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Jewish Studies Requirement Update

Jewish Studies Requirement Update

Spring 2023 — Updates to Jewish Studies Program Requirements

Dear Jewish Studies Students and Faculty:

Thank you to all who came to our first Jewish Studies Town Hall meeting on Thursday, March 9. At that meeting, we presented an update on the state of the Jewish Studies program, as well as on some changes and clarifications to policies and procedures across our three graduate programs, which are outlined below.

A recording of the Town Hall is available if you would like to view. View here >

MAJS Hebrew Language Requirement

Retroactive to July 1, 2022, the MA in Jewish Studies program will no longer include proficiency in Hebrew as a core requirement for graduation. Students who have completed one or more levels of the Hebrew requirement, or passed all levels in the Hebrew proficiency exam, prior to March 9, 2023, will receive core credits for completed levels. After this time, credits earned through taking one or more of the Hebrew courses, or passing one or more levels of the Hebrew exam, will be credited as electives. Spertus will continue to offer its three-course asynchronous Hebrew course module, and students wishing to study Hebrew will continue to be able to do so. Furthermore, students wishing to take the Hebrew placement exam and receive credit for the Hebrew core have until July 1, 2023 to do so.

Because Hebrew will now be an elective in the MAJS program, Master’s students will have a total of six elective courses required for graduation. Please note: this does not change the overall number of credits required or courses needed for graduation.

Hebrew for Doctoral Programs

For students whose doctoral exams and final projects require advanced levels of Hebrew, the student must demonstrate the level of mastery required to pursue such a project and complete it within three academic years from the date of proposal acceptance. For DS in Jewish Studies students, this demonstration of mastery will be included in the exam process, through analysis and translation of Hebrew text.

Streamlined Comprehensive Exam Process

Effective July 1, 2023, the exam process for the Doctor of Science in Jewish Studies program will be comprise one exam of four sections, rather than four separate exams. Details will be shared in the Student Handbook, and individually with DSJS students as they prepare to sit for exams.

Clarified Procedures for Proposal and Completion of Final Doctoral Projects

We have clarified the procedures for developing, proposing, and completing final doctoral projects. These steps include:

  • Initial meeting with the Director of Jewish Studies
  • Development and submission of five-page outline of the project, including advisor and other member(s) of project committee
  • Upon approval of project outline, development and submission of detailed proposal of 15-20 pages to include preliminary project outline, comprehensive literature review, and section on methodology in addressing central questions of the project
  • Quarterly meetings with project committee
  • Registration for one-credit Final Project Research and Writing course ($350 tuition per quarter) for each quarter of final project work.

Summer 2023 Seminar

We previewed our upcoming 2023 Summer Seminar, which features four courses taught by outstanding faculty, both new and returning. The final registration deadline for the seminar is March 29. See details and register here >

2023-24 Academic Year

We will be unveiling our 2023-24 course offerings in June. This is designed to help you plan out the entire academic year. As your program advisor, I’m available to meet with you to support your learning endeavors and to make sure you make steady progress through your graduate program. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to schedule a time to meet with me to discuss your learning goals and to see how our upcoming course offerings will help you reach those goals.

Here’s to another year of outstanding learning opportunities!


David Gottlieb signature

David N. Gottlieb, PhD
Director of Jewish Studies
Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies
Spertus Institute for Learning & Leadership