Doctor of Science in Jewish Studies

Acquire Academic Grounding in Jewish Thought and Practice

At Spertus Institute, we believe that the study of Jewish thought and history are critical to the development of informed perspectives on Judaism’s past, present, and future. Our Doctor of Science in Jewish Studies students address challenging, critical issues of Jewish life and thought, and their relevance to individuals and their communities.

Taught by skilled and distinguished faculty.

Offered in a flexible, part‑time format.

Opportunities to pursue individual interests.

View the video above to hear what Spertus students have to say.

The DSJS program is designed for professionals, including educators, administrators, and communal service workers, who seek to address critical issues of Jewish life.

Lifelong learners from any field are welcome if they meet the academic criteria.

Applicants must have a master’s degree in Jewish Studies (or the equivalent) and the equivalent of at least two years of college-level Hebrew language to be considered for admission.


A Part-Time Program Tailored to Meet Your Needs

  • Courses meet online and during seminars at our downtown Chicago campus.
  • Content is relevant and engaging. Program is self-paced.
  • Course topics provide both inspiration and grounding for students seeking to explore Jewish heritage and Jewish life today.
  • Taught in a welcoming, nondenominational environment, open to all.
  • Designed to accommodate the schedules of busy learners, wherever they live.
  • Priced to be affordable — with financial assistance available for qualified applicants.
Headshot of Dr. Janette Silverman

This program is one of a kind. I developed a personal connection to the Spertus faculty and staff, and they helped ensure the structure fit around my work and family life.

Senior Genealogist and Research Team Manager
AncestryProGenealogists |

Program Delivery

Students learn through a combination of in-person and online participation since each format offers unique benefits.

  • Synchronous learning allows students to participate online in real time, together with faculty and fellow students.
  • Asynchronous learning takes place at your own pace and on your own schedule.
  • We recommend that students complete a minimum of three courses per academic year.
Headshot of Trevan Hatch

Spertus Institute’s doctoral program allowed me to focus on my research of Judaism’s influence on Western civilization.

Ancient Scripture Specialist
Harold B. Lee Library
Group photo of eight students standing on Spertus Institute's rooftop terrace. A glass wall of windows with the building's signature diagonal framing forms the backdrop.

About Spertus Students  

Our students come from across North America and around the globe. They pursue Jewish Studies for a range of personal and professional reasons aligned with their own interests and individual journeys. Some pursue their education for work they do in Jewish or interfaith communities. Others pursue learning for its own sake. Our programs draw students who are passionate, motivated, and engaged.

Next Steps

Apply now to join faculty and fellow students for Spertus Institute’s next Jewish Studies seminar. 

We are available to answer your questions and help you explore if a Spertus Institute program is right for you.
Click the button below to contact Amie Barrish, Assistant Director for Recruitment, to arrange a time to talk.

Contact Amie Barrish

Key Dates

  • October 3, 2023 — Fall Application Deadline
  • April 3, 2024 — Spring Application Deadline
Curriculum & Requirements

The Doctor of Science in Jewish Studies (DSJS) program requires 18 courses (54 quarter-hour credits), as follows:

Core Courses—7 courses (3 quarter-hour credits each)

  • Who is a Jew?
  • What is Judaism?
  • Jewish Thinking
  • Jewish Living
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Jewish Historiography
  • Nature and Methodologies of Jewish Studies

Text-Based Courses—5 courses (3 quarter-hour credits each)

  • Students select from course offerings that relate to the study of Jewish text(s)
  • Topics range from the Dead Sea Scrolls to The New Jewish Cannon.

Elective Courses—4 courses (3 quarter-hour credits each)

  • Any course relating to a student’s area(s) of study

Comprehensive Exam—(0 credits)
Covers these topic areas:

  • Biblical Israel
  • The Talmudic Era
  • Medieval Jewry
  • Jewish Modernity Core

Final Project Courses—2 courses (3 quarter-hour credits each)

  • Final Project 1
  • Final Project 2

The cost is $1,425 per course (3 quarter-hour credits each, $475 per quarter-hour credit) for a total of $25,650 (plus fees) for the entire program. Many of our students receive scholarship funds through a Spertus Jewish Studies Scholarship or other financial assistance.

Learning Outcomes 

Doctor of Science in Jewish Studies (DSJS) students learn to:

  • Describe how key issues central to the Jewish experience have been addressed throughout classical Jewish history and literature
  • Draw upon the resources of past Jewish literature and historical experience to address issues and problems challenging contemporary Jewish life
  • Explain how and why authenticity and continuity have been defined despite historical disruption and discontinuity
  • Provide tools for independent and advanced academic study