Master of Arts in Jewish Studies

Delve Into Jewish Ideas as the Next Step on Your Jewish Journey!

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.

Spertus Institute’s MA in Jewish Studies makes the pursuit of graduate-level Jewish learning convenient and accessible for adult students of all backgrounds.

Offered in a flexible, part‑time format.

Opportunities to pursue individual interests.

View the video above to hear what Spertus students have to say.
Students looking down at a table with photos and documents on it.

A Part-Time Program Tailored to Meet Your Needs

  • Courses meet online and during seminars at our downtown Chicago campus.
  • 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.
  • Self-paced and designed to accommodate the schedules of busy learners, wherever they live.
  • Priced to be affordable — with financial assistance available for qualified applicants.
Headshot of Sherry Knazan

I learned from committed and exceptional professors who stretched my brain and taught me new ways of thinking.

Independent Adult Learning Consultant
Petaluma, CA
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.

Headshot of Michale Wacks

The opportunity to pursue individual interests helped me focus on what I needed to know to become a Hospital Chaplain.

Chaplain Resident
AMITA Health, Chicago

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

The Master of Arts of Jewish Studies (MAJS) program requires 16 courses (48 quarter-hour credits), as follows:

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

  • Introduction to Jewish Studies
  • The Bible and the Ancient Near East
  • The World of the Rabbis
  • Jews and Judaism in the Middle Ages
  • Early Modern Jewish Experiences
  • Modern Jewish Experiences
  • Contemporary Jewish Experiences

2nd-Level Core Courses—3 courses (3 quarter-hour credits each) that each cover a theme across multiple time periods.

Elective Courses—6 courses (3 quarter-hour credits each)


The cost is $1,200 per course (16 3-quarter-hour credits each, $400 per quarter-hour credit) for a total of $19,200 (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
  • A basic familiarity with the key periods and themes in Jewish history
  • An understanding of the nature and development of Judaism as a religion
  • Familiarity with the most important Jewish thinkers and personalities
  • Familiarity with the central texts in Jewish tradition and history
  • An understanding of the complex relation between Jews and Judaism and the non-Jewish world
  • An understanding of the challenges and possibilities facing Jews and Judaism throughout history and how Jews and Judaism have responded to these challenges and possibilities
  • A basic understanding of biblical Hebrew, equivalent to one year of college-level Hebrew
  • Familiarity with primary resources and methodologies involved in Jewish Studies Development of intermediate to advanced knowledge and skills in an area of individual focus selected by the student
  • Awareness of Jewish diversity throughout the ages