Graduate Certificate in Jewish Studies

The Certificate in Jewish Studies is designed for Ph.D. students in any graduate program in the Laney Graduate School who wish to certify a specialization in Jewish studies. The goals of the program are:

  • To provide a framework through which students may supplement their doctoral program with broad training in the data, methods, approaches, and languages of Jewish studies;
  • To provide students with access to cross-disciplinary perspectives that they may not gain in their doctoral programs;
  • To create, through participation in coursework and related programs, a sense of community for students working in Jewish studies;
  • To facilitate mentoring and support in identifying professional opportunities such as conference attendance, for grants, fellowships, and jobs, and to prepare students for the professional culture of Jewish studies; and
  • To provide a formal framework through which students may demonstrate credentials in Jewish studies for potential employers and granting agencies.

Admission to the certificate program is on a rolling basis, but applicants are encouraged to apply within the first year of graduate study to help ensure that necessary coursework can be completed. Applicants should submit the following materials to Tobi Ames, Graduate Program Coordinator in TIJS:

  • A written statement (up to three pages) outlining the applicant’s academic background and interests, language training, and goals, with specific reference to experience in Jewish studies and the role of Jewish studies in future plans.
  • A letter of support from the student’s advisor or Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) which explains the role the student’s participation in the program will play in her/his overall course of study and which addresses the student’s academic abilities and achievements.
  • A copy of the original Laney Graduate School (LGS) application file, which can be requested from the student’s department.

Completion of the certificate program requires:

  • Four Jewish studies-related courses, one of which must be the Certificate Program’s core seminar (JS 561), which is offered biannually. Three courses completed must be outside the student’s doctoral program. Students must take all courses for a letter grade and achieve a grade of B or higher in a course in order for the course to count toward the certificate. Qualifying courses will be listed each semester on the TIJS website, although other courses will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • The core course, Jewish Studies 561:  Methods in Jewish Studies, will introduce students to a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the field.  The course will be taught by a member of the core faculty of TIJS and will typically incorporate works by scholars who are visiting as part of the annual seminar and lecture series of the Institute. JS Certificate students are expected to attend TIJS events on a regular basis, as it creates a cohort of certificate students, a space to be engaged with one another as well as with faculty members.
  • Ongoing participation in TIJS seminars and lectures, which serve as the intellectual center of the program, will be encouraged after completion of the core course. In some cases, Certificate Program participants may be invited to present their work or to respond to the work of others.
  • Students must pass a translation exam in one Jewish language. Exams are regularly administered in Hebrew (Biblical and Modern) and Yiddish. Exams in other languages (e.g., Judeo-Arabic and Ladino) can be administered upon request.
  • Following the completion of coursework, students in the Certificate Program must include a member of the core faculty of TIJS on either their examination committee or their dissertation committee, or both.
  • When all requirements for the Certificate have been fulfilled, the student must complete the Certificate Program Requirements Completion form and submit this along with a copy of her/his transcript to the JS Graduate Program Coordinator for coursework verification. In the term prior to graduation, the student must notify the Graduate Program Coordinator who will submit the appropriate documentation to the Laney Graduate School. The certificate will post to the transcript with the final degree.

Graduate Courses in JS-Related Fields

TIJS maintains a list of graduate courses related to Jewish Studies that are appropriate for fulfilling the requirements of the Certificate Program. Courses not listed may be considered for approval by the Steering Committee on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies for details.