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Master of Arts in Jewish Studies

Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies

As of Fall 2023, all programs at Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies will be available remotely as well as in-person.
All classes can be taken live-online via Yeshiva University's remote conference platform.

At the Master of Arts level, we provide students with broad and intensive training in their fields of study. The MA program appeals to individuals in all walks of life who strive to enhance their Jewish learning through a rigorous and stimulating program. The MA degree is offered in the following areas of concentration: Bible, medieval Jewish history, modern Jewish history, Jewish philosophy, and Talmud & Ancient Judaism.

The program is structured to appeal to men and women (40 percent of our current student body is female) who strive to enhance their Jewish learning through a rigorous and stimulating program. Whether you want to continue professionally in fields such as law or business, enter into more traditional areas like Jewish education or Jewish communal service, or pursue the degree out of intellectual curiosity and personal interest, the program is for those who want to be challenged and inspired.

Classes may be taken in the fall, spring and summer semesters. During the regular academic year, classes meet weekly for 15 weeks and are scheduled at 3, 5 and 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and occasionally on Friday morning.

Summer courses, which are available under the aegis of the Harry Fischel School for Jewish Studies, meet in the morning and evening three times a week for five weeks.

Harry Fischel Summer School for Higher Jewish Studies

Classes for credit are open to qualified graduate and advanced undergraduate students in Jewish Studies and related fields at Yeshiva University and other academic institutions (appropriate document must be filed in the Revel Office of the Dean). Students at Yeshiva University may take these courses toward fulfilling degree requirements. Students from other institutions may take the courses as transient students for possible transfer credit at their home institution. Qualified individuals who do not fit into these categories may register with permission of the dean.

Full Program Breakdown

At the Master of Arts level, we provide students with broad and intensive training in their fields of study. The MA program appeals to individuals in all walks of life who strive to enhance their Jewish learning through a rigorous and stimulating program. The MA degree is offered in the following areas of concentration: Bible, medieval Jewish history, modern Jewish history, Jewish philosophy, and Talmud & Ancient Judaism.

The program is structured to appeal to men and women (40 percent of our current student body is female) who strive to enhance their Jewish learning through a rigorous and stimulating program. Whether you want to continue professionally in fields such as law or business, enter into more traditional areas like Jewish education or Jewish communal service, or pursue the degree out of intellectual curiosity and personal interest, the program is for those who want to be challenged and inspired.

Classes may be taken in the fall, spring and summer semesters. During the regular academic year, classes meet weekly for 15 weeks and are scheduled at 3, 5 and 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and occasionally on Friday morning.

Summer courses, which are available under the aegis of the Harry Fischel School for Jewish Studies, meet in the morning and evening three times a week for five weeks.

Harry Fischel Summer School for Higher Jewish Studies

Classes for credit are open to qualified graduate and advanced undergraduate students in Jewish Studies and related fields at Yeshiva University and other academic institutions (appropriate document must be filed in the Revel Office of the Dean). Students at Yeshiva University may take these courses toward fulfilling degree requirements. Students from other institutions may take the courses as transient students for possible transfer credit at their home institution. Qualified individuals who do not fit into these categories may register with permission of the dean.

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At the Master of Arts level, we provide students with broad and intensive training in their fields of study. The MA program appeals to individuals in all walks of life who strive to enhance their Jewish learning through a rigorous and stimulating program. The MA degree is offered in the following areas of concentration: Bible, medieval Jewish history, modern Jewish history, Jewish philosophy, and Talmud & Ancient Judaism.

The program is structured to appeal to men and women (40 percent of our current student body is female) who strive to enhance their Jewish learning through a rigorous and stimulating program. Whether you want to continue professionally in fields such as law or business, enter into more traditional areas like Jewish education or Jewish communal service, or pursue the degree out of intellectual curiosity and personal interest, the program is for those who want to be challenged and inspired.

Classes may be taken in the fall, spring and summer semesters. During the regular academic year, classes meet weekly for 15 weeks and are scheduled at 3, 5 and 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and occasionally on Friday morning.

Summer courses, which are available under the aegis of the Harry Fischel School for Jewish Studies, meet in the morning and evening three times a week for five weeks.

Harry Fischel Summer School for Higher Jewish Studies

Classes for credit are open to qualified graduate and advanced undergraduate students in Jewish Studies and related fields at Yeshiva University and other academic institutions (appropriate document must be filed in the Revel Office of the Dean). Students at Yeshiva University may take these courses toward fulfilling degree requirements. Students from other institutions may take the courses as transient students for possible transfer credit at their home institution. Qualified individuals who do not fit into these categories may register with permission of the dean.

Earn a Master of Arts in

Jewish Studies

Bible

Jewish Philosophy

Medieval Jewish History

Modern Jewish History

Talmud &  Ancient Judaism

Scholarship and Fellowship Award Application (PDF)

MA Program: Admissions Requirements

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a recognized college or university and have a grade point average of at least B (3.0). Admission to the General Jewish Studies MA does not require Hebrew proficiency, though certain electives will be unavailable to students who lack such proficiency. With the exception of Modern Jewish History, however, pursuing any of the specialist tracks requires an academic background that includes documented evidence of a Hebrew proficiency adequate for the required readings. In the absence of such evidence, a Hebrew reading test may be required as part of the admission process. Beginners Biblical Hebrew courses will be available to students entering without Hebrew proficiency.

Credit Requirement

Thirty credits distributed among introductory (survey) and advanced courses in the area of concentration and electives outside that area. The distribution of these courses differs in the various areas of concentration.

Comprehensive Examination

All students are required to take a written comprehensive examination in their field of concentration. The examination is based on coursework and a reading list. It is offered at the beginning and end of the fall semester and at the end of the spring semester. Students must be registered for courses or Master's Research during the semester in which they expect to take the comprehensive examination.

In the case of the September examination, the deadline for applying to take the exam is July 1st and students will need to register for Master’s Research in the Summer semester preceding the examination.The student must file for the comprehensive examination by the date appearing in the academic calendar. The comprehensive examination must be taken during or after the semester in which the student completes his or her course work. For students concentrating in Bible, it may not be taken in the same semester in which the student is taking basic courses required for the concentration unless special permission has been obtained from the dean. A student who fails the examination is provided one additional opportunity to pass it.

Written Comprehensive Exam Application

Optional Master’s Thesis

A student may choose to write a Master’s Thesis.  That student’s transcript will record the successful completion of the project.  The thesis does not serve as a substitute for the comprehensive examination.

A student planning a thesis will prepare a two page proposal in consultation with his or her advisor. This proposal will describe the project and its contribution, providing a short bibliography of relevant sources.  A secondary reader will be appointed by the advisor.  Once approved by both the advisor and reader, the thesis proposal will be countersigned by the dean or associate dean.

Once completed and approved by the advisor and reader, a bound copy of the thesis will be cataloged and stored in the Gottesman Library. 

The thesis must be completed within six months of the completion of all coursework, except in extenuating circumstances and with permission of the advisor

Residence Requirement

A minimum of 24 credits must be taken at Revel. Thus, up to 6 credits may be transferred toward the Master of Arts degree from other institutions. These must be master's- or doctoral-level courses taught in accredited graduate programs. The applicability of a course to our master's program is determined on a case-by-case basis. Students registered for 9 credits in a semester are considered full time.

Administrative Requirement

  • Approbation of the faculty and president
  • Filing an Application for Graduation during the registration period of the semester in which the student completes all requirements

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations now require all institutions to establish, publish, and apply standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for federal financial aid eligibility.  Since these must be at least as rigorous as the school’s policy for students not receiving such aid, these regulations effectively mandate the establishment of standards for all students.

The BRGS policy is as follows:
MA Degree:
Students are required to complete their degree within five years.  All course assignments must be completed within a semester and summer of the completion of a course, though faculty may require more timely submission.   Students who have enrolled in 12 credits during their graduate careers must have completed at least 50% successfully in order to remain in good standing.   Withdrawals—even without penalty—count in this calculation.  Students who have enrolled in 24 credits must have completed at least 75% successfully.  To remain in good standing after the completion of 12 credits, a student must have maintained a grade point average of 3.0.
Progress will be reviewed annually.
Students who entered the program before the issuing of these regulations (September 2014) must either meet these deadlines or complete the program by September 2017.
Students who have taken a leave or otherwise experienced special circumstances may request an extension of these deadlines.  Students granted such an extension should contact the Office of Student Finance to determine their eligibility for government assistance.

Distribution of Courses for the Various Areas of Concentration

New MA requirements (revised as of fall 2023)

Students who entered the program before Fall 2023 may choose to fulfill the old requirements or the new ones. 

Jewish Studies

  • 9 credits of introductory (5000 level) courses from at least two different tracks (Bible, Medieval Jewish History, Modern Jewish History, Jewish Philosophy, Talmud & Ancient Judaism)
  • 15 credits of advanced courses (numbered 6000 and higher)
  • 6 credits of electives that can be taken at either the 5000 or 6000 level

Bible

  • BIB 5031: Introduction to Biblical Studies (3 credits)
  • BIB 5203: Biblical Hebrew (3 credits)
  • 15 credits of advanced courses (numbered 6000 and higher) in Bible
  • 9 credits of electives in or outside the field of Bible to be chosen in consultation with the faculty adviser.

Jewish Philosophy

  • JPH 5011: Introduction to Medieval Jewish Philosophy and JPH 5012: Survey of Modern & Contemporary Jewish Philosophy (6 credits)
  • JPH 5350: Introduction to Jewish Mysticism and JPH 5360 Introduction to Hassidic Thought (6 credits)
  • 9 credits of advanced courses (numbered 6000 and above) in Jewish philosophy
  • 9 credits of electives in or outside the field of Jewish Philosophy to be chosen in consultation with the faculty adviser.

Talmud & Ancient Judaism

  • 21 credits of courses in Talmud or Ancient Jewish History
  • 9 credits of elective courses in any field

Medieval Jewish History

  • 6 credits of basic source courses (those numbered 5000-5999) in medieval Jewish history
  • 12 credits of advanced courses (numbered 6000 and above) in medieval Jewish history
  • 12 credits of elective courses in any field

Modern Jewish History

  • 12 credits of 5000 level core courses across the geographical spectrum comprising: 3 credits in American (JHI 5571:  American Jewish History: 1654–1881, or JHI 5572: American Jewish History: 1881-1967), 3 credits in Western/Central European (JHI 5400: Early Modern Europe: 1492–1760 , JHI 5410: Jews in Modern Europe, Social and Intellectual History: 1760–1900 , or JHI 5450: History and Nature of Anti-Semitism), 3 credits in East European (JHI 5440: East European Jewish History: 1750–1914, JHI 5441: The Jews of Eastern Europe: 1914–89 , or JHI 5445: Kulturkampf in Eastern Europe: The Russian Haskalah and the Rabbinic Response), and 3 credits in Sephardic/Middle Eastern Jewish histories (JHI 5401: The Sephardic Atlantic, JHI 5402: Sephardic Reactions to Persecution: The Phoenix and the Fire, or JHI 5580: The Jews of Latin America 1492–Present).
  • 9 credits elective courses in Modern Jewish History at any level (5000 or above)
  • 9 credits of elective courses in any field.

In instances where a student's schedule makes it very difficult to take a required course, substitution of another course may be authorized in writing by the dean in consultation with the relevant department.

Please contact Rona Steinerman at steinerm@yu.edu if you have further questions.

The Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies is located at:
Yeshiva University
Wilf Campus, Furst Hall Third Floor
500 West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033.

We are easily accessible by car or public transportation.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about admissions, administrative information, philanthropic opportunities or any other relevant concern.

Our mailing address:
Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies
Harry Fischel School for Higher Jewish Studies
500 West 185th Street, Furst Hall Third Floor
New York, NY 10033

Telephone: 646-592-4270
Fax: 212-960-0856

* = required field

Prospective Students

Scholarship and Fellowship Award Application (PDF)

MA Program: Admissions Requirements

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a recognized college or university and have a grade point average of at least B (3.0). Admission to the General Jewish Studies MA does not require Hebrew proficiency, though certain electives will be unavailable to students who lack such proficiency. With the exception of Modern Jewish History, however, pursuing any of the specialist tracks requires an academic background that includes documented evidence of a Hebrew proficiency adequate for the required readings. In the absence of such evidence, a Hebrew reading test may be required as part of the admission process. Beginners Biblical Hebrew courses will be available to students entering without Hebrew proficiency.

Credit Requirement

Thirty credits distributed among introductory (survey) and advanced courses in the area of concentration and electives outside that area. The distribution of these courses differs in the various areas of concentration.

Comprehensive Examination

All students are required to take a written comprehensive examination in their field of concentration. The examination is based on coursework and a reading list. It is offered at the beginning and end of the fall semester and at the end of the spring semester. Students must be registered for courses or Master's Research during the semester in which they expect to take the comprehensive examination.

In the case of the September examination, the deadline for applying to take the exam is July 1st and students will need to register for Master’s Research in the Summer semester preceding the examination.The student must file for the comprehensive examination by the date appearing in the academic calendar. The comprehensive examination must be taken during or after the semester in which the student completes his or her course work. For students concentrating in Bible, it may not be taken in the same semester in which the student is taking basic courses required for the concentration unless special permission has been obtained from the dean. A student who fails the examination is provided one additional opportunity to pass it.

Written Comprehensive Exam Application

Optional Master’s Thesis

A student may choose to write a Master’s Thesis.  That student’s transcript will record the successful completion of the project.  The thesis does not serve as a substitute for the comprehensive examination.

A student planning a thesis will prepare a two page proposal in consultation with his or her advisor. This proposal will describe the project and its contribution, providing a short bibliography of relevant sources.  A secondary reader will be appointed by the advisor.  Once approved by both the advisor and reader, the thesis proposal will be countersigned by the dean or associate dean.

Once completed and approved by the advisor and reader, a bound copy of the thesis will be cataloged and stored in the Gottesman Library. 

The thesis must be completed within six months of the completion of all coursework, except in extenuating circumstances and with permission of the advisor

Residence Requirement

A minimum of 24 credits must be taken at Revel. Thus, up to 6 credits may be transferred toward the Master of Arts degree from other institutions. These must be master's- or doctoral-level courses taught in accredited graduate programs. The applicability of a course to our master's program is determined on a case-by-case basis. Students registered for 9 credits in a semester are considered full time.

Administrative Requirement

  • Approbation of the faculty and president
  • Filing an Application for Graduation during the registration period of the semester in which the student completes all requirements

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations now require all institutions to establish, publish, and apply standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for federal financial aid eligibility.  Since these must be at least as rigorous as the school’s policy for students not receiving such aid, these regulations effectively mandate the establishment of standards for all students.

The BRGS policy is as follows:
MA Degree:
Students are required to complete their degree within five years.  All course assignments must be completed within a semester and summer of the completion of a course, though faculty may require more timely submission.   Students who have enrolled in 12 credits during their graduate careers must have completed at least 50% successfully in order to remain in good standing.   Withdrawals—even without penalty—count in this calculation.  Students who have enrolled in 24 credits must have completed at least 75% successfully.  To remain in good standing after the completion of 12 credits, a student must have maintained a grade point average of 3.0.
Progress will be reviewed annually.
Students who entered the program before the issuing of these regulations (September 2014) must either meet these deadlines or complete the program by September 2017.
Students who have taken a leave or otherwise experienced special circumstances may request an extension of these deadlines.  Students granted such an extension should contact the Office of Student Finance to determine their eligibility for government assistance.

Distribution of Courses for the Various Areas of Concentration

New MA requirements (revised as of fall 2023)

Students who entered the program before Fall 2023 may choose to fulfill the old requirements or the new ones. 

Jewish Studies

  • 9 credits of introductory (5000 level) courses from at least two different tracks (Bible, Medieval Jewish History, Modern Jewish History, Jewish Philosophy, Talmud & Ancient Judaism)
  • 15 credits of advanced courses (numbered 6000 and higher)
  • 6 credits of electives that can be taken at either the 5000 or 6000 level

Bible

  • BIB 5031: Introduction to Biblical Studies (3 credits)
  • BIB 5203: Biblical Hebrew (3 credits)
  • 15 credits of advanced courses (numbered 6000 and higher) in Bible
  • 9 credits of electives in or outside the field of Bible to be chosen in consultation with the faculty adviser.

Jewish Philosophy

  • JPH 5011: Introduction to Medieval Jewish Philosophy and JPH 5012: Survey of Modern & Contemporary Jewish Philosophy (6 credits)
  • JPH 5350: Introduction to Jewish Mysticism and JPH 5360 Introduction to Hassidic Thought (6 credits)
  • 9 credits of advanced courses (numbered 6000 and above) in Jewish philosophy
  • 9 credits of electives in or outside the field of Jewish Philosophy to be chosen in consultation with the faculty adviser.

Talmud & Ancient Judaism

  • 21 credits of courses in Talmud or Ancient Jewish History
  • 9 credits of elective courses in any field

Medieval Jewish History

  • 6 credits of basic source courses (those numbered 5000-5999) in medieval Jewish history
  • 12 credits of advanced courses (numbered 6000 and above) in medieval Jewish history
  • 12 credits of elective courses in any field

Modern Jewish History

  • 12 credits of 5000 level core courses across the geographical spectrum comprising: 3 credits in American (JHI 5571:  American Jewish History: 1654–1881, or JHI 5572: American Jewish History: 1881-1967), 3 credits in Western/Central European (JHI 5400: Early Modern Europe: 1492–1760 , JHI 5410: Jews in Modern Europe, Social and Intellectual History: 1760–1900 , or JHI 5450: History and Nature of Anti-Semitism), 3 credits in East European (JHI 5440: East European Jewish History: 1750–1914, JHI 5441: The Jews of Eastern Europe: 1914–89 , or JHI 5445: Kulturkampf in Eastern Europe: The Russian Haskalah and the Rabbinic Response), and 3 credits in Sephardic/Middle Eastern Jewish histories (JHI 5401: The Sephardic Atlantic, JHI 5402: Sephardic Reactions to Persecution: The Phoenix and the Fire, or JHI 5580: The Jews of Latin America 1492–Present).
  • 9 credits elective courses in Modern Jewish History at any level (5000 or above)
  • 9 credits of elective courses in any field.

In instances where a student's schedule makes it very difficult to take a required course, substitution of another course may be authorized in writing by the dean in consultation with the relevant department.

Please contact Rona Steinerman at steinerm@yu.edu if you have further questions.

The Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies is located at:
Yeshiva University
Wilf Campus, Furst Hall Third Floor
500 West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033.

We are easily accessible by car or public transportation.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about admissions, administrative information, philanthropic opportunities or any other relevant concern.

Our mailing address:
Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies
Harry Fischel School for Higher Jewish Studies
500 West 185th Street, Furst Hall Third Floor
New York, NY 10033

Telephone: 646-592-4270
Fax: 212-960-0856

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