Major: Hebrew and Jewish Cultural Studies (HJCS)

Are you on track to graduate?

Use My LSA Audit Checklist  
to check your progress. 


Near Eastern Studies : Contact Information +

4111 Thayer Academic Building | 202 South Thayer Street | (734) 764-0314 (phone) | (734) 936-2679 (fax) |


Academics and Requirements


Near Eastern Studies Advising

Students interested in declaring a Near Eastern Studies major or minor should plan to meet with an advisor before doing so to create a comprehensive and cohesive plan of study. Appointments are scheduled in the department office.

Near Eastern Studies major programs prerequisitesThe student must select one of four programs: Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies (ACABS); Arabic, Armenian, Persian, Turkish and Islamic Studies (AAPTIS); Hebrew and Jewish Cultural Studies (HJCS); or Near Eastern Civilizations (NEC)

Prerequisite to the Majors

All Near Eastern Studies majors must complete the prerequisite course ACABS 100 / AAPTIS 100 / HJCS 100 / HISTORY 132: Peoples of the Middle East.

Requirements for the Majors

The student must select one of four divisions in Near Eastern Studies in which to pursue a major. Three divisions with special language requirements are: Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies (ACABS); Arabic, Armenian, Persian, Turkish and Islamic Studies (AAPTIS); or Hebrew and Jewish Cultural Studies (HJCS). Each of the three divisions provides specific programs to enhance the focus of the major. The department also offers a general studies major in Near Eastern Civilizations (NEC), a major without the language component of other program majors. A major in the department requires completion of course work in four categories: the prerequisite courses, the required language courses, the divisional elective courses and the optional elective or cognate courses. The divisions and their programs are described below. Near Eastern Studies also offers minors in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and Early Christian Studies.

All Near Eastern Studies majors must complete a minimum of thirty hours of major credit in the languages, literatures, histories, cultures and religions of the region. In addition, each concentrator must select two additional courses from offerings other than those provided by the division of major. Both cognate courses must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies and the student's department advisor. The student must maintain at least a grade of a  C in each term of a required major language. Those courses for which a student receives a lesser grade must be repeated.

Honors Plan

Majors who qualify as candidates for Honors in Near Eastern Studies are those who meet the requirements for a regular major, maintain a GPA of at least 3.4 overall and 3.5 in the major, and complete the writing of a senior thesis with distinction. Honors majors are required to enroll in the thesis course (498) both semesters of their senior year, for not less than three or more than six credits per semester. Further information concerning the Honors major can be obtained at the departmental office or the Honors Program Office (1330 Mason Hall).


Hebrew and Jewish Cultural Studies (HJCS) Major (Fall 2004-Summer 2015)

Effective Fall 2004-Summer 2015 

May be elected as a departmental major

The division of Hebrew and Jewish Cultural Studies (HJCS) offers instruction at the introductory to the  advanced level in Hebrew language, literature and culture. Learning the language enables students to engage in the study of historical, literary and religious texts, as well as study the politics, folklore, anthropology, of the culture, using texts and various media, including film. The study of Classical and Modern Hebrew texts provides students with an integrated view of the development of Hebrew and Jewish literature and culture. The program offers a variety of upper division courses in these areas, making it possible for students to create a major in HJCS.


All majors in HJCS are required to complete HJCS 100: Peoples of the Middle East. A HJCS concentrator must complete four terms of Hebrew (HJCS 101, 102, 201, 202) and five additional courses, including advanced Hebrew (HJCS 301), two upper-division courses taught in Hebrew, or which require the reading of Hebrew texts, and two additional courses in the fields of Jewish, Israeli or Hebrew literature, history, or culture. A student who places out of HJCS 301 is required to take an additional Hebrew course. The concentrator must also complete two elective cognate courses outside HJCS. These courses must be approved by the department advisor.

Prerequisites to the Major

HJCS 100, 101 and 102.

Program of study in a major

A minimum of 24 credits, distributed as follows:

  1. Language courses: HJCS 201, 202, and 301
  2. Language, Literature, History & Culture courses: four courses, two of which must be offered in Hebrew.
  3. Cognates: In consultation with the department advisor and the director of undergraduate studies, the student must select a minimum of two cognate courses outside HJCS. This may include course selections from Biblical and Rabbinic studies, from other divisions within the department of Near Eastern Studies, and cross-listed courses.

Hebrew and Jewish Cultural Studies (HJCS) (effective Fall 1994-Fall 2004) +

effective Fall 1994 until Fall 2004 

May be elected as a departmental concentration program

The division of Hebrew and Jewish Cultural Studies (HJCS) offers instruction in Hebrew language and literature and Jewish culture and civilization. In addition to providing concentrators with a sound liberal arts background, the program prepares students for continued academic studies - particularly in Hebrew and Judaic Studies, for teaching, for employment in Jewish community services, and for careers in government or private employment.

Prerequisite to Concentration. All concentrators in HJCS are required to complete prerequisite courses, Hebrew 101 and 102, and HJCS 100.

Concentration. For a concentration in HJCS, the student must complete two additional terms of Hebrew (201 and 202), and two additional courses at the advanced level (301, 302, 401, 402). Fourth-term proficiency in modern Hebrew satisfies the language requirement of the College of LSA. In addition to the four terms of language, the HJCS concentrator must elect four additional courses in the division in the fields of literature, history, or culture. The HJCS concentrator must also choose two cognate courses outside the division of concentration. These courses must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies and the concentration advisor.

Hebrew Studies (effective through Summer 1994) +

Concentration Programs. Near Eastern Studies offers concentrations in Ancient and Biblical Studies, Hebrew Studies, Islamic Studies, Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. These program concentrations require a minimum of 30 credits and are described below. A double concentration is possible for students interested in both Near Eastern Studies and another academic department.

Honors Concentration. The Honors concentration is open to second-term juniors who have obtained the permission of the concentration and Honors advisors. Candidates for Honors in Near Eastern Studies must meet all requirements for a regular concentration. In each of the last two terms they will take Near East 497 (Senior Honors Thesis) leading to the writing of a thesis. Further details are available in the departmental office.


Hebrew Studies

Effective through Summer 1994

 The modern Hebrew program educates students in modern Hebrew language and literature, and also in earlier periods of literature, including Aramaic texts. The program also offers courses in the Program of Judaic Studies, in linguistics, comparative literature, political science, and history. Professional and research interests of the faculty in Hebrew include literary history and criticism, linguistics, translation, and several aspects of culture. The program prepares students for academic, government, and business careers as well as employment in Jewish community service.

Prerequisites to the concentration in Hebrew are Hebrew 201 and 202; recommended are History 383, 384, and Political Science 353 or Religion 201. Concentration requirements: a minimum of 30 credits, including Hebrew 301, 302, 401, 402, Near Eastern Studies 445 and 446, four courses from the following areas: Near Eastern History/Jewish History, Hebrew Linguistics 431, Hebrew Literature 451, 554, Hebrew 403, 404. In addition two Near Eastern cognate courses are required. Concentration courses are to be elected after consultation with the concentration advisor.

College of Literature, Science, and the Arts 500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI  48109 © 2016 Regents of the University of Michigan