Jewish Studies Major


The major in Jewish Studies prepares undergraduate students to treat area studies such as the study of Jews and Judaism from different disciplines, i.e., history, religious studies, language and linguistics, literature, theology, political science, and anthropology. The major thus combines the humanities and the social sciences in the investigation of Jewish Studies.

The interdisciplinary approach to the major has two objectives: first, to train students in understanding various aspects of Jews and Judaism and second, to expose students to the serious investigation of topics with different disciplines and methodologies. The program offers a great opportunity to pursue a high-quality liberal arts education. In addition, the major provides an excellent foundation for students who would like to pursue Jewish Studies in graduate school, enroll in a rabbinical program, or work in Jewish organizations and communities.

Students who declare a major in Jewish Studies will take ten courses (minimum thirty-five credit hours), and will also gain advanced language proficiency, usually in Hebrew. All courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Prerequisite for the major (Students may place out of this requirement)

  • Hebrew 101 or other Jewish language     
  • Hebrew 102 or other Jewish language     

Requirements for the major


All courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Core Course 

Take one of the following: 

  • Intro to Jewish Studies (JS 101)
  • Intro to Jewish Literature (JS 125)
  • Survey of Jewish History (JS 270)
  • Judaism (JS 308)

Language Training 

8 credits, all above 100 level:  Hebrew, Yiddish, or other Jewish language


At least 7 courses adding up to 21 credits:

  • No more than one 100-level course
  • At least one course must be taken in each of three topical areas and two chronological areas. Note: the same class can fulfill A and B.

Topical Areas (at least one course in each area)

  • History (courses exploring Jewish civilization through a historical lens in any geographical setting and in any chronological period--premodern or modern)
  • Religion (courses exploring Judaism as a religious tradition, Jewish ethics, theology, classical texts, ethnography of religion, and related topics)
  • Language, Literature and Culture (courses exploring the linguistic, literary, cinematic, and artistic expression and cultural production of Jews)

Chronological Areas (at least one course in each area)

  • Premodern
  • Modern

400-Level Seminar 

4 credits

  • JS 490RW or another 400-level Seminar in which final paper is written on a Jewish Studies topic


Students working on honors in Jewish Studies, in accordance with the requirements of Emory College, may be required to take one graduate course, which would replace one of the elective courses required.

Flow Sheet for JS Major