FAQs - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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The following questions address the MEdL and MAJL programs specifically. As some details of the programs are still being finalized, please check back and stay in touch with our admissions team for updated information. For more general FAQs about the Hebrew Union College’s various programs, admissions procedures, and policies, please see http://huc.edu/admissions/faq. Also, see the pages for the Executive MA and DeLeT for specific questions about those programs. 


  1. Do I have to take the GRE? The GRE is required as a standard tool to assess readiness for graduate study. However, GRE results are considered as just one factor in the overall applicant portfolio of essays, transcripts, recommendations, and the in-person interview. Candidates with a prior degree from HUC-JIR, Ph.D. or Masters degree (post-Bachelor) from an accredited institution that requires a GRE score for admission may be exempt from submitting a current GRE score. Please email admissions@huc.edu with a request to exempt from this requirement.

  1. Is there a Hebrew requirement or a Hebrew exam for admission to the program? There is a Hebrew entrance requirement for those who also want to earn a Masters in Jewish Learning (MAJL) and attend the Year in Israel program.  Entering students are required to demonstrate capacity in the Hebrew language comparable to one year of college-level Modern Hebrew. We do not need to see documented coursework in Hebrew; however, applicants must pass a Hebrew Capacity Exam (HCE) in order to matriculate. The exam is typically taken at the time of the admissions interview. There is no Hebrew requirement for admission to the Masters in Educational Leadership (MEdL) program. We strongly recommend that all students work to bring their Hebrew skills to a minimal level of decoding, writing and basic comprehension. However, in order to graduate, you must have achieved a Hebrew proficiency level equivalent to one year of college-level Hebrew. We encourage you to make progress on your Hebrew proficiency prior to acceptance into the program, and we can assist you in finding the right courses and Hebrew study aids to meet your needs.

Program Details:

  1. Where can I pursue the MEdL program?
    The pilot cohort, entering in August 2020, will be in Los Angeles. Students beginning the MEdL in 2022 will be able to pursue the degree at our New York campus as well. For students on our New York campus, most education courses will be on video with faculty in Los Angeles. Students applying to begin with MAJL studies in Israel will have the option to study on the NY or LA campuses when they begin the MEdL in 2022. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss the options with a member of our national recruitment team, and are warmly welcomed to plan campus visits.
  2. On average, how much time will I spend in classes and how much time will I spend at work? The MEdL program is built around a graduate residency, which is a part-time paid position (approximately 25 hours/week; 20 for international students due to visa restrictions). The program blends academic coursework and authentic opportunities for observation, learning and practice in real life and in real time settings. There will be a few online classes and “intensives” where a course is conducted on a retreat or in a week-long campus-based experience.  On average you will have a 12-13 credit course load each semester, which includes credits for practicum/supervision. You will be on campus learning with your cohort approximately 3 times per week for partial days during the regular semester. The program design emphasizes developing a warm and supportive professional learning community in person, as well as significant interaction in person with faculty. A residency work week will be on average 20-25 hours per week, with exact days and hours to be determined by the specific job responsibilities you will have in your organization, and in consultation with the Director of Clinical Education.  

  3. Where will my residency placement be? What kind of an organization could I expect to work in? Residency placements are made in organizations that are living laboratories led by master educators who are also skilled supervisors and mentors. Residency placements will be in organizations that are at the cutting edge in thinking about Jewish education, that value innovation, play, & experimentation, and are committed to building true interpersonal connections amongst their constituencies.  These settings may be congregations, day schools, museums, camps, agencies with explicit educational missions, or other innovative endeavors in Jewish education. The residency is created in partnership between HUC and select institutions that meet HUC’s criteria for optimal professional learning environments.
  4. What summer obligations will I have? Each student’s summer obligations will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the student’s academic and professional interests and the needs of the residency placement. The School of Education partners with the HUC-JIR Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management.  Students applying or accepted to the school of Jewish Education who have an interest in further certification in organizational leadership may apply to do a summer certificate in Jewish Organizational Leadership.  Qualified students may also apply to pursue a concurrent MA in Jewish Nonprofit Management.  Questions about how you envision spending your summer months over the course of your time in the school of education will be addressed specifically during the residency placement process so that you, the residency organization and HUC can plan ahead accordingly.
  5. Is it required that I study in Israel? Israel engagement is a core component of all HUC-JIR programs. All School of Education students have a study experience in Israel. Students who chose to do the single degree MEdL will participate in an Israel Seminar, a ten-day intensive study experience that focuses on the place of Israel and Jewish Peoplehood in Jewish education.  Through forums with Israeli leaders in the field and visits to Israeli schools and programs focusing on Jewish education, you will establish ties with Israeli educators and understand the role that you can play in connecting Jewish communities around the world as well as bring Israel home to the individuals at the institutions you lead. Students who chose to do the dual MEdL and MAJL degrees are required to participate in our Year In Israel program, which brings rabbinic, cantorial and MEdL students together to the Jerusalem campus. 
  6. What does the additional MAJL degree opportunity offer me as a student and a professional? The MAJL option is for those who want the opportunity to spend an additional year of study at our Jerusalem campus, immersed in study about the language, literature, liturgy, and life of the Jewish people and how they learn it. Integrated into courses with rabbinic and cantorial students, you will spend your year engaged in a deep exploration of Jewish texts, history, and Israeli culture. Upon returning to the US, MAJL students will complete the requirements for that degree by completing 9 additional credits of study and will be eligible to take advanced Judaics courses that are offered in the rabbinic program.  We encourage applicants to consult with our recruitment and admissions team to discuss the options and determine which path to pursue.


  1. How much does the program cost? Are there scholarships available? Generous scholarships will be offered to make the program affordable. Click here for more information about Financial Aid and Scholarships and Tuition and Fees.

  1. What salary will I earn in my residency? For an average of 20-25 hours/week of work students will be paid $20-25,000 depending on the number of months in residency in a year and hours per week arranged.  Students who remain working in their residency organization during the summer months will earn more than those who work 10 months of the year.

Other Study Opportunities at HUC:

Students may opt to pursue degrees in HUC’s other schools concurrently, including the concurrent MA in Jewish Nonprofit Management, a certificate in Jewish Organizational Leadership, and rabbinic ordination. MEdL/MAJL students may also pursue the iCenter Concentration in Israel education. HUC offers many co-curricular learning opportunities for graduate students through partner organizations.