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 advisor, students plan a program of study to fulfill the following distribution of course requirements:

Major Planning Tools

Add a customizable Jewish Studies Major Planning Worksheet and sample quater-by-quarter course plans to your UCSC Google Drive.

***Your Jewish Studies Major Planning Worksheet is the first/default sheet. Look for the sheets tabs, located at the bottom of your browser window, for the 4 Year, 3 Year, and 2 Year sample Jewish studies major plans.***

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)

One of the following courses:

Plus one of the following courses:

Jewish Studies Courses

Course offerings vary by year. See the Jewish Studies Courses list for current course offerings. The comprehensive list of Jewish studies courses may be found in the UCSC General Catalog.

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).

Chronological Distribution Requirements

Among the eleven courses required for the major, at least one course must satisfy the classical chronological distribution requirement: