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  • Jewish Studies

    The Center for Jewish Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts in Jewish studies, as well as a minor certificate. A strong interdisciplinary curriculum provides a basis for understanding the broad spectrum of Jewish culture and history. Students can concentrate on one of four tracks within the major.

    About This Major

    Critical TrackingRecommended Semester Plan


    The Center for Jewish Studies fosters the academic study of Jewish cultures, languages, history, society and religion for all students at the University of Florida. Students are expected to develop as critical thinkers, aware of the diversity and complexity of the field. The center promotes a broad and interdisciplinary approach including the arts, social sciences and textuality. The curriculum emphasizes historical transformations and comparative frameworks among various Jewish communities and with other groups and religions. Courses draw upon a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of class, ethnicity, gender, race and sexuality with methodologies that are both textual and performance oriented.

    The program may serve as preparation for graduate work in Jewish studies, as background for a career in Jewish education or community service or as an area of special interest that will enrich the undergraduate experience. Students often combine the JST major or minor with other majors and go on to careers in law, medicine, journalism, business or other professions.

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    Coursework for the Major

    The major requires a minimum of 27 credits in Jewish studies and related courses with minimum grades of C. In addition, one year of Hebrew or the equivalent is required. A minimum of 15 credits for the major must be taken at the University of Florida. Students should consult the undergraduate coordinator in 201 Walker Hall.

    Required Coursework

    • JST 2930 Introduction to Jewish studies or an introduction to Jewish culture or, Jewish history or a survey course in Jewish studies (3 credits)
    • Senior seminar, generally offered every other spring, or an approved equivalent JST course requiring a comprehensive research paper
    • Minimum 21 credits at the 3000 level or above

    Special topics courses in other departments may be counted toward the major provided they include substantial coverage of material relevant to Jewish studies. Individual work (JST 4905), which also fulfills requirements for the major, is also available for independent study and special projects. No more than six credits of independent study (JST 4905) will be counted toward the minimum. Normally, no more than 12 credits of the minimum may be transfer credit; however, all transfer credits in JST-related courses from UF-approved programs abroad will apply toward the major.

    Course Details

    Most JST courses are listed in the schedule of courses under Jewish Studies. Related courses offered by other departments are listed in departments of Anthropology, English, History, Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Political Science, Religion, and Sociology. A list of courses is available in the center each semester before advance registration.

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    Students can concentrate in one of four specializations:

    • History, Politics and Society
    • Israel Studies
    • Literature, Film and Cultural Studies
    • Thought and Tradition
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    Honors in Jewish studies can be earned by students who have at least a 3.5 GPA in their upper-division work and a 3.5 GPA in the major. Students who seek honors are required to complete an honors project, with a grade of A or B, under the guidance of a Jewish studies faculty member. In their senior year, honors students should register for JST 4940, a 2-3 credit course.

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    Internship in Jewish Communal Services

    Students can gain practical experience as an undergraduate through the internship option of JST 4940. The goal of this program is both to expose the student to the opportunities for service in the world of organized Jewry and to provide a means for students to understand how Jewish values are propagated in organized settings. Students earn credit for volunteer work and training in applied settings such as Jewish family and social services agencies, community centers, federations, educational institutions, museums, newspapers, denominational organizations, public affairs groups, synagogues, Hillel or equivalent institutions. To qualify for JST credit, the organization must have an explicit public tie to Judaism and be approved for internship credit by the Center for Jewish Studies.

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    Overseas Study

    The Center for Jewish Studies provides counsel regarding study abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Haifa University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The overseas programs at these Israeli universities offer summer, one semester and full-year courses of study. Information is available in 201 Walker Hall and at the UF International Center, 170 Hub.

    Scholarships are available. Travel restriction updates are available on the department website.

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    Critical Tracking

    To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college and major requirements. For degree requirements outside of the major, refer to CLAS Degree Requirements: Structure of a CLAS Degree.

    Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students.

    Semester 1

    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 2

    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 3

    • Complete HBR 1130
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 4

    • Complete HBR 1131 and one Jewish studies course with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 5

    • Complete all critical-tracking courses with a 2.5 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
    • 2.0 UF GPA required
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    Recommended Semester Plan

    Students are expected to complete the writing requirement while in the process of taking the courses below. Students are also expected to complete the general education international (GE-N) and diversity (GE-D) requirements concurrently with another general education requirement (typically, GE-C, H or S).

    Semester 1 Credits
    HBR 1130 Beginning Modern Hebrew 1 5
    JST 2930 Introduction to Jewish Studies (GE-H) (N) 3
    Composition (State Core GE-C) (WR) 3
    Mathematics (State Core GE-M) 3
    Total 14
    Semester 2 Credits
    HBR 1131 Beginning Modern Hebrew 2 5
    IUF 1000 What is the Good Life (GE-H) 3
    Jewish studies elective 3
    Biological or Physical Science (State Core GE-B or P) 3
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (State Core GE-S) 3
    Total 17
    Semester 3 Credits
    Humanities (State Core GE-H) 3
    Jewish studies electives, two 6
    Mathematics (GE-M) 3
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (GE-S) 3
    Total 15
    Semester 4 Credits
    Biological or Physical Science (Area not taken in semester 2, GE-B or GE-P) 3
    Electives 7
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (GE-S) 3
    Science laboratory (GE-P or B) 1
    Total 14
    Semester 5 Credits
    Composition (GE-C, WR) 3
    Elective 3
    Jewish studies electives, two 6
    Physical Science (GE-P) 3
    Total 15
    Semester 6 Credits
    Biological Science (GE-B) 3
    Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
    Jewish studies electives, two 6
    Total 15
    Semester 7 Credits
    Electives 6
    Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
    Jewish studies elective (GE-H) 3
    Total 15
    Semester 8 Credits
    JST 4970 Senior Honors Thesis (optional) or elective 3
    Elective 3
    Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
    Jewish studies elective 3
    Total 15
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majors: jewish-studies