The Jewish Studies Major

Courtesy of the Gross Family Collection

UCSC is one of the very few campuses in California where undergraduates have the opportunity to major in Jewish Studies. Students in this interdisciplinary program achieve an extraordinary depth and breadth of learning about Jewish history and culture, especially its literature, art, and history, as well as its ethics, folk practices, and philosophy.

Major Requirements

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

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 may be found on the Languages and Applied Linguistics web site.

Course Requirements

The Jewish studies major requires a minimum of 11 courses, including the comprehensive requirement. A minimum of 40 upper-division credits 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; History 77, Visualizing American Jewish History; or Literature 61J, An Introduction to Jewish Literature and Culture
  • History 75, Film and the Holocaust, or History 76, The Holocaust

Upper-Division Core Courses (4 courses)

  • four upper-division Jewish studies core courses

Additional Core or Elective Courses (4 courses)

  • four additional 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).

Jewish Studies Course Catalog

The Jewish Studies Course Catalog is a comprehensive list of courses that apply to the Jewish studies major and minor requirements. Students are encouraged to reference the catalog when creating their Jewish studies academic plan of study.

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, The Holocaust

See Also