Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Degrees and Certificates

Degrees and Certificates

What is Jewish Studies?

Jewish Studies is an interdisciplinary program where students can learn about the history, cultures, literatures, and languages of the Jewish people. Specializations can include, but are not limited to:

  • Modernity and the Jews
  • Ancient Israel, Bible, and Early Judaism
  • The Holocaust, Antisemitism, and Genocide
  • Jews in America
  • Jewish Culture and Literature
  • Israel and Zionism
  • Jewish-Christian Relations

As a reminder, Jewish Studies is not just for Jews! Jewish Studies is for anyone who wants to think critically about the world we all live in.

Why should I major in Jewish Studies?

Jewish Studies is an area with a deep history and many facets of study. The 30-credit Jewish Studies major and 18-credit Jewish Studies minor are flexible and highly adaptable to individualized interests. The 21-credit Hebrew minor offers instruction in both modern and Biblical Hebrew for those students who wish to pursue their study of the language beyond the elementary level. Finally, our 12-credit Holocaust and Genocide Studies certificate offers an opportunity for more focused interdisciplinary engagement and analysis. You may be interested in these programs if…

  • You want to think critically about the world in which we all live.
  • You have interest in experiences such as lectures, film series, symposia, discussions, and sponsored trips to museums and Jewish cultural sites.
  • You hope to enrich your understanding of Jews, Judaism, and the Jewish experience.

What are my career options?

A Jewish Studies degree will make you attractive to employers seeking well-rounded applicants who are globally conscious citizens and critical thinkers. Jewish Studies offers a flexible curriculum that’s a natural complement to many other courses of study. Our graduates have gone on to work in the following fields:

  • Business
  • Secondary and college level teaching
  • Public service
  • The ministry (both Jewish and non-Jewish)
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Archaeology
  • Museums

Please feel free to contact Interim Director of Jewish Studies Professor Eliyana Adler or Undergraduate Officer Eric Fleisch if you would like to discuss any of this—or anything remotely relevant to Jewish Studies!