Our programs encompass the full range of Jewish scholarship. Students from diverse backgrounds, religions, and communities come to The Graduate School of JTS to pursue their academic interests in small classes, led by dedicated faculty members who also serve as students' mentors. At The Graduate School, students have the unparalleled opportunity to focus on a particular area of study while also broadening their scope of knowledge and understanding within the broader field of Jewish Studies.
Students will also find meaning by studying in an environment where Judaism is lived as well as learned. Students will have the opportunity to participate in religious observances and celebrations—and to learn from faculty and peers who are entrenched in Jewish studies and care deeply about varied expressions of Jewish life and identity.
Individualized Course of Study
Students may earn a degree in general Jewish Studies, gaining the breadth of knowledge they've been seeking. Students may also earn degrees in many specialized areas. In addition, The Graduate School offers several programs that combine academic and career training. The Jewish Professional Leadership Program is ideal for those who wish to begin or develop their careers in nonprofit management and leadership in the professional Jewish community. The program offers a dual degree with Columbia University's School of Social Work as well as with Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.
The Graduate School also offers a dual-degree option with the William Davidson School Graduate School of Jewish Education. For those planning to teach in Jewish day schools, this dual degree provides comprehensive training that includes courses and fieldwork to hone pedagogic skills, advanced Hebrew, and Judaic content-knowledge and textual skills. It also offers excellent field placements for students to begin to actualize what they are learning.
For students who are planning a career as art historians or curators in a Jewish museum, the renowned degree in Jewish Art and Visual Culture is unmatched in its training in Judaica, art, and hands-on internship experience. For those who wish to forge a career in spiritual counseling and chaplaincy, the master's in Jewish Studies combined with the Certificate in Pastoral Care and Counseling is an excellent way to grow Jewish knowledge and students' skills as practitioners.
Students will generally take 30 credits in their chosen area of study and complete their degrees with a thesis or comprehensive exam, depending on the program. Our low professor-to-student ratio makes possible mentoring relationships with JTS faculty who guide students through each individualized degree. In addition to taking courses on our campus, master's-level students benefit from the Consortium with Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary, and doctoral-level students have the opportunity to study at additional schools such as NYU, Princeton, and Yale.
All JTS graduate students begin their coursework with an interdisciplinary Jewish Studies seminar in which they critically examine a topic through various methodologies and perspectives. For those students who need foundational Jewish Studies courses, JTS offers Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Introduction to Rabbinic Literature, and Classics of the Jewish Tradition. Some students may also require additional Hebrew language study to strengthen their skills, and JTS offers a successful Hebrew language program under the direction of assistant professor Nitza Krohn.
Most students complete the master's in two years, but students who enter with a strong Hebrew and Jewish Studies background may complete the degree in three semesters.
Community of Scholars
At The Graduate School of JTS, you'll find a caring environment that will enhance your academic experience and empower your success. You'll immerse yourself in the study of Jewish texts, while gaining invaluable practical experience through professional development workshops and Graduate Student Forums (informal lunch meetings of graduate students), both of which provide the opportunity for students to present work in progress to their peers. You will also have the benefit of participating in our Graduate School Student Organization, which cosponsors many professional development workshops, and hosts several social events throughout the year. It is an active organization that welcomes new student involvement to continually strengthen the vibrant Graduate School community.
Preparation for Future Success
You'll emerge from JTS with a sophisticated understanding of the Jewish experience and sharp analytical tools honed during your studies. You'll have the knowledge, experience, and social networks needed to succeed in a wide range of fields including academia, Jewish nonprofit management and leadership, education, and the rabbinate. Your JTS experience will shape you into the leader you aspire to be.