Access the latest, most up-to-date COVID-19 resources, policies, and news for faculty, students, and staff of the GTU here>>

Study at CJS



The Center for Jewish Studies currently offers an M.A., a Ph.D. and a certificate in Jewish studies. Areas of specialization include Judaism in late-antiquity, rabbinic literature, medieval and modern Jewish history and culture. Auditors are welcome with faculty permission.

The newly established Jewish Community Fellowship offers Bay Area Jewish educators and community professionals opportunity to take a single course in Jewish Studies at the GTU free of tuition. Participants in the fellowship will become part of a cohort of students exploring the intersection of critical studies and Jewish communal endeavors.

M.A. Jewish Studies

The M.A. program is a two-year program of advanced graduate study and research. Students complete four semesters of courses as well as supervised thesis research. They work closely with CJS faculty and may specialize in late-antiquity and rabbinic literature, medieval Jewish history and culture, as well as modern Jewish cultural and literary studies. Students are required to take a two-semester survey on the foundations of Jewish history and culture and may take a variety of electives at the member schools of the Graduate Theological Union and at UC Berkeley. Students are also required to take two courses of Hebrew study.


Courses Required for Completion of MA in Jewish Studies

Sixteen courses are required for the completion of the program, two of which may be thesis credits. At least two courses must be from either faculty from a non-CJS faculty member or faculty at University of California at Berkeley. Among the fourteen non-thesis courses:

I. One course in a tradition other than Judaism.

II. Two courses in the history of Jewish thought covering the major periods of Jewish History.

III. One course in each of the following periods of Jewish history: Biblical, Rabbinic, Medieval and Modern.

IV. Two courses in Hebrew grammar or reading. The Hebrew Language requirement may be fufilled simultaneously with the other requirements. Thus a course in medieval Jewish history with readings in Hebrew satisfies both the medieval requirement and one of the two Hebrew requirements.

Apply to the MA Program


Ph.D. Jewish History

The CJS doctoral program encourages interdisciplinary and comparative research. Students work closely with professors from the GTU  in the field of late-antique, medieval, and modern Jewish history and culture. Dissertations may focus on themes such as language, Biblical hermeneutics, translation, secularization, sexuality, cultural exchange, and Jewish-Christian interaction. Students may work within the discipline of history, as well as literary, religious, or cultural studies. Students acquire a strong general competence, particularly for teaching, in the history of Judaism from late antiquity to the recent past, and will acquire strength both for teaching and scholarly research.
Apply to the PhD Program


Certificate in Jewish Studies

The CJS offers a certificate in Jewish Studies. The program is open to registered GTU students as well as to the broader Bay Area community. The certificate allows students to register for graduate level coursework and to receive a transcript and documentation of graduate work in Jewish studies.

The requirements of the program are six courses in Jewish Studies. Of those six, two are the required foundations courses: Ancient and Medieval Jewish Civilization and Modern Jewish History and Thought. In addition to these two foundations courses, students are required to take four more courses in Jewish Studies. Two of these remaining four courses (excluding Hebrew language courses) must be taught by CJS faculty or other GTU faculty affiliated with the Joint Jewish Studies Faculty of GTU-UCB. For the remaining two courses, Hebrew language courses as well as Old Testament/Hebrew Bible courses qualify. Students may propose alternative or additional courses to the Director of CJS for approval.

Apply to the Certificate Program


Non-degree Study at CJS

Auditors are welcome in CJS classes, pending permission from instructors.

Please follow the link to register as an auditor. The only way to register and pay is online. Please contact the registar if you have any questions. 

Intersession and Summer Programs

CJS often offers courses in the winter intersession, as well as during the summer. These courses can be taken for credit. Auditors are also welcome.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

CJS students in the M.A. and Ph.D. programs are eligible for a range of generous financial aid packages and fellowships. Doctoral students may apply for a Newhall Teaching and Research Fellowship. This program provides the opportunity to work with core faculty to develop and teach new courses and lead research. GTU Ph.D. students are also eligible for the GTU-wide Presidential Scholarship program, which provides full tuition for five years and is merit-based. Other sources of funding are also available through the Financial Aid office.

The Jewish Community Fellowship is available to Jewish educators and community professional, providing full tuition for a single course in Jewish Studies at the GTU. Participants in the fellowship will become part of a cohort of students exploring the intersection of critical studies and Jewish communal endeavors. In addition to the course for credit, fellows participate in a two-day workshop on Jewish education led by senior faculty in the field.

The Taube Travel and Research Grant is designated for intensive study and research in the languages, history and culture of East European Jews, during the summer.

Berkeley and Bay Area Jewish Studies Resources

GTU library

Libraries of the University of California

Magnes Museum

Stanford Jewish Studies

SFSU Jewish Studies

USF Jewish Studies

Center for Middle Eastern Studies

Other Jewish Study Opportunities

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College



Contact Information - Jewish Studies