The Kekst Graduate School’s full-time PhD program provides advanced academic training in broad areas of Judaic scholarship, with intensive specialization in one area in preparation for an academic career.

Applicants require a knowledge of foreign languages and may require course work at other institutions participating in a consortium with the Kekst Graduate School. Students with excellent academic records and experience with Hebrew and Jewish studies who are interested in pursuing advanced Jewish studies at the highest level are the ideal fit for the PhD program.

Interviews with the dean, a member of the admissions committee and/or program academic advisor, and the director of graduate admissions are required as part of the application process.

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

Applications, including all admissions materials, are due by December 15. Accepted applicants will be notified in mid-March.

Application Procedures

  • Completed application for admission, which includes prompts for a short biography, educational history, personal statement, and names of your three recommenders.

Supplementary Materials

  • Official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions. (If you’re currently enrolled in a degree program, you may submit an unofficial transcript. An official transcript will be needed to enroll.)
  • Completed Hebrew placement exam (provided by the Office of Admissions after receipt of the application).
  • If you plan on applying for federal loans to supplement your fellowship award, visit our financial aid page to find the loan application.

Required Exams and Score Reports

GRE test results are requested from PhD applicants, but not required. Students who are unable or choose not to submit scores will not be penalized as applicants for fall 2024.

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). 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.

Our Mailing Address:

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

Inquiries and applications to the Kekst 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