Degree Programs

PH.D. IN JUDAIC AND COGNATE STUDIES, CINCINNATI

The Ph.D. in Judaic and Cognate Studies is designed for those who love to learn.  Through this program, you will develop skills key to a life of scholarship and teaching. It is the highest academic degree offered by HUC-JIR, awarded to students who have demonstrated mastery of subject matter in an area of study created from the following fields:

  • Hebrew Bible: The focus of the Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible program is to train students to become proficient in reading and interpreting biblical texts and related primary source materials from antiquity. It is expected that students develop sound skills to conduct scholarly research, ultimately making significant contributions in their field of study. Students are required to take core courses in Hebrew Bible and in the history and culture of the ancient world. Core language requirements include: Advanced Biblical Hebrew, Rabbinic Hebrew, Aramaic, Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Modern Hebrew for Scholarship. Emphasis is placed on developing approaches for critiquing modern biblical scholarship and formulating methods for text analysis. As part of their coursework, students can choose from among a variety of elective Bible courses and sub-areas of study to support their major field of interest. These include, but are not limited to, ancient Near East languages, ancient Near East history and culture, archaeology, Jewish Hellenistic history and literature, Septuagint and Targum studies, early rabbinic literature, philosophy of interpretation (hermeneutics in the ancient world), philosophy of history and the study of antiquity, and comparative Christian and Jewish biblical interpretation.
  • History of Biblical Interpretation: The focus of the Ph.D. in the History of Biblical Interpretation program is to train students to become proficient in reading and interpreting biblical texts and related primary pre-modern source materials. It is expected that students develop sound skills to conduct scholarly research, ultimately making significant contributions in their field of study. Students are required to take core courses in Hebrew Bible, courses on methods of interpretation, and the literature and history of Late Antiquity. Core language requirements include: Advanced Biblical Hebrew, Rabbinic Hebrew, Aramaic, and Modern Hebrew for Scholarship. Developing approaches for critiquing modern scholarship and formulating methods for text analysis is emphasized. As part of their coursework, students can choose from among a variety of elective Bible courses and sub-areas of study to support their major field of interest. These include, but are not limited to, Greek and Latin, Jewish Hellenistic history and literature, Septuagint and Targum studies, early rabbinic literature, Patristic literature, Philosophy of Interpretation (Hermeneutics in the ancient world), Philosophy of history and the study of antiquity, and comparative Christian and Jewish biblical interpretation.
  • Jewish Studies in the Greco-Roman Period: The focus of the Ph.D. in Jewish Studies in the Greco-Roman Period program is to train students to become proficient in reading and interpreting biblical, extra-biblical, and Hellenistic texts and related primary source materials. It is expected that students develop sound skills to conduct scholarly research, ultimately making significant contributions in their field of study. Students are required to take core courses in Hebrew Bible, courses in the Greek versions, and other Jewish and Christian texts of the Greco-Roman period, as well as courses in the history of the Greco-Roman Period. Language core requirements include: advanced Biblical Hebrew, Rabbinic Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Modern Hebrew for Scholarship. Developing approaches for critiquing modern scholarship and formulating methods for text analysis is emphasized.  As part of their coursework, students can choose from among a variety of elective text and history courses dealing with the Greco-Roman world and sub-areas of study to support their major field. These include, but are not limited to, Bible, apocrypha/deutercanonica, Jewish Hellenistic literature, History of the Jews in the Greco-Roman World, Latin, New Testament and Patristic literature, and rabbinic literature.
  • Rabbinic Literature: The focus of the Ph.D. in Rabbinic Literature program is to train students to become proficient in reading and interpreting various genres of rabbinic texts and related primary source materials against the background of their cultural contexts. It is expected that students develop sound skills to conduct scholarly research, ultimately making significant contributions in their field of study. Students are required to take core courses in Hebrew Bible, rabbinic literature, and Jewish history. Language core requirements include: advanced Biblical Hebrew, Rabbinic Hebrew, Aramaic, and Modern Hebrew for scholarship. Developing approaches for critiquing modern scholarship and formulating methods for text analysis is emphasized. As part of their coursework, students can choose from among a variety of elective text courses in their major area of concentration: Tannaitic, Midrashic, Talmudic and Post-Talmudic literature and history courses that contextualize the culture of these Jewish writings. Sub-areas that support the major field of study include, but are not limited to, Responsa, Commentaries, Codes, Liturgy and ritual, Jewish law and ethics, Jewish Hellenistic literature, history of the Jews in the Talmudic and Geonic periods. 
  • Jewish Thought: The focus of the Ph.D. in Jewish Thought program is to train students to become proficient in reading and interpreting various genres of primary source material relating to Jewish Thought, Philosophy, and Theology. It is expected that students develop sound skills to conduct scholarly research, ultimately making significant contributions in their field of study, while developing approaches for critiquing modern scholarship and formulating methods of text analysis. Students are required to take core courses in Jewish thought, rabbinics, and Jewish history. Language core requirements are determined based on the field of specification. However, Hebrew (biblical, rabbinic, and modern) is required for all fields of research. As part of their coursework, students can choose from among a variety of elective text courses in their area of concentration: Medieval and Modern Jewish Philosophy and Theology, Political Philosophy and Theology, Zionist Ideology, Jewish Mysticism and Hassidism, Rabbinic Theology, and Philosophy of Halakhah. Sub-areas that support the major field of study include, but are not limited to, Jewish biblical interpretation, interpretation of rabbinic literature, and modern Jewish history.
  • The American Jewish Experience: The focus of the Ph.D. in The American Jewish Experience program is to train students to become proficient in reading and interpreting various genres of primary source material and secondary scholarship relating to the history of Jewish life in America. It is expected that students develop sound skills to conduct scholarly research, ultimately making significant contributions in their field of study. Students are required to take core courses in modern Jewish history, the history of Jewish life in America, and general American history. Modern Hebrew is a core language requirement, as are any languages needed to read primary sources (e.g. Yiddish, German, French, etc.). Developing approaches for critiquing modern scholarship and formulating methods for text analysis is emphasized. As part of their coursework, students can choose from among a variety of elective text courses in their area of concentration both at HUC-JIR and in the Department of History at the University of Cincinnati. The resources of the world-renowned Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives constitutes an incomparably rich collection of documentary evidence on the American Jewish experience, which HUC-JIR graduate students can utilize for their course research and dissertation. Sub-areas that support the major field of study include, but are not limited to: Jews in Colonial America; the American Jewish experience in the 19th & 20th centuries, Southern Jewish history; American Zionist ideology; and the history of American Reform Judaism.

The goals of the School of Graduate Studies for program outcomes in all subject area concentrations are as follows. Students awarded the Ph.D. will have the ability to:

  • Read and interpret primary source material, particularly in their respective areas of specialization;
  • Interpret the meaning and place of source data within larger contexts and categories relating to culture, society, history, and religion;
  • Understand independent, advanced research within their fields of expertise, and make significant contributions to scholarship;
  • Possess teaching and communication skills; and appreciate and foster intellectual collaboration and cooperation between persons of diverse religious backgrounds who are part of the academic community. 

M.A. IN JEWISH STUDIES, SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES, CINCINNATI; EDGAR R. MAGNIN SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES, LOS ANGELES

If you are considering an academic career or simply wish to enrich your sphere of knowledge, here is a great place to begin. This two-year program is individually tailored to your academic needs and interests. Gain mastery of Hebrew in all periods, skills for reading seminal texts in historical context, and knowledge in areas of Jewish Studies related to the core disciplines of history, literature, law, philosophy, and religion.  In addition to focusing on academic subject areas within the field of Jewish Studies, students in the MA degree program may also choose from among special courses and exciting experiences to supplement and enhance their program:

  • Summer in Israel archaeology program
  • Writing and publication internships for HUC Press
  • Community social action projects
  • Community leadership training
  • Courses in Jewish Education and Teaching

DOCTOR OF HEBREW LETTERS, CINCINNATI

If you are a rabbi ordained at HUC-JIR (or at another accredited Jewish seminary) seeking to further your intellectual journey, consider this flexible, part-time doctoral program. Focusing on three subject areas, you’ll expand your knowledge while satisfying your love of learning in a program designed for independent study.

 


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