Studies (Anne Berthelot), Spanish Studies (Daniel Hershenzon), Italian Literary and Cultural Studies (Philip Balma), and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (Sara Johnson), all of whom maintain ongoing research and/or pedagogic interests in Judaic Studies. Graduate students combine their interest in a relevant culture and literature (e.g., German, Spanish, Italian, French, Arabic) with a concentration in Hebrew and Judaic Studies.

Areas of special emphasis include:

  • the literatures, history, and archaeology of Graeco-Roman and Late Antique Palestine
  • the translation, exegesis, and comparative study of Hebrew Scripture from ancient through medieval times
  • Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the medieval and early modern Mediterranean world
  • Jewish literary, cultural, and institutional responses to catastrophe
  • Jewish identities, including the self-representation of Jews in their literatures and the representation of Jews and Jewish themes in the writings of non-Jews
  • Jewish responses to the Holocaust during and following World War II

UConn’s Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life and the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages offer support for graduate studies in the form of teaching and research assistantships that cover tuition and fees and include a stipend for living expenses.

The deadline for admission is February 1. Interested students should consult the following links and contact Professor Avinoam Patt at for further information:

Admission to the Degree Program:  

Applicants for graduate study must apply to both the Graduate School of the University of Connecticut and the MA or PhD program in Judaic Studies in the Department of Literatures, Cultures & Languages. Since the Department is unable to act upon applications until all the requirements of the Graduate School have been fulfilled, it is imperative that the following steps be followed.

Submit your application to the Graduate School, along with official transcripts, and the application fee. All application materials, including supporting documents, must be received by February 1 for the fall semester.

For online applications, visit the UConn Graduate Admission site.

Please note that applications will not be processed until the fee is paid.

International applicants must also submit transcripts and degree statements in the original language, and an official English translation. International applicants from countries where the official language is not English must submit the results of the TOEFL examination to the Graduate Admissions Office.

The Judaic Studies Admissions Committee considers applications for admission to the graduate 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 the graduate program in Judaic Studies include:

  • 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.
  • Submission of writing sample
  • Submission of a CV

Also desirable, but not required, are Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores; a personal interview with the applicant by UConn Judaic Studies faculty; 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 the Master of Arts in Judaic Studies

The M.A. program requires a minimum of 30 credits of graduate coursework. Work leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Judaic Studies may be undertaken either with Plan A (21 credits, a thesis, and a final oral exam) or Plan B (30 credits, and a final written exam, without thesis). Plan A requires not fewer than 21 credits of advanced coursework and not fewer than 9 additional credits of Master’s Thesis Research (GRAD 5950 or GRAD 5960). 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, which is responsible for designing the plan of study in consultation with the student, is composed of representatives of these constituencies.) In addition, students following either plan must take CLCS 5302 and LCL 5030, which are departmental requirements.

The advisory committee may require more than the minimum number of credits, especially since a minimum of two years of college-level Hebrew language instruction (or its equivalent) is required in order to receive the Master’s degree. Specific characteristics of the thesis or the exam will also be determined by the advisory committee.

M.A. students planning to apply to the Ph.D. program should complete during the first year of the M.A. program the 3-credit course in Literary Theory (CLCS 5302) and the 3-credit course on Methods and Approaches to Second Language Acquisition (LCL 5030).

Requirements for the Doctorate of Arts in Judaic Studies

Please visit the Department of Literatures, Cultures & Languages website for more information on the PhD program in Judaic Studies at

Additional Requirements

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.

Program Objectives

  • 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.

If you have further questions, please contact our  Director, Professor Avinaom Patt at