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Major in Jewish Studies (BA)

The Center for Jewish Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts in Jewish studies as well as a minor certificate. A strong interdisciplinary curriculum provides a basis for understanding the broad spectrum of Jewish culture and history.

The Center for Jewish Studies fosters the academic study of Jewish culture, society and religion for all students at the University of Florida. Students are expected to develop as critical thinkers, aware of the diversity and complexity of the field. The center promotes a broad and comprehensive approach including the arts, politics and religion. The curriculum emphasizes historical transformations and comparative frameworks among various Jewish communities and with other groups and religions. Courses draw upon a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of class, ethnicity, gender, race and sexuality with methodologies that are both textual and performance oriented.

The program may serve as preparation for graduate work in Jewish studies, as background for a career in Jewish education or community service, or as an area of special interest that will enrich the undergraduate experience. Students often combine the JST major or minor with other majors and go on to professional careers in law, medicine, journalism, business or other professions.


The major requires a minimum of 27 hours in Jewish studies and related courses with grades of C or better. In addition, one year of Hebrew or the equivalent is required. Students should consult the undergraduate coordinator in Walker Hall, Room 201.

The 27 hours must include REL 2604, Introduction to Judaism, or an introduction to Jewish culture, Jewish history or a survey course in Jewish studies. No more than two courses may be at the 2000 level (REL 2604, REL 2210 or an introduction to Jewish culture); all others must be at the 3000 level or above. Of the seven courses for the major, students may choose to concentrate in one of the four tracks listed below. Majors must take a senior seminar, generally offered every other spring, or an equivalent JST course requiring a comprehensive research paper.

Jewish Studies Tracks:

  • Literature, Film and Cultural Studies
  • Thought and Tradition
  • History, Politics and Society
  • Israel Studies

Special topics courses in other departments may be counted toward the major and minor provided they include substantial coverage of material relevant to Jewish studies.

No more than six hours of independent study (JST 4905) will be counted in the minimum. Normally, no more than 12 hours of the minimum may be transfer credit. However, all transfer credits in JST-related courses from UF-approved programs abroad will apply to the major.

Most JST courses are listed in the schedule of courses under Jewish Studies. Related courses offered by other departments are listed in the African and Asian Languages and Literatures, Anthropology, English, Religion, History and Political Science departments. A list of courses is available in the center each semester before advance registration and on the JST website.

Overseas Study: The Center for Jewish Studies provides counsel regarding study abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Haifa University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The overseas programs at these Israeli universities offer summer, one semester and full-year courses of study. Information is available in Walker Hall, Room 105, and at the UF International Center, 170 Hub.

Scholarships are available. Travel restriction updates are available on the department website.

Critical Tracking and Semester Plan

Semester 1:
• 2.0 UF GPA required for semesters 1-5

Semester 2:
• Maintain 2.0 UF GPA

Semester 3:
• Complete HBR 1130

Semester 4:
• Complete HBR 1131 and one Jewish studies course with a 2.5 GPA on all critical-tracking course work

Individual Work

Individual Work (JST 4905) is also available for independent study and special projects which will fulfill Major requirements.

Internship in Jewish Communal Services

Students may gain practical experience as an undergraduate through the internship option of JST JST 4940. The goal of this program is both to expose the student to the opportunities for service in the world of organized Jewry and to provide a means for students to understand how Jewish values are propagated in organized settings. You may earn credit hours for volunteer work and training in applied settings such as Jewish family and social services agencies, community centers, federations, educational institutions, museums, newspapers, denominational organizations, public affairs groups, synagogues, Hillel, or equivalent institutions. To qualify for JST credit, the organization must have an explicit public tie to Judaism and be approved for internship credit by the Center for Jewish Studies.

Honors in Jewish Studies

Honors in Jewish Studies may be earned by students who have at least a 3.5 GPA in their upper division work and a 3.5 GPA in the major. Students who seek Honors are required to complete an honors project, with a grade of A or B, under the guidance of a Jewish Studies faculty member. In their senior year, Honors students should register for JST 4940, a 2-3 credit course.

Minor in Jewish Studies

1. One year of college hebrew or equivalent

2. Intro to judaism, literature, or jewish culture

3. No more than one other course at 1000 or 2000 level

4. Minimum of 12 hours must be at the (3000 – 4000) level Select from: AMH3530 , LIT3173 , LIT3353 , EUh5464 , CPO3403 , CPO4000 , MUH3621 , REL4209 , REL3321 , REL3620 , REL3695 , REL5696 , JST3000 to JST9999 , HBT3000 to HBT9999 , HBR3000 to HBR9999 , HEB3000 to HEB9999 , HMW3000 to HMW9999 , CPO4727 , RLG5696

More info

Upon graduation, students who complete the requirements for the Minor will be awarded the Certificate, signed by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Director of the Center for Jewish Studies. The Certificate provides an additional academic credential that may be useful for graduate school or future employment.

Students should plan their minor programs under the guidance of a Jewish Studies faculty member. Each program must be approved by the Director of the Center for Jewish Studies. For more information, contact the Center for Jewish Studies, 104 Walker Hall, Gainesville, FL, 352-392-9245, or email

Courses Offered in Jewish Studies

Complete list of courses offered with descriptions.

*Some careers may require additional education