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 Hebrew language proficiency. All courses must be taken for a letter grade.

(Effective Spring 2019):

Requirements for the major


Core Course (3 credits)

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 (max 6 credits – 3 credits per course - can count towards major)

Any two Hebrew courses

Electives (22 credits)

  • No more than one 100-level course
  • One class must be four credits
  • At least one course must be taken in each of three Topical Areas and two Chronological Areas. Note: the same class might fulfill a Topical Area or a Chronological Area.

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 

JS 490RW (Jewish Studies Senior Seminar) or any four-credit course with writing (W) in which the final paper is written on a Jewish studies topic (4 credits) 


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