Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies promotes an understanding of all aspects of Jewish life, culture, language, literature, religion, and history. As a multidisciplinary program, it is composed of faculty members from the Departments of Anthropology, English, Languages & Cultures, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology.

Points of Pride

  • Edward Simon B'nai B'rith Barzillai Lodge 111 Prize in Jewish Studies for the outstanding undergraduate essay or project on a theme related to Jewish Studies
  • Joseph Haberer Book Prize in Jewish Studies to the outstanding senior in Jewish Studies
  • Co-sponsors the Larry Axel Memorial Lectureship in Religion
  • The Jewish Studies Program sponsors lectures throughout the year, including a noon discussion series and an evening lecture series, which brings prominent Judaists to campus.
  • Since 1981, Shofar has been published quarterly and edited by the Purdue University Jewish Studies Program. It is the official journal of the Midwest Jewish Studies Association. Shofar publishes original, scholarly work for a general audience, reviews a wide range of recent books in Judaica, and emphasizes pedagogical aspects of Jewish studies at the college and university level.


  • Campaign director of Jewish federation
  • Development/grant writer
  • Professional/graduate school
  • Many other positions in business/management, not necessarily related to the major but based on graduates’ broad-based liberal arts skill set

Plan of Study

A. PREREQUISITE: JWST 33000: Introduction to Jewish Studies (May be taken as HIST 30200 or POL 49300) (Racial and Ethnic Diversity)

B. The following courses are required for the major (12)
FOUR semesters of Hebrew

HEBR 10100, 10200, 20100, 20200
HEBR 12100, 12200, 22100, 22200

C. SEVEN additional courses selected from five subject areas out of the seven listed below. No more than two courses can be taken from any one subject area. At least FOUR courses must be at the 30000-level or above.


ENGL 26400 The Bible as Literature
ENGL 46200 The Bible as Literature: The Old Testament
ENGL 46300 The Bible as Literature: The New Testament
ENGL 58300 U.S. Ethnic/Multicultural Literature
ENGL 59000 Directed Reading*

Languages & Cultures:

HEBR 10100+ Modern Hebrew I
HEBR 10200+ Modern Hebrew II
HEBR 20100+ Modern Hebrew III
HEBR 20200+ Modern Hebrew IV
HEBR 12100+ Biblical Hebrew I
HEBR 12200+ Biblical Hebrew II
HEBR 22100+ Biblical Hebrew III
HEBR 22200+ Biblical Hebrew IV
HEBR 38000 Israel & the Modern World: Cinema, Literature, History, and Politics
HEBR 38500 The Holocaust in Modern Hebrew Literature
HEBR 59000 Directed Readings in Foreign Languages*
HEBR 59300 Special Topics in Literature*

+ if not taken in Requirement B


HIST 10300 Intro to the Medieval World
HIST 24500 Intro to Middle East History & Culture
HIST 31200 The Crusades
HIST 34500 Modern Middle East
HIST 39001 Jews in the Modern World: A Survey of Modern Jewish Society, Culture, & Politics
HIST 40800 History of Europe Since 1920
HIST 42700 History of Spain & Portugal
HIST 49500 Research Seminar in Historical Topics: Middle East History*
HIST 52500 Hitler & Twentieth Century Germany
HIST 54500 The Middle East in the Twentieth Century
HIST 58900 History of Religion in America
HIST 59000 Directed Readings in History*
HIST 59500 The Holocaust & Genocide


PHIL 20600 Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 23100 Religions of the West
PHIL 43000 Modern Religious (Jewish) Thought
PHIL 50500 Islamic & Jewish Philosophy & the Classical
PHIL 59000 Directed Reading in Philosophy*

Political Science:

POL 30400 Israel & World Politics
POL 54000 Selected Problems in Comparative Politics*
POL 54300 Politics of Cultural Conflict
POL 59000 Directed Readings in Political Science*
POL 59500 The Holocaust & Genocide

Religious Studies:

REL 20200 Interpretation of the Old Testament
REL 23100 Religions of the West
REL 31700 Ancient Judaism & Early Christianity
REL 31800 The Bible & Its Early  Interpreters


SOC 31000 Racial & Ethnic Diversity
SOC 36700 Religion in America
SOC 51400 Racial & Cultural Minorities
SOC 56700 Religion in Social Context
SOC 56800 Religion & Society
SOC 59000 SOC Individual Research Problems*

* Courses marked with a * are variable title and credit courses. They are generally individualized programs of instruction requiring the consent of the instructor. Theses courses may be applied to the Jewish Studies major only in cases where course content is extensively relevant to Jewish Studies. They require the permission of the Director of Jewish Studies Program before they may be applied to the Jewish Studies Major.

For further information, please contact the Jewish Studies Program office, BRNG 6166, 49-47965

Program Course Requirements (57-58 credits): (See PDF for full list here)

ONE of the following:

ENGL 10600 First Year Composition
ENGL 10800 Accelerated First Year Composition

COM 1140 Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Other Language (12) (Proficiency through level IV in one language)
West Heritage
United States Tradition
Other Cultures
Aesthetic Awareness
Racial and Ethnic Diversity
Gender Issues
Social Ethics
Individual and Society
Global Perspective
Natural Sciences
Natural Sciences Lab

Electives (20-21 credits)

University Core Requirements

Courses selected above must meet the following University Core Requirements:

Human Cultures Humanities
Human Cultures Behavioral/Social Science
Information Literacy
Science Selective
Science Selective
Science Technology Society Selective
Written Communication
Oral Communication
Quantitative Reasoning

For more information, visit

Print Plan of Study

Jewish Studies

School of Interdisciplinary Studies

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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