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Judaic Studies MA

Admission Requirements

An undergraduate degree in Judaic Studies or its equivalent, including courses corresponding to RELI 301 (The Hebrew Bible), RELI 326 (Ancient Judaism), RELI 327 (Medieval Jewish Thought and Institutions), RELI 328 (Modern Jewish Thought and Institutions). Qualified applicants requiring prerequisite courses may be required to take up to 12 undergraduate credits in addition to and as a part of the regular graduate program. Applicants with deficiencies in their undergraduate preparation may be required to take a qualifying program. Qualifying program students in the Department of Religions and Cultures must complete their program with a minimum GPA of 3.50 with no courses graded lower than a "B+" to be considered for admission to the graduate program.

Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.

Transfer Credits. See Transfer Credits in Graduate Admissions section.

Requirements for the Degree

  1. Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits.

  2. Program Options. All students enter in course option B (course intensive, without thesis), and later have the opportunity to apply for option A (with thesis).
     

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.

  2. Residence. The minimum residence requirement is 3 terms of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study.

  3. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.

  4. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have satisfied all degree requirements and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.
     

Master of/Magisteriate in Arts (Judaic Studies) with Thesis (Option A)

  1. Core Courses. RELI 609: Theories of Religion (3 credits) and RELI 610: Methodological Problems in the Study of Religion (3 credits).

  2. Elective Courses. Four other 3-credit courses, which may include one course in another religious tradition (12 credits).

  3. Thesis Proposal. RELI 655 (3 credits). Students must submit a thesis proposal on a topic chosen in consultation with the thesis supervisor and the proposal must be approved by the Department’s Graduate Studies Committee.

  4. Thesis. RELI 695 (24 credits). Students who wish to transfer to the thesis option should have a 3.50 GPA or higher. Once the Thesis Proposal is approved the students are transferred from option B without thesis to option A with thesis. Each thesis shall be read and evaluated by the students' thesis supervisor and by two other scholars, one of whom may be an outside examiner.

  5. Language Requirement. Students are expected to acquire knowledge of Hebrew or other Jewish language either before or during the program. In addition, if the candidates' research necessitates knowledge of another classical or modern language, the Graduate Studies Committee may require proficiency in that language. Specific requirements are established in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. Students who intend to pursue graduate studies at the PhD level are especially encouraged to gain proficiency in the language or languages of the primary sources relevant to their proposed research.
     

Master of/Magisteriate in Arts (Judaic Studies) with Guided Research Paper (Option B)

  1. Core Courses: RELI 609: Theories of Religion (3 credits) and RELI 610: Methodological Problems in the Study of Religion (3 credits).

  2. Elective Courses. Seven other 3-credit courses, including at least one course in another religious tradition (21 credits).

  3. Guided Research Paper Proposal. RELI 604 (3 credits): Students must prepare a GRP (Guided Research Paper) proposal in consultation with the GRP supervisor.

  4. Guided Research Paper: RELI 680 (15 credits) consists of writing a substantial research paper.

  5. Language Requirement. Students are expected to acquire knowledge of Hebrew or other Jewish language either before or during the program. In addition, if the candidates' research necessitates knowledge of another classical or modern language, the Graduate Studies Committee may require proficiency in that language. Specific requirements are established in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. Students who intend to pursue graduate studies at the PhD level are especially encouraged to gain proficiency in the language or languages of the primary sources relevant to their proposed research.
     

Courses

Candidates for the Master of Arts in Judaic Studies may select courses from the general course categories listed below, as well as those offered by the Master of Arts program in Religions and Cultures, which are listed in the previous section. Courses are selected in consultation with the Graduate Program Director.

Normally, graduate students may not take more than two 3-credit courses or one 6-credit course from those offered outside the Department. Permission to substitute outside courses must be granted by both the Graduate Program Director in the Judaic Studies program and by the other Department involved.

All of the general course categories listed below are for one-term, 3-credit courses unless otherwise indicated. A list designating which specific courses are to be offered in any given year, with description of content is available from the Graduate Program Assistant, and on the Department website

Note: For those courses where the subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year, students may reregister for these courses, providing that the course content has changed. Changes in content are indicated by the course subtitle.

Graduate courses offered by the Judaic Studies program fall into the following categories:

RELI 650-659 Topics in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
RELI 660-669 Topics in Rabbinic Judaism
RELI 670-679 Judaism in Late Antiquity
RELI 680-689 Topics in Medieval Judaism
RELI 690-699 Topics in Modern Judaism

Topics in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies

Courses offered in recent years include: The Hebrew Bible; The Dead Sea Scrolls;Women in the Hebrew Bible; Ancient Jewish Biblical Interpretation.

RELI 650 Hebrew Bible
The content of this course may vary from year to year within the context of specific issues with respect to the Hebrew Bible. Examples of topics treated in the past are women and the Hebrew Bible, and development of the text and ancient translations of the Hebrew Bible.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic covered under RELI 651 may not take the same topic under RELI 650 for credit.

RELI 656 Ancient Near Eastern Studies
While the content of this course varies from year to year, it treats specific issues with respect to ancient Near Eastern studies. Examples of topics in this area are Mesopotamian Mythologies and The Epic of Gilgamesh.

RELI 659 Reading Course in Ancient Near Eastern Studies
The content of this course may vary from year to year. This course treats specific issues with respect to ancient Near Eastern studies. Examples of possible topics are women in the Bible; religions of the ancient Mediterranean; and death and dying in the ancient Mediterranean world.

Topics in Rabbinic Judaism

Courses offered in recent years include: Judaic Law-Gender Issues and Early Rabbinic Texts.

RELI 664 Tannaitic Literature
This course treats specific issues with respect to ancient Rabbinic literature. Examples of topics in this area include Mishna and Tosefta and early Rabbinic texts.

RELI 665 Midrash
This course treats specific issues with respect to ancient Rabbinic Midrash. Examples of topics in this area are Halakhic Midrashim and in Midrash Rabba.

RELI 666 Talmud
This course treats specific issues with respect to the Talmud such as Judaic law and gender issues.

RELI 669 Reading Course in Rabbinic Judaism
This course treats specific issues with respect to Rabbinic Judaism. Examples of topics in this area are studies in Jewish law and Jewish liturgy.

Topics in Judaism in Late Antiquity

Courses offered in recent years include: Midrash and Talmudic Mysticism.

RELI 670 Judaism in Late Antiquity
This course treats specific issues with respect to the Talmud. Examples of topics in this area are the Dead Sea Scrolls; Talmudic mysticism and Merkava literature; andApochrypha and Judaism in late antiquity.

RELI 677 Hellenistic Literature
This course treats specific issues with respect to ancient Jewish Hellenistic writings. Examples of topics in this area are the books of Maccabees and studies in Josephus.

Topics in Ancient and Medieval Judaism

Courses offered in recent years include: Talmud; Jewish Ritual and Liturgy; Issues of Faith and Reason in Medieval Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

RELI 680 Medieval Jewish History
Topics under this number treat specific issues with respect to medieval Judaism. Examples of topics in this area are Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages and medieval Jewish law and ethics.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic under RELI 685 may not take the same topic under RELI 680 for credit.

RELI 686 Medieval Jewish Thought
This course treats specific issues with respect to Medieval Jewish Thought. Examples of topics in this area are studies in Saadiah Gaon and studies in Maimonides.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic under RELI 687 may not take the same topic under RELI 686 for credit.

RELI 688 Jewish Mysticism
This course deals with the historical development of mysticism in Judaism from its ancient beginnings to contemporary times, including especially the Judaic intellectual movement known as Kabbala. Examples of topics in this area are Zohar, Safedian Kabbala, and Medieval Ashkenazic Hasidism.

RELI 689 Reading Course in Medieval Judaism
This course examines topics in the history of Judaism in the medieval period. Subjects include topics in the social, religious, and intellectual history of medieval Jews. Examples of such topics include Medieval Judaic and Christian Apocalypticism, Medieval Jewish Rationalistic Philosophy, and Liturgical Poetry in Medieval Ashkenaz.

Topics in Modern Judaism

Courses offered in recent years include: Judaism in Canada; Hebrew Bible and Contemporary Literature; Autobiography and Jewish Identity; Women in Modern Jewish History; Food, Sex, and Death in Judaism.

RELI 694 Modern Jewish Thought
This course explores areas in the intellectual history of Modern Judaism. Topics offered include the notion of the other in Judaism and Religious Pluralism in Modern Jewish Thought.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic under RELI 695 or RELI 696 may not take the same topic under RELI 694 for credit.

RELI 697 Modern Jewish History
This course covers topics in the history of Jews and Judaism in the modern period. Examples of topics in this area are women in Modern Jewish history, history of Zionism in North America, Hasidism at its 1815 Turning Point, and Canadian Jewish Studies.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic under RELI 698 may not take the same topic under RELI 697 for credit.

RELI 699 Reading Course in Modern Judaism
The content of this course may vary from year to year focusing on specific issues with respect to modern Judaism. Examples of topics in this area are Sephardic responses to modernity, Hasidism, and Canadian Jewish ritual art.

Thesis, Research Paper, Thesis Proposal, Methodology

RELI 604 Guided Research Paper Proposal (3 credits)
RELI 609 Theories of Religion 
(3 credits)
RELI 610 Methodological Problems in the Study of Religion (3 credits)
RELI 655 Master’s Thesis Proposal (3 credits)
RELI 680 Guided Research Paper (15 credits)
RELI 695 Master’s Thesis (Judaic Studies) (24 credits)

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