In order to allow students more flexibility in completing their degree requirements, the List College curriculum mandates a 37-credit core. The courses offer a solid foundation in Jewish history, literature, and thought; Bible, Talmud and rabbinics, and in the Hebrew language. Several courses require facility with Hebrew texts. 

The List College Core Curriculum*

  • List 101: 1 credit
    All first-year students register for this 1-credit course designed to ease the transition to college life in general and to List College specifically. Significant academic, social, and religious issues are addressed and discussed in an informal setting over lunch. List 101 is recommended but not required for students who transfer from other universities.

  • Foundations of the Jewish Canon and Thought: 6 credits
    These courses are designed to provide students with a strong foundation in Jewish texts and thought from which they can draw as they progress through the List curriculum. The class meets twice a week. Once a week there will be a lecture for all students. In the alternating class period, students will be divided into three groups for discussions guided by the professor and two TAs. This year-long course exposes students to the central and formative books and ideas that have shaped Judaism. The course introduces students to canonical texts and helps students understand the interplay between text and history and the complexities of the formation of the Jewish canon. 

    Part I (3 credits), which covers the Bible through the Middle Ages, must be taken during the fall semester of one’s first year.

    Part II (3 credits), which covers the Middle Ages through contemporary culture, may be taken in the spring of either one’s first or second year.

  • Bible: 6 credits (one course must focus on the Pentateuch)
    One 1000-level (or higher) Bible course (3 credits)

    One 3000-level (or higher) Bible course (3 credits)

  • Talmud and Rabbinics: 6 credits
    One 1000-level (or higher) Talmud and Rabbinics course (3 credits)

    One 3000-level (or higher) Talmud and Rabbinics course (3 credits)

  • Jewish Liberal Arts: 15 credits
    One 1000-level (or higher) Jewish Thought course (3 credits)

    One 1000-level (or higher) Jewish Literature course (3 credits)

    One 1000-level (or higher) Jewish History course (3 credits)

    One 3000-level (or higher) course in either Jewish Thought, Jewish Literature or Jewish History (3 credits)

    One 3000-level (or higher) course in either Jewish Thought, Jewish Literature or Jewish History (3 credits)

  • HEB 5203: Hebrew Language (3 credits)
    All students are required to take a Hebrew placement exam on entry into the program. A student who does not place into HEB 5203 will be required to take the appropriate prerequisite Hebrew courses, which will count toward elective requirements. Progress toward fulfilling this requirement must be made each semester until HEB 5203 is completed. A student who exempts from HEB 5203 must complete the 3 credits with an upper-level Hebrew language class or a literature course that is taught in Hebrew. HEB 5203 or the upper-level course used to fulfill this requirement must be taken at JTS.


Of the courses taken for the core, major, and electives above, at least four must be distributed as follows:

  • One modern period/contemporary
  • One text-intensive
  • One ethics
  • One that engages critical methodologies

Courses used to fulfill breadth requirements must be taken in residence at JTS. Each breadth requirement is fulfilled by a single course. Fulfillment of the breadth requirements should not necessitate additional coursework beyond core, elective, and major requirements.

Learn more about the degree requirements from the List College Academic Bulletin