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Degree Overview

Master of Arts in Jewish Studies

The Program in Jewish Studies offers a Master of Arts degree through the Graduate Department of Religion, a division of the Graduate School of Vanderbilt University.

The Masters degree requires 30 credit hours and may be pursued via interdisciplinary coursework in the humanities and social sciences.

The MA in Jewish Studies addresses those who wish to end their formal education in the field at the MA level and also those who wish to do graduate work in Jewish Studies with the expectation that they might matriculate elsewhere in a doctoral degree. Students who apply for this degree can expect to deepen their preparation in Jewish studies and to strengthen their credentials for application to other programs.


  • Knowledge of Intermediate Biblical or Modern Hebrew
    • In place of biblical or modern Hebrew, interested students may substitute one of the following languages of the Jewish people: Rabbinic Hebrew, Aramaic, Yiddish, Ladino, or Judaeo-Arabic.
  • A broad background in Jewish history and civilization

REQUIREMENTS – 30 credit hours

  • Focus Courses – 18 credit hours
    • Graduate-level courses with a minimum of 3 courses from 1 of the following subfields of study, 2 of which must be text-centered, and a minimum of 1 course from each of 2 other subfields.
      • Area 1 – Biblical Studies
      • Area 2 – Antiquity and the Medieval World
      • Area 3 – Modern and Contemporary Experience
      • Area 4 – Culture, Philosophy, and Literature
  • Minor – 6 credit hours
  • Thesis (no credit)
  • 1 modern foreign research language (GDR requirement)

University Tuition Scholarships are service-free awards that pay all or part of tuition costs. The following graduate awards are normally supplemented by a full University Tuition Scholarship, which usually includes student health insurance coverage: University Fellowships, Graduate Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Research Assistantships, Traineeships, and Teacher Training Awards.