Doctorate of Hebrew Literature Degree Application Procedures and Deadlines 

The DHL degree in the Gershon Kekst Graduate School is designed for students who wish to pursue advanced academic work in a field of Jewish studies, but do not wish to pursue an academic career.

An interview with a member of the admissions committee and/or program academic advisor is recommended and may be required as part of the application process.

Below you will find a summary of our application requirements and how to submit them, as well as our application deadlines. 

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis after January 1. Please see below for specific application deadline information.

Degree Application Deadline Notification of Admission Status from JTS Applicant Reply Deadlines
DHL Priority Admission March 1 April 1 May 1
Executive DHL Priority Admission March 1 April 1 May 1
DHL Regular Admission May 1 Rolling Rolling
Executive DHL Regular Admission May 1 Rolling Rolling

How To Apply

Submit Online

  • Completed online application, which includes prompts for a short biography, educational history, personal statement, and names of your three recommenders.
  • Three letters of recommendation (recommendations can be a combination of academic and professional). Applicants should seek out recommendations from references who can address their academic qualifications and professional skills.
  • Two academic writing samples, which reflect the candidate’s writing and research skills. If you have earned an academic degree in the past 10 years, please submit two academic papers written for that degree.
  • Completed Hebrew placement exam (provided by the Office of Admissions after receipt of the application).
  • Official transcripts from all postsecondary studies. (If you’re currently enrolled in a degree program, you may submit an unofficial transcript. An official transcript will be needed to enroll.)


Important Update for Fall 2023 Admissions

We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause ongoing standardized testing disruptions. GRE/MAT or other graduate-level testing results are requested, but if not available, an alternative metric may be offered by the director of Admissions. This shift in our testing policy allows applicants to prepare their application without fear of being disadvantaged in the process. Students who are unable or choose not to submit scores will not be penalized as applicants for fall 2023. Please note that current policies around “waiving” test scores are still in-place for the 2023 semester.

If you have completed testing, we encourage submission of your scores as this information can be a valuable addition in our review. JTS has always practiced a holistic, individualized approach to reviewing our applicants and selecting individuals who are the best fit for our unique graduate programs. Consideration of an applicant includes many factors beyond test scores; we are confident our applicants will continue to demonstrate those qualities to us through their applications again this year.

  • All applicants must submit official scores on the general test of the GRE (JTS GRE code is 2339) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT)Please note the above update to JTS’s testing policy.
  • Official scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the Duolingo English Test for applicants whose native language is other than English and who have not been educated at a college where English is the language of instruction. These test scores are valid for two years from the date taken.

Testing may be waived for one of the following reasons and is at the discretion of the admissions director or dean:

  • Applicant is a graduate of List College at JTS with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Applicant holds a relevant graduate degree from an accredited university and can provide an official transcript that indicates successful completion of all required course work.
  • Applicant has completed non-degree courses at JTS with a GPA of 3.3 or higher.

Financial Aid

  • To be considered for a tuition fellowship, please submit the FAFSA application.
  • If you plan on applying for federal loans to supplement your fellowship award, visit our financial aid page to find the loan application.

Our Mailing Address

The Gershon Kekst Graduate School Office of Admissions
The Jewish Theological Seminary
3080 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Contact Us

Inquiries and applications to the Kekst Graduate School are welcome at any time of the year. For more information or to ask questions about the application or admissions process, please contact the Admissions Office at (212) 678-8032 or email