Jewish Studies Major

Jewish Studies Major

The Jewish Studies major provides broad inquiry into the history, culture, society, literature, philosophy, politics, language, and religious beliefs of Jewish people from Biblical times to the present. By nature interdisciplinary, and with emphasis on critical thinking and global engagement, the Jewish Studies major is flexible and adaptable to a wide variety of courses of study.

Course Requirements for the Jewish Studies Major

Students in the major must complete a total of thirty (30) credits, at least fifteen (15) of which must be at the 400-level. No more than eight (8) credits of Hebrew should count toward the 30-credit total. All required coursework must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

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Introductory Course
(3 credits)

  • JST 010: Introduction to Jewish Civilization

Jewish Studies of the Ancient through the Medieval Periods
(3 Credits)

  • Any JST course on the Bible, Early Judaism, or Jewish life in the Ancient Near East will fulfill this requirement.

Jewish Studies of the Early Modern through the Contemporary Periods
(3 Credits)

  • Any JST course covering Jewish history or culture from the 16th century to the present will fulfill this requirement.

Jewish Studies of the Diaspora
(3 Credits)

  • Any JST course focused on Jewish life outside of the Land of Israel fulfills this requirement.

Internships and Study Abroad

All students in the major are encouraged to participate in relevant internships, education abroad programs, and/or archaeological fieldwork, for which course credit and generous funding and scholarships are available. Penn State students may enroll to study abroad at a university in Israel, and up to 15 credits of related education abroad courses in any country may be applied to requirements for the major in consultation with the advisor. If you are interested in studying abroad, visit the Study Abroad page for a full list of programs offered!