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Columbia University Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Mar 
International :15 Mar 

MA Jewish Studies

 Course Level
Masters / PG
 Type
Full Time

 Duration
2 Years
 Start month
August

 Tuition fee

International
54360 USD
National
54360 USD

Application fee

International 105 USD
National 105 USD
Department
Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600
GRE (avg)315
15

World University Ranking

About this course

The MA in Jewish Studies is primarily concerned with the study of Jewish culture and religion in the diaspora and in Israel as well as with the position of Israel in the world historically and today. Departments in which students take courses include History; Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies; and Religion. Students may also take courses at the Jewish Theological Seminary. The program concludes with a thesis on a limited topic within the student's area of concentration.

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Eligibility Criteria

The admission standards and selection procedures are identical to those followed by the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences for all of its M.A. Programs (with the exception of the Liberal Studies Program). 

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Course Modules

Jewish Studies students must complete 36 credit points, including the thesis, to graduate. Of the 36 points, 30 must be at the graduate level (4000 or higher). Specific degree requirements are:

  • Two courses in Jewish or Middle Eastern history
  • Two courses in Judaica taken from the Religion department or The Jewish Theological Seminary
  • One graduate seminar in a topic related to Jewish Studies
  • Six elective courses in topics related to Jewish Studies
  • Final master’s thesis completed in the final term and registered under RSRH G4990 Research Seminar or JWST G4999 Supervised Individual Research

There is no language requirement for the Jewish Studies M.A. degree. Students may take up to six credit points of language courses at the 3000 level or higher in Hebrew or Yiddish.

Students are encouraged to print the Jewish Studies Checklist. and use it to track their own degree progress and select appropriate courses each term in consultation with the Assistant Director.

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How to Apply

In addition to the requirements listed below, all students must submit one transcript showing courses and grades per school attended, a statement of academic purpose and three letters of recommendation. The statement of academic purpose allows the university to evaluate your ability to succeed academically and the reasons you wish to undertake the degree. It should describe briefly your academic and/or professional background (relevant coursework, professional experience or other activity pertaining to your academic interests); indicate your plans for graduate study at Columbia; and explain clearly the relation of your studies to your plans after completing the M.A.

The writing sample should be 10-15 pages long, preferably a paper that you have written for a course pertaining to the general field of Jewish Studies. Alternatively, you may provide a focused essay written in an academic style that examines an article, book, exhibit or event relevant to your field of interest.

If you have recently received an academic degree or have recent academic experience, letters of recommendation from faculty are preferred. If you have not been enrolled in an academic program in recent years, professional recommendations are acceptable.

All international students whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate degree is from an institution in a country whose official language is not English must submit scores of the TOEFL or IELTS exams. For more information, refer to the Information for International Students page.

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