Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Hebrew Minor

Hebrew has been in use for over three thousand years, making it one of the very few languages that is attested both in ancient and modern times. It is best known as the language of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), which is a collection of books that were written between about 1200 BCE and 150 BCE. Following the Roman invasions into the biblical lands in the first two centuries CE, Hebrew fell out of use as a spoken language by around the 3rd century CE. It remained in use, however, as a literary and liturgical language among the Jews, and there is a huge corpus of Hebrew literature from that period, through medieval times, and into the modern era. In the late 19th century, Hebrew was revived as a spoken language, and today has about 5 million native speakers in Israel and abroad.

The minor in Hebrew is intended to provide students with a good working knowledge of the Hebrew language, taught in a context that emphasizes the characteristics of Jewish tradition and Israeli culture and society.

Course Requirements for the Hebrew Minor

Students undertake three years of language study (or equivalent), and education abroad can be included. A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor.

Required Courses (12 Credits)

  • HEBR 1: Basic Modern Hebrew I
  • HEBR 2: Basic Modern Hebrew II
  • HEBR 3: Intermediate Modern Hebrew

Supporting Courses (3 Credits)

  • HEBR 151: Introductory Biblical Hebrew
  • HEBR 152: Intermediate Biblical Hebrew
  • HEBR 199: Foreign Study – Basic Hebrew (Taken as part of a study abroad)
  • HEBR 297: Special Topics
  • HEBR 399: Foreign Study – Intermediate Hebrew (Taken as part of a study abroad)
  • JST/HEBR 10: Jewish Civilization
  • JST 12: Lands of the Bible

400-Level Supporting Courses (6 Credits)

  • HEBR 401: Advanced Hebrew – Conversation Emphasis
  • HEBR 402: Advanced Hebrew – Reading Emphasis
  • HEBR 451: Advanced Biblical Hebrew
  • HEBR 452: Readings in Biblical Hebrew
  • HEBR 496: Independent Study
  • HEBR 497: Special Topics
  • HEBR 499: Foreign Study – Advanced Hebrew