BA/Semicha Program


Invest in Your Learning, Invest in Your Future

Yeshiva University and its affiliate Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary have a long and rich history as an outstanding Yeshiva with the finest roshei yeshiva and talmidim. In keeping with this tradition, Yeshiva University has inaugurated the BA/Semicha Program. This new program allows students interested in Jewish education or the rabbinate to pursue a quality undergraduate degree, while fully immersed in the Torah that YU has to offer. Over the course of six years, talmidim will have the ability to learn three sedarim a day and enjoy a unique halacha curriculum, including a chelek of Mishna Berura each year.


➢ Who should apply? Prospective students interested in maintaining a sharp focus on intense Torah learning while pursuing a quality undergraduate education. This program is especially exciting for those with career aspirations in the areas of chinuch or rabbanut. However, it should be considered seriously by all those who are motivated to push their Torah learning beyond the already rigorous YU Torah curriculum.

➢ Exactly how are the six years divided up? Talmidim who have studied for at least two years in Israel continue their undergraduate education for 4 years, followed by two years of additional learning and professional training to finish semicha. The first semester on campus is particularly geared toward Torah and personal growth. During this “transition semester”, students take one or two core college courses, thereby allowing easier transition to yeshiva and campus and additional learning opportunities. ​Future semesters combine a lightened college load thereby allowing time for afternoon seder.

➢ Which Rebbeim make up the staff of the 6-year Program?

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky offers a weekly chaburah on the pages covered in the weekly Mishna Berura limmud [next year the group is covering the third chelek of the Mishna Berura].
  • Rabbi Tanchum Cohen oversees the afternoon seder and offers a weekly chaburah.
  • Rav Moshe Weinberger, our Mashpia, meets once a month with the group and engages them in intimate discussions of personal and spiritual growth.
  • Rabbi Yosef Kalinsky directs the program, curriculum, and hosts monthly get-togethers for the participants.

➢ So I don’t need to major in Psychology? Most majors offered by Yeshiva College can be substituted for the Psychology major. The advantages of the new psychology track are twofold: the major provides the future rabbi a uniquely designed set of courses for his career with a focus in areas of education, social work and psychology

➢ What if I’m not even sure if I want to stay for all six years? After four years you will receive your undergraduate degree. If you choose to stay an additional two years you can receive RIETS semicha, and, for those going into education, a master’s degree in Jewish Education through additional courses at the Azrieli Graduate School of education.

➢ Can you tell me what a typical semester schedule would look like? Following the "transition semester", students take 12-13 college credits each semester. This may include three college credits for shiur. Students take two courses at 3:00pm (one Mon/Wed and one Tue/Thu) but preferably not at the 4:30pm slot – thereby opening the afternoon between 4:30pm and 6:15pm to learn in the Beit Midrash.

➢ What is the difference between the Masmidim Honors Program and the Six-Year program? The Masmidim Program requires specific study of bekiyut, parsha, and time commitment in Yeshiva on Fridays, Shabbatot, June etc. and is connected to an academic scholarship. Additionally, some Masmidim talmidim do not continue on to semicha after college. The six-year program is geared towards talmidim interested in a career in the area of chinuch or rabbanus and looks at the undergraduate and semicha years on campus as one unit.

➢ Can I join both the Masmidim Program and the Six-Year Program? Absolutely.

➢ Can I join the program after a year or more on campus? In order to lock in the discounted tuition rate, you must elect to join the program at the beginning of your college career. Students are able to join the extra learning and sedarim at any point.

➢ Did you say “discounted tuition rate”? A student who applies, gains admission, and commits to enroll in the BA/Semicha track before his first semester on campus, is able to stay a fourth year on campus as a full-time undergrad student without paying tuition fees. Furthermore, during the final two years, as a full-time student in RIETS tuition is free.

➢ What if I want to join after studying one-year in Israel? You can join the program immediately and reap the benefits of the Torah-focused undergraduate experience. At the end of the four undergraduate years with additional years of learning, you can finish semicha over the following three years.

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