Courses & Curriculum
Requirements for the Jewish Studies Combined Major
A minimum of 6 courses in Jewish Studies, including Introduction to Judaism (RELI UN2306) or the equivalent, and a complete major in a relevant department are required for a combined major in Jewish Studies.
Where courses in Jewish Studies also satisfy departmental major requirements, the student must complete at least three courses over and above what is normally required for the major. Students are encouraged to consult the offerings of other relevant departments and frame a major by centering on the methodological requirements of that major and utilizing the advising capacities of that department.
Students, especially those who plan to continue in graduate Jewish Studies of any kind, are strongly encouraged to seek competence in Hebrew and other languages which were used by Jews in their particular area of concentration. Where possible, the courses in Jewish Studies should be taken across the major areas of Jewish history: Ancient (biblical); Hellenistic and Talmudic; Medieval; and Modern.
Besides the six courses specifically in Jewish Studies, students must submit a Senior Thesis or project in the area of Jewish Studies, written in the major department or in conjunction with JST BC 3998 Directed Research.
Requirements for the Jewish Studies Minor
A Jewish Studies minor comprises five courses in Jewish Studies (minimum 15 credits). The five courses must include Introduction to Judaism (RELI UN2306) as well as at least one seminar. Students are encouraged to distribute their Jewish Studies courses across different disciplines, historical eras, and geographical regions.
Eligible courses include those listed each semester by the Columbia University Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies or that contain a majority of Jewish Studies content (to be determined by the Jewish Studies Chair based on the course syllabus). Departments that normally host Jewish Studies courses include the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies, Germanic Languages, History, MESAAS, Political Science, Religion, Sociology, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Please consult https://www.iijs.columbia.edu/
Three of the five courses must be taken at Barnard/Columbia. Students are encouraged to study Jewish languages such as Hebrew or Yiddish, but only two of the five courses required for the minor may be fulfilled by language courses. All eligible courses must be offered by an accredited academic institution.
Students interested in minoring in Jewish Studies should contact the Chair of Jewish Studies at Barnard. Although Barnard policy allows for students to sign up for the minor through the end of senior year, the Program in Jewish Studies encourages students to sign up early and to consult with the Chair regarding selection of courses and completion of requirements.