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Master of Arts in Jewish Studies without Specialization

The Master of Arts in Jewish Studies degree gives you the keys to unlocking Judaism and Jewish texts and defining your own path of original study and research.

Students who earn this degree use it to enrich their personal knowledge of Judaism at an advanced level, advance professionally in Jewish communal organizations, build a foundation for rabbinic or cantorial study or prepare for a career in Jewish academic scholarship.

Course of Study

The MAJS degree can be completed through online learning, or if you live locally, you may select from a mix of online and on-campus courses.There is one required summer residency at Hebrew College in Boston of six days, with the option of an enriching and soulful Shabbat experience. As part of the course of study, students take 12 credits of text courses which require one hour of synchronous study with a fellow student.

The common core gives students an overview of Jewish history, combining in-depth text study with global picture of Jewish experience across the three millennia. All students also choose two readings courses from two different time periods (Biblical, rabbinic, medieval and modern), offered with rotating topics, allowing them to do advanced study in a broader field that matches their intellectual and spiritual interests. 

  • Texts and Contexts: Foundations of Jewish Cultures and Wisdom
  • Creation, Revelation, Redemption: Studies in Biblical Literature
  • Zachor: An Exploration of Jewish Memory 
  • The Histories of God: Readings in Classical Jewish Theology
  • The Nature of Torah: How to Read Torah, Midrash, Mishnah and Talmud as Natural Systems
  • Modern Hebrew Literature
  • Approaching the Holocaust: History, Memory and Faith 

Optional Specializations

The MAJS may also be taken with a specialization in Jewish Spirituality and Mysticism or one in Social and Environmental Change Leadership.
To learn more about our dual degree programs in Jewish Education and Jewish Studies, click here 

Degree Requirements

  • Demonstrated Hebrew proficiency of Level 4 or higher
  • Completion of 36 credits, detailed below:
Jewish History and Culture
Texts of Jewish History and Culture* 16
One summer weeklong residential seminar 3
Selection of three 3-credit courses (electives) in Jewish culture
Graduate Research Seminar







* These courses include one hour of study each week with a study partner.


Marcia Spellman
Hebrew College Admissions

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