Bachelor of Arts Degree

Program Description - Jewish studies

Jewish Studies is an interdisciplinary program that offers a comprehensive examination of all aspects of Jewish experience. Housed in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, the Stroum Jewish Studies Program is a highly-regarded international venue for the academic study of Jewish life. A broad range of courses—in history, sociology, political science, law, literary criticism, economics, language, philosophy, religion, and American Studies—addresses the historical, social, cultural, religious, legal, and political life of Jews today and throughout history around the world.
Students can major or minor in Jewish Studies, focusing on either of two tracks:  The Judaic Cultural Tradition (including the world of ancient Israel, and the literary and intellectual traditions of classical Judaism), or The Jewish People in the Modern World (including the literary and intellectual traditions of modern Jewry, modern Israel, and contemporary Jewish life around the world).  The faculty also supervises graduate instruction in Jewish Studies through a number of programs and departments, including History, Political Science, Sociology, Comparative Religion, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Middle East Studies, and others.

—Noam Pianko, Chair

Admission to Major - open major

Any undergraduate admitted for study as a matriculated student in the College of Arts and Sciences may declare Jewish Studies as his/her major and work for the B.A. degree.

Degree Requirements (Autumn 2012)

[Conversion table: JSIS course numbers in effect through Sum 2012]

A major in Jewish Studies shall consist of not less than 52 credits, as follows:

  1. Introductory courses (15 credits): JSIS C 145, JSIS C/HIST 250, JSIS 201
  2. Jewish Studies Track (20 credits): Approved courses in either The Judaic Cultural Tradition or The Jewish People in the Modern World
  3. Jewish Languages and Texts (15 credits). A minimum of 15 credits selected from an approved list of courses. Students must be proficient in the Hebrew language through second year level. Students in the Cultural Tradition track may study ancient or modern Hebrew. Modern Hebrew is required for students in the Modern World track. Under certain circumstances substitution of coursework in an appropriate Jewish lingua franca other than Hebrew may be approved by petition.
  4. JSIS 493 (2 credits): Capstone paper (see below). [Not required for students declaring the major in Autumn Quarter 2012 or after]

The lists of Jewish Studies courses are maintained by the Jewish Studies Program as part of its Web site. For the current list of such courses, click here.

Modern Hebrew Language: Read more about offerings and placement in Modern Hebrew at the University of Washington.

Biblical Hebrew Language: Read more about Biblical Hebrew at the University of Washington.

Capstone Paper [not required for students declaring the major Autumn 2012 or after]: Students in either track will produce a Capstone Paper in association with a specific faculty member. This project may be in connection with one of the courses used to satisfy the "track" requirement. In the quarter of writing the project, students should register for JSIS 493 (2 crs.), an independent study course (Senior Research). A registration form and information about add codes for JSIS 493 are available in the Student Services Office (THO 111).

Jewish Studies majors may apply to the Honors Program in International Studies, during the course of which they will write an honors thesis in some field of Jewish Studies under the direction of a Jewish Studies faculty member.

Overlapping credits: A maximum of 15 credits that are used to fulfill minimum requirements of any other UW major can be counted in this major.

Minor Requirements

30 credits, to include the following:

  1. JSIS C 145 (5 credits) and JSIS C/HIST 250 (5)

  2. 15 credits of Jewish Studies elective, chosen from the list of approved Humanities/Social Science electives*

  3. 5 additional credits chosen from the list of approved Humanities/Social Science electives or in courses in modern or Biblical Hebrew*

  4. 15 credits of the minor must be taken in residence at the UW.

*For a list of approved electives and Hebrew language courses, follow this link.

Revised 7-16-13

Jackson School
Office of Academic Services
111 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-6001