You are here

Master of Arts in Jewish Studies

Master of Arts in Jewish Studies

MA in Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies at Spertus Institute

At Spertus Institute, we embrace the idea that the wisdom of Jewish thought and the richness of Jewish experiences inform Jewish society and Judaism today. Our programs encourage personal reflection. Students grapple with Jewish ideas in the service of their personal, professional, and communal advancement.

Spertus Institute's Master of Arts in Jewish Studies (MAJS) is a sequenced, content-specific program that explores the evolving nature of Jewish civilization, the fundamental religious and intellectual outlook of Jews and Judaism, and the contributions of Jewish civilization to human civilization. The program is designed to provide inspiration and grounding for students who embrace and continue to explore both Jewish heritage and Jewish life today.

Throughout the program, students explore and examine Jewish texts — a traditional and effective mode of Jewish learning — to promote intellectual growth through discovery and inquiry.

Admissions requirements include a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution of higher education.

Why Spertus Institute?

  • Welcoming nondenominational environment open to all
  • Distinguished international faculty
  • Flexible scheduling and locations, distance learning available
  • Opportunities to pursue individual interests
  • Extensive resources

Apply Now >

MA in Jewish Studies Learning Outcomes

  • A basic familiarity with the key periods and themes in Jewish history
  • An understanding of the nature and development of Judaism as a religion
  • Familiarity with the most important Jewish thinkers and personalities
  • Familiarity with the central texts in Jewish tradition and history
  • An understanding of the complex relation between Jews and Judaism and the non-Jewish world
  • An understanding of the challenges and possibilities facing Jews and Judaism throughout history and how Jews and Judaism have responded to these challenges and possibilities
  • A basic understanding of biblical Hebrew, equivalent to one year of college-level Hebrew
  • Familiarity with primary resources and methodologies involved in Jewish Studies
  • Development of intermediate to advanced knowledge and skills in an area of individual focus selected by the student
  • Awareness of Jewish diversity throughout the ages

MA in Jewish Studies Program Requirements
48 quarter-hour credits | 16 courses

Spertus Institute's Jewish Studies degree programs are offered on a quarter-term system, which allows for flexible start dates. As a result, course credit is granted in quarter hours (as opposed to semester hours).

Many of our MAJS Core courses are offered online in an asynchronous (self-guided) format. Other courses are offered during January and June seminars, or through weekly web conferencing sessions in the fall and spring.

Core courses (7 courses, 3 quarter-hour credits each)

  • 3500 — Introduction to Jewish Studies
  • 3501 — The Bible and the Ancient Near East  
  • 3502 — World of the Rabbis
  • 3503 — Jews and Judaism in the Middle Ages
  • 3504 — Early Modern Jewish Experiences
  • 3505 — Modern Jewish Experiences
  • 3506 — Contemporary Jewish Experiences

2nd Level Core and Elective courses (3 courses, 3 quarter-hour credits each)
Must be across several historical time periods — any course meeting that criteria

  • 4216 — History of Jewish Biblical Interpretation  

Electives (6 courses, 3 quarter-hour credits each)

  • Any course relating to studies
  • 1221, 1222, 1223 — Introduction to Biblical Hebrew I, II, and III 

Course is available online 


Reasonable tuition rates encourage participation by students in a range of disciplines from around the world. 

  • Masters level tuition
    $350 per quarter-hour credit
    ($1050 per 3qh course)

  • Doctoral level tuition 
    $400 per quarter-hour credit
    ($1200 per 3qh course)

Students must be admitted before registering for courses. 

Is This Program For Me?

Contact Assistant Director for Recruitment Amie Barrish or 312.322.1707, who will meet you to discuss your goals.


Spertus Institute is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604.