Skip to main content
Indiana University Bloomington
  • People


Master of Arts in Jewish Studies

Indiana University’s master’s degree program in Jewish Studies provides students with the advanced interdisciplinary and language study necessary to prepare them for a doctoral program in a disciplinary department or for nonacademic careers in the professional world and nonprofit sector. Building on the unique strengths of the Borns Jewish Studies Program, the M.A. program in Jewish Studies allows students to take classes with IU's world-class faculty in a wide range of areas within Jewish Studies, to work closely with a faculty mentor on an independent master’s thesis project, and to pursue internship opportunities as part of the master’s degree program.

The program will normally take two years to complete. It is designed to provide students with a solid working knowledge in one or more languages relevant to the study of Jewish culture (typically Modern Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, and/or Yiddish), a broad exposure to the academic field of Jewish Studies in a number of different disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, and the analytical skills that should serve students whether they choose to pursue a doctoral degree related to Jewish Studies or find employment in the professional world, for example in nonprofit management or education.

The M.A. in Jewish Studies can be combined with a certificate in nonprofit management from Indiana University’s School for Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA).

All admitted students will automatically be considered for fellowship funding of up to $20,000 plus health insurance and fee remission.

How to apply for the M.A. in Jewish Studies

M.A. Requirements

Thirty-two (32) credit hours of graduate course work to be distributed as follows. Courses need to be at the 500-level or above; courses at the 300 or 400 level can be included only with permission of the Director of Graduate Studies of the Jewish Studies Program.

  1. JSTU-H 520: Colloquium in Jewish Studies (4 credits)
  2. 16 credits (at least 4 courses) to be distributed among courses taught by Jewish Studies faculty.
  3. 12 credits (at least 3 courses) of electives. 3 of these credits can be in JSTU-J 699 for research towards the optional M.A. thesis.
  4. M.A. Thesis
    Students will complete an M.A. thesis (not to exceed 40 pages or 12,000 words).  Students may register for JSTU J 699 (1-3 cr each time completed) to receive credits for research on the thesis. Students may register for JSTU-J 699 up to twice provided the total credits do not exceed 5.  Students will be examined on the thesis by a committee of three faculty members, at least two of whom must be Jewish Studies faculty.  MA thesis guidelines and deadlines are available here.
  5. Language Requirement
    Completion of the Jewish Studies M.A. requires second-year proficiency of a language relevant to the studentís research interestónormally Modern Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, or Yiddish. First and second year (elementary and intermediate level) language courses in the first foreign language do not count towards the degree requirements but may be necessary to demonstrate proficiency.
    Up to 6 cr. in a second relevant language (e.g., Yiddish, if the first language is Hebrew, or vice-versa) may be counted towards the required 16 cr. of courses taught by Jewish Studies faculty.

The M.A. degree requires three semesters of residency. A maximum of 8 transfer credits are allowed to satisfy the M.A. requirements.

How To Apply

Domestic students (deadline December 10, 2022):
Note: Domestic applications will require 3 letters of recommendation, undergraduate transcript(s), an academic writing sample, and a statement of academic direction and goals. For 2022, GRE scores are optional.

International students (deadline December 10, 2022):
Note: International applications will require TOEFL scores sent to IU, 3 letters of recommendation, undergraduate transcript(s), an academic writing sample, and a statement of academic direction and goals. For 2022, GRE scores are optional.

If the graduate applicant's native language is not English, the College requires a score of at least 79 on the TOEFL iBT (delivered via the internet). Please note that the paper-based TOEFL ITP exam – sometimes called the institutional TOEFL – offered by the Intensive English Program on the Bloomington campus, cannot be used in place of the TOEFL iBT. Alternatively, an international applicant may submit the result of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination in lieu of the TOEFL iBT. The College requires a score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS for graduate admission.

For more details about the domestic application process, please visit the University Graduate School at

For more details about the international applications process, please visit the Office of International Admissions at

updated 11/16/2022