Judaic Studies

The Judaic Studies graduate program provides a unique opportunity for students with specialized interests in Jewish literature, culture, and history to pursue their research in the context of other relevant literatures, cultures and languages, all of which are integrated within the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (LCL), which incorporates, aside from Hebrew and Judaic Studies (HEJS), sections devoted to Arabic Studies, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Chinese, Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, French and Francophone Studies, German Studies, Italian Literary and Cultural Studies, and Spanish Studies. Students may also take relevant courses in other programs and departments beyond LCL, especially Medieval Studies, which has a particularly strong relationship with LCL and Judaic Studies.

Areas of special emphasis include: Biblical Studies, including the translation, exegesis, and comparative study of the Hebrew Bible from the ancient to the modern period; relations between Jews and Non-Jews, including their relations in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds, Jewish-Christian relations (from ancient to modern times), and the Jews, Christians, and Muslims from medieval times to the early modern period; and varieties of Jewish identities and expression, including the self-perception and presentation of the Jews in their literatures as well as their representation and the mediation of Jewish themes in the writings of non-Jews.

A terminal Master of Arts in Judaic Studies may be pursued. Students who wish to pursue the Doctorate of Arts degree do so through the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages by combining their interest in a relevant culture and literature (e.g., German, Spanish, Italian, French, Arabic) with a concentration in Hebrew and Judaic Studies.

The UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life offers support for graduate studies in the form of teaching and research assistantships. Students enrolled in the M.A. program in Judaic Studies are eligible for these assistantships, which cover tuition and fees and include a stipend for living expenses. Students who apply for admission to the M.A. program will automatically be considered for funding.

Master of Arts Requirements

Requires a minimum of 30 credits of graduate coursework. Work leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Judaic Studies may be undertaken either with Plan A (21 credits, a thesis, and a final oral examination) or Plan B (30 credits, and a final written examination, without thesis). Plan A requires not fewer than 21 credits of advanced coursework and not fewer than nine additional credits of Master’s Thesis Research (GRAD 5950 or 5960). In either case, course work in Judaic Studies is to be distributed among several sections in LCL, Medieval Studies, and, on occasion, other departments. (The student’s advisory committee, which is responsible for designing the plan of study in consultation with the student, is composed of representatives of these constituencies). In addition, students following either plan must take CLCS 5302 and LCL 5030, which are departmental requirements. The advisory committee may require more than the minimum number of credits, especially since a minimum of two years of college-level Hebrew language instruction (or its equivalent) is required in order to receive the Master’s degree. Specific characteristics of the thesis or the examination will also be determined by the advisory committee. M.A. students planning to apply to the Ph.D. program should complete during the first year of the M.A. program the three-credit course in Literary Theory (CLCS 5302) and the three-credit course on Methods and Approaches to Second Language Acquisition (LCL 5030).

The program is offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.