Jewish Studies Major


The major in Jewish Studies has two objectives: first, to train students in understanding various aspects of Jewish history, culture, and society; and second, to guide students in exploring these topics by means of different disciplines and methodologies, such as history, religious studies, language and linguistics, literature, theology, political science, and anthropology. The program offers an excellent avenue for any student interested in a broad liberal arts education emphasizing evidence-based research, critical analysis, and writing. In addition, the major also provides an excellent foundation for those students who would like to pursue graduate-level work in Jewish Studies, a profession in the Jewish community, or any career suited to a knowledge of different cultures, societies, and historical eras.

Students who declare a major in Jewish Studies will take at least ten courses (minimum thirty-five credit hours), and will also gain advanced language proficiency in a Jewish language, usually in Hebrew. All courses must be taken for a letter grade, with a minimum cumulative major GPA of 2.0.

(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, Yiddish, or Arabic 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