Application Instructions - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Application Instructions

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1. Application Part One - Start HERE

Application Part One includes a few simple questions about your contact information and educational background. Please read through all the application instructions and complete all elements of the application by the deadline for which you wish to apply (Round 1, Round 2, or Round 3). If you have any questions please contact

  • Round 1 Deadline: November 1, 2019
  • Round 2 Deadline: January 15, 2020
  • Round 3 Deadline: March 1, 2020

2. Preliminary Consultation

As part of your application process to becoming a Jewish Nonprofit Management Professional through HUC-JIR, we encourage you to speak with a professional in the Department of Admissions and Recruitment or the Director of the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management. This informal, preliminary consultation is a way for us to get to know you better, for you to ask your questions and be sure now is the right time for you to apply to HUC-JIR. Simply email to set a date and time.

3. Recommendation Letters

Good references come from individuals who know you well enough to give the Admissions Committee input on your candidacy and reflect on specific experiences you have had that make you a strong candidate. Please use the Reference Letter Request Form to submit the names and contact information of your references. HUC-JIR will not accept more than four letters of reference. The individuals you list as references will receive an email from HUC Admissions informing them that you have requested they write a letter of reference on your behalf. It is recommended that you are in touch with your chosen references prior to filling out this online form to alert them that they will receive this emailed request.

Please allow each reference enough time (at least one month) to complete his or her letter of reference. If you wish to substitute, delete, or add references after you have submitted their names in the online Reference Letter Request Form, you must report this in writing to the National Office of Recruitment and Admissions by emailing .

References for Applying MA in Jewish Nonprofit Management or the Dual degree masters with USC

  • One Academic Reference: College professors or instructors with whom you have engaged in serious academic study should write the academic references. If you have been out of college more than five years you may obtain academic references from adult or informal education instructors.

  • One Judaic Reference: Of the remaining three references, HUC-JIR encourages you to submit a Judaic reference from an alumnus of HUC-JIR.

  • One Professional Reference: Please request a professional reference from a supervisor of your work, paid or volunteer, preferably in a Jewish setting.

  • One Additional Reference: In addition, please also provide one additional reference from any of the above categories (Academic, Judaic, or Professional)

Confidentiality of References

The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, provides students the right to inspect their records. This includes letters of recommendation submitted in the application process. HUC-JIR carefully reviews all letters of reference. However, we find that letters written in confidence are most useful in assessing a candidate’s qualifications and promise. By using the Reference Letter Request Form, you are automatically waiving your right. Please contact with any questions or concerns.

4. Transcripts

Please request transcripts 60 days before the application deadline. Transcripts need to be received in order to schedule an interview.

Please provide us with one copy of an official transcript from all of the following:

  • The college from which you graduated as well as any other colleges you attended. (This includes any school at which you took a college-level course for transfer credit.)
  • Any graduate schools where you have been enrolled, as well as schools where you have taken graduate-level classes.
  • Any “Year Abroad” programs or other foreign study. (If grades from international programs are recorded on your college transcript you do not need to submit a separate transcript.)

Have your schools mail the transcripts directly to:

National Office of Recruitment and Admissions
Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion
3101 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220
For international applicants: year-by-year records from colleges and universities attended are required. The record must indicate the number of hours per week devoted to each course, grades received for each course, and degrees awarded, with dates the degrees were conferred. This information must be provided in English. If this information is not available in English, it is the applicant’s responsibility to have it professionally translated and certified before it is sent to HUC-JIR. If grades are not determined on a 4.0 scale system please include guidelines in English from the school that explain the grading system.


Graduate Record Examination (GRE): All applicants with English proficiency are required to take the GRE General Test if they are applying to USC's MPA program. If you have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above and area applying the MSW program the GRE requirement is waived. 

When registering for the GRE, please use the school code number 1291, which directs the results to the National Office of Admissions and Recruitment. For GRE information, please see

We recommend that the test be taken at least four weeks before the application is due to allow time for the scores to be sent to HUC-JIR. Scores need to be received in order to schedule an interview. GRE scores are only valid for five years. Candidates with a prior degree from HUC-JIR, Ph.D. or Masters degree (post-Bachelor) from an accredited institution that required a GRE score for admission may be exempt from submitting a current GRE score. Please email with a request to exempt from this requirement.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):International applicants for whom English is not the first language must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in approximately 100 centers outside the United States. See the information available at: Please note that the TOEFL exam is not a substitute for the GRE.

6. Application Part Two

 You will receive access to Application Part Two within one business day of completing Application Part One. Part Two contains more in depth and program specific questions. Additionally you will upload your personal statement, essay and other supporting documents in this application. These should all be submitted as in .pdf format.  All application materials must be received in order to schedule an interview. You will have the opportunity to give your interview preferences at the end of Application Part Two.

A Note about Your Personal Statement and Short Essay

Both the Personal Statement and Short Essay should be double spaced, with a 12-point Times New Roman font and at least one inch margins. Please make sure to spell check and proofread your essay carefully. The Admissions Committee pays attention to the form, as well as the content of the admissions essay.

The objective of the Personal Statement is to help us get to know you as an individual, a student, a Jew, and a Jewish nonprofit professional. Both your Personal Statement and Short Essay should be written in an integrated narrative style.

7. Personal Statement

In no more than 3 – 6 pages, please address each of the categories listed below (in bold and underlined). The bulleted questions are intended as a guide; you do not have to answer the specific questions or follow the order of the categories.

If you are applying to a dual Masters degree program at USC, please be sure to address both fields in your essay (e.g. Jewish Nonprofit Management and Public Administration).

Personal Background:

  • What relationships have influenced your personal development and values?

  • Describe a personal challenge you have encountered, how you addressed it, and what impact it had in shaping who you are today?

Jewish Identity:

  • How would you describe your Jewish background, in terms of family, culture, education and experiences?

  • What are your current Jewish involvements?

Academic Background:

  • How would you describe your educational background, including both strengths and challenges?

  • What relationships and experiences have been most influential in your intellectual growth?

Work Experience

  • Describe any relevant work or work-related (e.g. internships) experiences, including any challenges you faced and how you addressed them.

  • What work-related relationships and experiences have been most influential in your professional growth?

Professional Goals

  • Why do you want to pursue a degree in Jewish Nonprofit Management (and, if applicable), business administration, public administration, communication management or social work)?

  • When did you first realize that you wanted to become a Jewish professional leader?

  • What are your professional goals and vision?

8. Short Essay

In no more than three pages, describe a major issue confronting the American or world Jewish community and explain why you think it is a problem?

9. Resume:

A standard C.V. or resume.

10. Photo:

A simple portrait to help us recognize you when you visit and maintain our campus security.