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 integrated within UConn's Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (LCL), which incorporates, aside from Hebrew and Judaic Studies (HEJS), 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. 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.
Areas of special emphasis include: a. Biblical Studies, including the translation, exegesis, and comparative study of the Hebrew Bible from the ancient to the modern period; b. Relations between Jews and Non-Jews, including their relations in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds, Jewish-Christian relations (from ancient to modern times), and the Jews, Christians, and Muslims from medieval times to the early modern period; and c. Varieties of Jewish Identities and Expression, including the self-perception and presentation of the Jews in their literatures as well as their representation and the mediation of Jewish themes in the writings of non-Jews.
Students who wish to pursue a terminal Master of Arts in Judaic Studies or the Doctorate of Arts degree do so through the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. Doctoral 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 (visit their website to learn more).
Our core faculty, which includes Center Interim Director Sebastian Wogenstein, Academic Director and HEJS Section Chair Stuart S. Miller, Professor Arnold Dashefsky, Professor Susan Einbinder, and Professor Jeffrey Shoulson, provide expertise in Classical, Medieval, Early Modern, and 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 for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life offers support for graduate studies in the form of teaching and research assistantships. Students enrolled in the MA 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:
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 https://languages.uconn.edu/graduate-2/phd/.
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.
- 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.