The Ph.D. Program
The Ph.D. is awarded to students who have achieved broad general competence in Judaic and Cognate studies and demonstrated mastery of a well-defined area of study.
Students awarded the Ph.D. will...
Major Fields of Study
- Be able to read and interpret primary source materials, particularly in their respective areas of specialization
- Be able to interpret the meaning and place of source data within larger contexts and categories of humanities discourse relating to culture, society, history, and religion.
- Be able to understand independent, advanced research within their fields of expertise, and should make significant contributions to scholarship.
- Possess teaching and communication skills.
- Appreciate and foster intellectual collaboration and cooperation between persons of diverse religious backgrounds who are part of the academic community.
The following list includes sub-areas in which students have pursued doctoral research:
Bible and Ancient Near East
Competence or mastery of an area of study, in broad terms, is based on satisfying the following three requirements:
Hebrew Bible; Modern Biblical Scholarship; Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical History, Religion, Law and
Society; Hebrew; Comparative Semitics; Akkadian; Sumerian; Ugaritic; Aramaic; First-Millennium
Canaanite; Old Persian; Arabic.
History of Biblical Interpretation
Hebrew Bible, Modern Biblical Scholarship; Early Rabbinic Literature, Patristic Literature, Comparative
Jewish and Christian Biblical Interpretation, Septuagint and Targum Studies, Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Greek, Latin.
Jewish studies in the Greco-Roman Period
Hebrew Bible; Apocrypha; Rabbinic Literature; Jewish Hellenistic Literature; Patristic Literature; History of the Jews in the Greco-Roman World; Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew; Comparative Semitics; Aramaic; Syriac; Greek, Latin.
Philosophy and Jewish Religious Thought
Medieval Jewish Philosophy and Philosophers, Rabbinic Theology; Traditions of Mysticism; The Enlightenment; Jewish Theology from Mendelssohn to Modern Times; The Rise of Reform and
Mishna; Tosefta; Midrash; Talmud; Responsa; Commentaries; Codes; Masoretic Studies; Liturgy; History
of the Jews in Talmudic, Gaonic and Late Medieval Periods.
Modern Jewish History
Jewish History from the Enlightenment to Modern Israel; The American Jewish Experience from Colonial
Beginnings to the Present; History of American Jewish Institutions.
Course of Study
- Residency and course work on campus, normally of three years' duration
- Passing of candidacy exams
- Satisfactory completion of a dissertation which reflects the student's ability to apply the knowledge and methods learned and
demonstrates a capacity to carry out a scholarly research project
The course of study is seen as a means of helping the student attain a level of competency sufficient for the candidacy examinations. Generally, students are required to complete 72 credits of graduate course work or their equivalent, ordinarily over a three-year period. After completing required course work and with approval of a faculty advisory committee, the student may sit for candidacy examinations, which consist of three 5-hour exams. Students who satisfactorily complete the candidacy exams are eligible to receive the Master of Philosophy degree.
The student selects two members of the faculty as his/her dissertation supervisors and submits a written dissertation proposal to the Graduate Executive Committee of the School of Graduate Studies. The completed dissertation is circulated along with written reports from the faculty advisors to the entire faculty. The dissertation must be completed by April 1 in order for the student to be eligible for graduation in that year. Once the dissertation has been accepted, the student is invited to give a public dissertation lecture.
The College-Institute affirms the principle that knowledge of Hebrew is the cornerstone of Judaic learning. Proficiency in the Hebrew language, therefore, is required in all fields of study and a basic knowledge of Hebrew is a prerequisite for admission to the School. Newly admitted students take a brief oral examination prior to their initial registration. The purpose of this examination is to determine whether new students may be admitted immediately to full-time residency, or if they need to take all or part of an intensive pre-residency Hebrew program to prepare themselves for a full load of regular course work. In most cases, a partial program of regular graduate courses for credit may be taken concurrently by students taking the intensive Hebrew program.
The Ordination-Ph.D. Program
The Ordination-Ph.D. program is designed to encourage academically talented rabbinical students in Cincinnati to pursue doctoral degrees at the College-Institute. The program enables students to matriculate into the Ph.D. program of the School of Graduate Studies prior to
Students who wish to enter the program must apply to the School of Graduate Studies by February 15 of their fourth year in the Rabbinical School. For students who are admitted to the Ordination-Ph.D. program, the first year of doctoral study is concurrent with the fifth year of the rabbinical program. All coursework is directed towards fulfilling Ph.D. requirements (outstanding rabbinic core requirements, if any, excepted). In addition, the rabbinical thesis should be of an academic character, preferably in the student's prospective area of specialization at the doctoral level.
There is the expectation that students admitted to the program will be granted advanced standing on the basis of credits earned in relevant Rabbinical School courses. Students who are admitted to the Ordination- Ph.D. program should be able to reach dissertation status at the end of two years of full-time work following ordination. For applications and additional information, students should contact the School of Graduate Studies in Cincinnati.
The M.Phil. Program
The degree of Master of Philosophy is granted, upon recommendation of the faculty, to graduate students enrolled in the Ph.D. program after the student has completed all the general and special requirements of the Doctor of Philosophy degree except those relating to the dissertation and the public dissertation lecture.
The M.A. Program
The program leading to the Master of Arts degree is designed to provide graduate level competency in one of the major fields of study offered by the School of Graduate Studies.
Course of Study
The Master of Arts degree is awarded to students who have completed 45 credits of graduate work or 36 credits plus a thesis, with an academic record of B or better. At least 12 credits of course work in the student's special field are required.
A Hebrew language requirement of 12 credits is an essential part of the program. A student entering with competence in Hebrew may receive this credit though examination.
The normal duration of the M.A. program is two years. The normal course distribution is three academic semesters of 12 credits and a fourth semester of 9 credits. Students writing a thesis normally register for 3 credits of thesis during the third semester and for 6 credits of thesis during their fourth semester. Awarding of the degree entails the successful completion of not less than 24 credit hours earned in residence on the Cincinnati campus.
Relationship to the Ph.D. Degree
The Master of Arts is designed to be a terminal degree. It is not, therefore, necessarily part of a student's progress towards the Ph.D. The student who completes the M.A. program may apply for admission to the Ph.D. program, but completion of the M.A. does not necessarily
The D.H.L. Program
The Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree is available only to rabbinical graduates of HUC-JIR (any campus). Eligibility is based on (a) the Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters degree that they have earned, (b) the two years of post-M.A.H.L. residency required for ordination,
(c) and rabbinical ordination from HUC-JIR.
Course of Study
The D.H.L. program has three parts: a course of study, a set of oral examinations, and a doctoral dissertation.
The course of study includes three subject areas - one major field and two minor fields - identified by the student in collaboration with three faculty advisors (one from each field). The fields may, but need not, be related. The specific requirements of the course of study may be fulfilled entirely by guided independent study, or by a combination of independent study and course work.
Either the major or both minors must include substantial study of Hebrew texts.
The major and minor areas normally are selected from the following list. (Other Judaica areas may be considered as well, with approval.)
Written approvals for the program of study must be submitted by the faculty advisors for each area. The program must be submitted along with an application form and fee to the Director of the School of Graduate Studies.
- Bible and Related Literature
- Hebrew Literature
- Human Relations
- Jewish Liturgy and Worship
- Jewish Religious Education
- Jewish Theology
- Jewish Philosophy
- Jewish History
- Judaism and Early Christianity
- Judaism and Hellenism
- Medieval Jewish Biblical Commentary
- Midrashic and Homiletic Literature
- Talmud and Rabbinical Literature
Upon approval of the program of study, the student is formally admitted to D.H.L. candidacy. The three programs of study may be completed concurrently or sequentially, depending on the candidate's preferred manner of study. All requirements for the D.H.L. degree must be completed within seven years from the date of the candidate's matriculation into the program.
The D.H.L. examinations are oral and normally are given on campus. Their content is based upon the work that comprises the course of study. Candidates are usually examined in all three areas at one time; it is possible, however, to take the examinations at separate times if desired. Other members of the faculty are invited to join the three faculty advisors for the D.H.L. examinations.
The candidate will propose the subject of a doctoral dissertation in the major field to be written under the guidance of his/her faculty advisor. The proposal may be submitted at any time during the course of study, as early as the time of application, but no later than
one year prior to the anticipated date of graduation.
Two unbound submission copies of the completed dissertation, together with the advisor's written evaluation approving the dissertation, must be in the Office of the Registrar by April 1 if the D.H.L. is to be awarded at the spring commencement.
D.H.L. Courses in Residence
The School of Graduate Studies on occasion offers special D.H.L. mini-courses in June at the Cincinnati School. These courses meet for a total of 30 class hours over a two-week period, and they are intended to expedite and facilitate the completion of the D.H.L. course of study. Tuition-paying D.H.L. candidates may take up to two of these courses per year with no additional tuition fees. For more information, contact the Director of the School of Graduate Studies.
The D.H.L. Program is also available at the New York and Los Angeles Schools. The requirements are, with minor variations, the same as in the Cincinnati Graduate School. Detailed information may be obtained from the Dean of the particular campus.
Joint Programs with the University of Cincinnati
Jewish and Christian Studies in the Greco-Roman Period
HUC-JIR and the Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati offer a student interested in Jewish and Christian studies of the Greco-Roman world an opportunity to pursue advanced studies in both institutions and to take advantage of their combined resources. The student whose emphasis is in intertestamental Jewish culture or early Christianity may matriculate in the program at HUC-JIR. The student whose interests lie primarily in the Greco-Roman world, but include Judaica or early Christianity, may enroll in the Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati. Students at either institution, therefore, are encouraged to include in their individual programs relevant courses offered at both institutions.
Jewish Law and Ethics
The School of Graduate Studies offers Ph.D. and M.A. programs in Jewish Law and Ethics, which include the participation of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. The program features four main areas of study: philosophy and ethics; law; Jewish legal texts; and comparative law and ethics. Students take approximately one quarter of their program at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. At HUC-JIR, they take courses in Talmud, Post-Talmudic Halachic literature, and Jewish ethics. They may enroll in additional courses in ethics and Canon law at Xavier University and at the Atheneum Catholic Seminary. Beyond the academic focus of the program, students are offered the opportunity to take part in a variety of social service and educational projects.
For a list of course offerings, see the list of courses under the Rabbinical School - Cincinnati in the Academic Catalog. Students enrolled in the School of Graduate Studies may enroll for both core courses and electives. Courses in Professional Development and Music are open to rabbinical students only.
Special electives and reading courses based on individual needs and designed to prepare graduate students for their candidacy examinations may be arranged with individual professors in consultation with the Director of the School of Graduate Studies.
Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education
HUC-UC Ethics Center
Faculty and Administration
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