Program Requirements - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Program Requirements

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We are looking for highly qualified applicants for all of our programs. HUC-JIR’s student body is diverse and there is no “correct path” to becoming a strong candidate. Each applicant is viewed as a unique individual. For example, a degree in Jewish studies is not required but it is important to have some background with liberal arts classes where reading and writing are emphasized.

You must be able to meet the following criteria by June of the summer you intend to enroll:

  • A Bachelors degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Basic Hebrew proficiency, as demonstrated by successful completion of an exam administered when one comes to interview/audition. More information is available here 
  • Completion of a preliminary consultation with the Coordinator of the Cantorial Certification program, and upload of a brief video sample.
  • International applicants from non-English speaking countries must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), now an internet based test (IBT). International applicants must have a working knowledge of English and a score of at least 90 on the TOEFL, with at least 22 on each constituent part.
  • Demonstration of the interpersonal skills needed to interface with people in diverse situations.
  • A readiness for graduate study, including the capacity to meet the intellectual, ethical, and emotional demands of graduate school.
  • A serious commitment to academic study and the capacity to develop self-awareness.
  • A commitment to and leadership experience within Reform Judaism and K’lal Yisrael.
  • An ability to engage in abstract reasoning, to think analytically and conceptually, and to formulate mature judgments.
  • An aptitude for clear oral and written self-expression.
  • Preparation and performance of three pieces of music; a classical Jewish liturgical piece, a contemporary Reform liturgical selection, and a popular, operatic, or musical theatre selection that highlights dramatic interpretation or stylistic variety. Knowledge of music theory, and the ability to sight read and play a simple piano or guitar selection.
  • Current policy states that applicants who are married to or in committed relationships with non-Jews will not be considered for acceptance to this program.