The Jewish Studies Major

Courtesy of the Gross Family Collection

***Download a Jewish studies major advising worksheet (PDF)***


In consultation with a faculty adviser, students will plan a program of study to fulfill the following distribution of courses:

Language Requirement

Three quarters of lower-division instruction in a Jewish language in any combination of the student's choosing: elementary Hebrew (Hebrew 1, Hebrew 2, Hebrew 3); Hebrew 80, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew; elementary Yiddish (Yiddish 1, Yiddish 2); or equivalent. Students with prior knowledge of Hebrew or Yiddish are advised to complete a language placement exam to determine if they have satisfied any of the elementary language course requirements. Instructions for the placement exam can be found on the Languages and Applied Linguistics web site.

Course Requirements

The major requires a minimum of eleven courses, including the comprehensive requirement. A minimum of 40 upper-division units must be completed within the Jewish studies major course requirements.

Lower-Division Core Courses (2 courses)

  • History 74, An Introduction to Jewish History and Culture; History 74A, Introduction to Middle Eastern and North African Jewish History, Ancient to Early Modern; History 74B, Introduction to Middle Eastern and North African Jewish History, 1500-2000; or Literature 61J, An Introduction to Jewish Literature and Culture
  • History 75, Film and the Holocaust or History 76, Hitler and the Holocaust

Upper-Division Core Courses (4 courses)

  • four upper-division Jewish studies core courses

Core or Elective Courses (4 courses)

  • four additional Jewish studies core or elective courses, three of which must be upper-division

Comprehensive Exit and Disciplinary Communication (DC) General Education Requirement (1-2 courses)

Students may satisfy the Jewish studies comprehensive exit requirement and the Disciplinary Communication General Education Requirement (DC requirement) by completing a pre-approved exit seminar (one quarter: History 194K, 194L, 196G, 196M, 196N, 196P, 196R, History of Consciousness 190A/Jewish Studies 190A, or Literature 190Y) or a senior thesis (Jewish Studies 195A and 195B).

Chronological Distribution Requirements

Among the eleven courses required for the major, at least three must meet the following chronological distribution requirements:

  • one course must satisfy the classical chronological distribution requirement
  • one course must satisfy the modern chronological distribution requirement
  • one course must satisfy the Holocaust chronological distribution requirement, which is accomplished by completing History 75, Film and the Holocaust or History 76, Hitler and the Holocaust

Honors in the Jewish Studies Major

All students who announce candidacy during the academic year are reviewed for honors or highest honors in the major. The Jewish studies faculty advisers determine honors based upon courses applied toward the Jewish studies major. Performance in courses taken elsewhere and being transferred toward the major will be considered when applicable. The minimum standard applied is excellence in most courses for honors, and excellence in all courses for highest honors. Summer, fall, and winter graduates will be reviewed at the end of each of their respective quarters. Spring graduates will be reviewed as of the spring announcement of candidacy deadline.

Double Major

Pursuing a double major is a highly individual decision, and should be based on a student's educational and career goals. For many students, pursuing a single major and including internships, research opportunities, or more classes than are required in their major discipline is just as challenging and rewarding as a double major.

A student becomes eligible for a double major by satisfying the minimum degree requirements for each major. To declare a double major program, you must file a quarter-by-quarter academic plan showing that you are able to complete the program within the maximum number of quarters of enrollment available to you at UCSC.

Courses applied toward a second major or minor may or may not also be applied toward the Jewish studies major requirements. An explanation of the UC Santa Cruz Academic Senate "Double Counting"policy can be read online here. If you have any additional questions about sharing courses between multiple majors or minors, consult with the history undergraduate program coordinator.