Jewish Studies: Interdepartmental
The IDS program is an interdepartmental MA unique in its organization and standards, offering a broad overview of classical and modern Jewish studies, Jewish thought, and modes of literary expression, with an emphasis on developing skills for textual analysis. It covers the range of Jewish history and the classical texts of the ancient, medieval, and modern periods. IDS can thus serve a wide variety of student needs and lead to many professional opportunities. Instead of a thesis or comprehensive examinations, IDS students take 39 credits distributed among five disciplines or subject areas: Jewish History, Jewish Thought, Talmud and Rabbinics (Midrash courses may count), Jewish Literature (Liturgy courses may count), and Bible. In any four of the five subject areas, the student takes three courses (9 credits); in the remaining area, only one (3 credits). Students may either follow a broad core curriculum or choose a set of more focused courses. Students graduate with proficiency in Hebrew, a broad competency in the sweep of Jewish history and the Jewish textual tradition, and the critical skills needed for the analysis of those texts and historical sources. A marvelous opportunity for high-level academic study of Jewish texts, this degree program often functions as the first step toward further graduate work or toward a variety of careers outside of academia as well. Our alumni have gone on to doctoral programs, teaching, law school, rabbinical school, Jewish communal organization work, and much, much more.