Although the Rabbinical program is offered on all HUC-JIR stateside campuses, candidates apply through the National Office of Admissions, and not a particular campus. The application and evaluation procedures are the same regardless of the campus at which the candidate wishes to interview or enroll. Campus placements are made after acceptance, at which time candidates are offered the chance to express preference for a particular campus.
Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. While there is no "cutoff" for admission, successful applicants have generally earned at least a 3.0 grade-point average (4.0 scale) and strong Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. No particular academic major is preferred. Our finest candidates demonstrate academic success, knowledge of basic Modern Hebrew, substantial involvement in the Jewish community, strong interpersonal skills, and a commitment to Reform Judaism.
In order to receive an application, a candidate must have met with a regional director of admission on one of the campuses for a preliminary interview. This informal conversation is intended to answer your questions about the rabbinical program and suggest how you may strengthen your candidacy. Application packets are distributed to candidates during the late summer and early fall of the academic year prior to the year in which one plans to matriculate. There are two admission "sessions." Candidates who choose to apply by the early November deadline interview in January, and candidates who apply by the early January deadline interview in March. (Interviews are available on all stateside campuses and on the Jerusalem campus.) Admission decisions are generally mailed to applicants two weeks after their interviews. Please consult the National Office of Admissions or the application itself for the current interview session dates, as these vary each year.
The information required of candidates in their applications includes: official academic transcripts from high school and all undergraduate and graduate institutions, results of the GRE, four letters of reference, a personal statement and three additional short essays.
After submitting the application, each applicant will interview with an Admissions Committee composed of faculty, admission staff, local rabbis and synagogue lay leaders, and a current rabbinical student. Near the time of this interview, applicants will be scheduled to (a) meet, for an interview and psychological testing, with a psychologist selected by the College-Institute, and (b) sit for the Hebrew Proficiency Examination. The admission decision is reached independent of the results of this exam. Admitted applicants who do not demonstrate sufficient proficiency in Modern Hebrew may be required to defer their enrollment to improve their language skill.
If you wish further information about the Rabbinical School or the admission process, please contact the regional director of admissions on any of our campuses.
Cantorial School of Sacred Music
Admission prerequisites include: 1) Musical competence: candidates must possess a trained singing voice, and undergraduate degree (preferably with a major in music), and facility in piano skills; 2) Hebrew competence, matriculation into the first year program in Israel is contingent upon passing a Hebrew Language Comprehension Examination demonstrating the equivalent of at least two years of college-level Hebrew; 3) Personal characteristics, as potential members of the clergy, candidates for admission are expected to dedicate their lives to service: teaching adults and children; developing interpersonal skills; and creating and presenting cultural programs appropriate to Jewish life. As cantors they will engage and inspire others in the act of worship as they form a link in a chain of tradition. They must be dedicated to a life of learning and discovery, personal spiritual growth, the pursuit of artistic excellence, and commitment to Judaism and the values implicit in a Jewish way of life.
Prospective candidates should contact the Director of the SSM for a preliminary interview which will include an informal vocal audition and evaluation of a candidate's musical skills. Applicants are encouraged to spend a full day attending classes, meeting with students and professors, exploring the library, and discovering the academic, artistic, and interpersonal ambience of the SSM, after which formal application for admission may be requested. Application requires the submission of (1) high school transcripts (2) undergraduate transcripts (3) references (4) Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (5) an autobiographical statement, and a D'var Torah. Application and complete dossier must be received no later than one month prior to applicant's meeting with the Admissions Committee. A psychological evaluation, Hebrew test, as well as an audition and formal interview by a committee composed of the Deans, the Director, a graduate of the school, and representatives of the faculty and student body completes the application process.
The Los Angeles Cantorial Program
Mechina: Preparing for the Cantorate
1) Musical Ability
Candidates must have a trained singing voice.
Candidates should have or be on their way to earning a Bachelors Degree. In addition candidate must be able to read Hebrew.
3) Personal Characteristics
As potential members of the clergy, candidates for Mechina are expected to be inspired by the prospect of dedicating their lives to service: teaching adults and children; developing interpersonal skills; and creating and presenting cultural programs appropriate to Jewish life. As singers, they should enjoy performance and the challenge of engaging others in the act of worship.
Prospective candidates should contact the Director of the Cantorial Music Program to schedule a preliminary interview which will include an informal vocal audition and evaluation of the candidates musical skills. A formal application can be requested from the National Office of Admissions.
Rhea Hirsch School of Education
Doctor of Philosophy
Admission to the Program
Candidates for admission are expected to hold a master's degree in education and a master's degree in Judaica or their equivalent. Candidates submit the application form, copies of all transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and published and unpublished samples of academic and professional writing to the National Office of Admissions. The Admissions Committee decides on a candidate's eligibility to sit for the admissions examination based on his/her documents. The process of admissions involves two open-book examinations, one in Judaica and one in education/Jewish education. Performance on these examinations and a personal interview with the Admissions Committee determine whether a candidate will be accepted.
Candidates are expected to satisfy all the standards for admission to the graduate programs of HUC-JIR. A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or its equivalent is a prerequisite for admission. In addition, the Graduate Record Examination and an interview with the Admissions Committee are required. Strong academic potential and effective communication skills are required, as the program of study calls for the ability to think critically and reflectively.
Formal study of Hebrew and Judaica is strongly recommended. Candidates must pass a Hebrew competency examination (equivalent to two years of college level Hebrew) in order to start their course of study in the M.A.J.E. or joint M.A.J.E./M.A.J.C.S. programs. Teaching experience, though highly desirable, is not a prerequisite for entry into the program; however candidates should demonstrate an understanding of some of the issues and trends in Jewish education, as well as a familiarity with what it means to be a professional in Jewish life.
Prospective candidates should contact the school to receive more information. All applications are due in February of the academic year prior to planned entry.
New York School of Education
Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree from an approved college or university, including a minimum of one-two years of college level Hebrew. Application for admissions must include complete transcripts. Records are to be sent from the institution issuing the transcript to the School of Education in New York. In addition, applicants must take either the GRE or TOEFL test, submit an autobiographical statement discussing what has led the applicant to pursue the M.A.R.E. degree and have an interview with the Admission's Committee. All communications regarding admission should be addressed to the New York School of Education.
Jewish Communal Service
We seek the best of candidates for our programs. A minimum of a B average in undergraduate school and an above average score in the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are prerequisite expectations for admissions (the GMAT is required for the MBA). A Hebrew proficiency requirement must be completed by the time of graduation. The student will be expected to have mastered the equivalency of one year of college-level Hebrew.
Contact the Admissions Office for more information and for an application. All applications are due in February of the preceding academic year.
Graduate and Undergraduate Programs
School of Graduate Studies
An earned bachelor's degree.
Undergraduate major and/or master's level study in Hebrew, biblical/ancient studies, or Judaic studies. Two to three years of university or seminary level Hebrew is recommended.
Candidates must submit completed application forms along with copies of all transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, as well as a statement of personal academic and professional goals. Candidates are encouraged to include copies of papers (published as well as unpublished) representing their work. The deadline for receipt of applications is February of the preceding academic year. Prospective students are welcome to visit the campus, sit in on classes, and meet with faculty and students.
Edgar F. Magnin School of Graduate Studies
Applications for admission for the Doctor of Hebrew Letters or Doctor of Hebrew Studies degree should be submitted by February of the preceding academic year to the Admissions Office with a request of intent to enter the graduate program. Application fee and complete college transcripts must accompany the application. For further information, contact the director of the Magnin School of Graduate Studies.
An earned bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a GPA of 3.0 or better is required. Basic familiarity with Bible and Jewish literature will be considered in the admissions process. To be admitted to the program, applicants must demonstrate an acceptable level of Hebrew language competency.
Applications for admission to the master's program must be submitted by March 15 and accompanied by application fee, complete college transcripts, scores of the Graduate Record Examination, three letters of reference addressing the student's readiness for graduate study, and a statement of academic purpose.
All communications regarding admission to the full-time program should be addressed to the Director, Edgar F. Magnin School of Graduate Studies.
Graduate Studies, New York School
Doctor of Ministry
Rabbinical graduates and invested cantors of HUC-JIR are eligible to apply for admission to the Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling program. Also eligible to apply are clergy of all backgrounds and denominations who have graduated from an accredited theological seminary with a degree at the level of M.Div. or higher. All applicants must be ordained or otherwise certified for ministry according to the procedures of their respective denominational bodies, and must be engaged in some form of ministry endorsed by their denominational administration.
Master of Arts in Judaic Studies
For admission to the M.A. program in Judaic Studies, a candidate must have completed a B.A. or its equivalent from an accredited college or university and present evidence of ability to pursue graduate work. Certified transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and a statement (or example) of previous academic work, as well as an interview, will be required of all applicants. Students may transfer up to nine graduate credits from another institution, provided these credits were not used to satisfy the requirements of another degree.
A Hebrew language requirement is an essential part of the program. Since Hebrew competency may affect the progression of courses a student would be expected to take which require Hebrew language skills, it may be recommended that the student take a year of intensive Hebrew before beginning the formal course of study. A Hebrew language competency examination is required of all entering students. Students entering with some competency in Hebrew may receive advanced credit through examination. Students with competency in other areas may be given advanced standing.
Jerome H. Louchheim School of Judaic Studies
All communications regarding admission to the full-time programs should be addressed to the Office of Admissions in Los Angeles.