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Indiana University Bloomington
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Master of Arts in Jewish Studies

Indiana University’s master’s degree program in Jewish Studies provides students with the advanced interdisciplinary and language study necessary to prepare them for a doctoral program in a disciplinary department or for nonacademic careers in the professional world and nonprofit sector. Building on the unique strengths of the Borns Jewish Studies Program, the M.A. program in Jewish Studies allows students to take classes with IU's world-class faculty in a wide range of areas within Jewish Studies, to work closely with a faculty mentor on an independent master’s thesis project, and to pursue internship opportunities as part of the master’s degree program.

The program will normally take two years to complete. It is designed to provide students with a solid working knowledge in one or more languages relevant to the study of Jewish culture (typically Modern Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, and/or Yiddish), a broad exposure to the academic field of Jewish Studies in a number of different disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, and the analytical skills that should serve students whether they choose to pursue a doctoral degree related to Jewish Studies or find employment in the professional world, for example in nonprofit management or education.

The M.A. in Jewish Studies can be combined with a certificate in nonprofit management from Indiana University’s School for Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). Students with a particular interest in modern Jewish history can pursue a dual M.A. in Jewish Studies and History.

Most students receive fellowship funding of up to $20,000 plus health insurance and fee remission.

How to apply for the M.A. in Jewish Studies

M.A. Requirements

Thirty-two (32) credit hours of graduate course work to be distributed as follows. Courses need to be at the 500-level or above; courses at the 300 or 400 level can be included only with permission of the Director of Graduate Studies of the Jewish Studies Program.

  1. JSTU-H 520: Colloquium in Jewish Studies (4 credits)
  2. 16 credits (at least 4 courses) to be distributed among courses taught by Jewish Studies faculty.
  3. 12 credits (at least 3 courses) of electives. 3 of these credits can be in JSTU-J 699 for research towards the optional M.A. thesis.
  4. M.A. Thesis or Comprehensive Exam
    Students will have the choice of completing an M.A. thesis (not to exceed 40 pages or 12,000 words) or of completing a comprehensive exam. Students who choose the thesis option will register for 3 cr. under JSTU-J 699 and will be examined on the thesis by a committee of three faculty members, at least two of whom must be Jewish Studies faculty. Students who select the comprehensive exam option will be examined on a reading list to be selected in consultation with the exam committee, which will consist of three faculty members, at least two of whom must be Jewish Studies faculty.
  5. Language Requirement
    Completion of the Jewish Studies M.A. requires knowledge of a language relevant to the student’s research interest—normally Modern Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, or Yiddish—at the second-year level. First and second year (elementary and intermediate level) language courses in the first foreign language do not count towards the degree requirements but may be necessary to demonstrate proficiency.
    Up to 6 cr. in a second relevant language (e.g., Yiddish, if the first language is Hebrew, or vice-versa) may be counted towards the required 16 cr. of courses taught by Jewish Studies faculty.

The M.A. degree requires three semesters of residency. A maximum of 8 transfer credits are allowed to satisfy the M.A. requirements.

How To Apply

Domestic students (deadline January 1, 2016):

International students (deadline December 1, 2015):

Applicants for the dual M.A. in History and Jewish Studies (deadlines November 1, 2015 for international students and December 1, 2015 for domestic students) need to apply indicating their interest in the dual degree program on the "Departmntal Questions" section of the online application. For further information contact the Jewish Studies Graduate Secretary, Melissa Hunt, at

For more details about the domestic application process, please visit the University Graduate School at

For more details about the international applicatons process, please visit the Office of International Admissions at