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, this registration requirement can also be fulfilled by registration in the previous spring semester. 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.

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

MA requirements (through Spring 2020)

Students who entered the program before fall 2020 may choose to fulfill the old requirements or the new ones

Bible

  • Introduction to Biblical Studies I & II (6 credits)
  • Biblical Hebrew (3 credits)
  • 15 credits of advanced courses (numbered 6000 and higher) in Bible
  • 6 credits of electives in or outside the field of Bible to be chosen in consultation with the faculty adviser.

Ancient Jewish History

  • 6 credits of basic courses (those numbered 5000-5999) in ancient Jewish history
  • 12 credits of advanced courses (numbered 6000 and above) in Ancient Jewish History.   6 of these credits may be in Rabbinic Literature of the pre-medieval period with the approval of the Dean in consultation with the department.
  • 12 credits of electives in or outside the field of Ancient Jewish History  
  • At least 6 of the 30 credits comprising the concentration must be in Rabbinic Literature of the pre-medieval period either as advanced courses (with the required permission) or as electives.

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 electives of which at least 6 must be outside the field of medieval Jewish history

Modern Jewish History

  • 18 credits of basic source courses (those numbered 5000-5999), 6 in American, 6 in Eastern European, and 6 in Central/Western European history. The basic course in Jews in Islamic Lands during the modern period may be substituted for one of the basic courses in Eastern European History.  The course on the Jews of Latin America or the course on the Sephardic Atlantic may be substituted for one of basic courses in Western European history.
  • 6 credits of advanced courses (numbered 6000 and above) in modern Jewish History
  • 6 credits of electives in or outside the field of modern Jewish history to be chosen in consultation with the faculty adviser.

Jewish Philosophy

  • Survey of: (1) Medieval Jewish Philosophy and (2) Modern Jewish Philosophy (6 credits)
  • The introductory courses in: (1) Jewish Mysticism and (2) Hasidism (6 credits)
  • 12 credits of advanced courses (numbered 6000 and above) in Jewish philosophy
  • 6 credits of electives in or outside the field of Jewish Philosophy to be chosen in consultation with the faculty adviser.

Talmudic Studies

  • 6 credits of basic source courses (those numbered 5000-5999) in Talmudic studies
  • 12 credits of advanced courses in Talmudic studies
  • 12 credits of electives of which at least 6 credits must be outside the field of Talmudic studies

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.

New MA requirements (revised as of fall 2020). 

Concentrations that required eight courses (24 credits) in the field have reduced the number to seven (21 credits). Students who entered the program before fall 2020 may choose to fulfill the old requirements or the new ones.  In  the case of Bible, students who have taken Introduction to Bible I or II  do not have to take the new “Introduction to Biblical Studies” and may simply take Biblical Hebrew and an additional 15 credits of advanced courses in Bible plus 9 credits in or outside the field.  Note too the reduction in the number of core courses required in Modern Jewish History. 

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.

Bible

Introduction to Biblical Studies (3 credits) [new course, to be offered in Spring 2021]

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.

Talmud

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

Ancient Jewish History

  • 12 credits of courses in Ancient Jewish History
  • 9 credits of courses either in Talmud or Ancient Jewish History
  • 9 credits of electives 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:
  • 3 credits in American (specifically JHI 5572), 3 credits in Western/Central European, 3 credits in East European, and 3 credits in Sephardic/Middle Eastern Jewish histories.  JHI 5580 Promised Lands: Jewish Presence in Latin America is a Sephardic History course.
  •  Two courses in Sephardic history currently numbered in the 6000’s will be renumbered in the 5000’s.  These count toward the core course requirement even when they were taken before the renumbering. They are JHI 6386: The Sephardic Atlantic, and JHI 6388: Sephardic Reactions to Persecution: the Phoenix and the Fire,
  •  9 credits elective courses in Modern Jewish History at any level (5000 or above)
  • 9 credits of elective courses in any field.

Jewish Philosophy

  • Survey of: (1) Medieval Jewish Philosophy and (2) Modern Jewish Philosophy (6 credits)
  • The introductory courses in: (1) Jewish Mysticism and (2) Hasidism (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.

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.