Judaic Studies


Jews have lived and flourished over thousands of years in a variety of social contexts, stretching from the Land of Israel and the eastern Mediterranean to Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.  Concentrators will have the opportunity to study Jews in these contexts, getting to know their social structures, and what they have created.  The subjects of study cover an astonishing range, including history and society, Jewish law and philosophy, and Jewish literature and ritual.  Students will learn to unlock this wealth in both the ancient and the modern worlds through a number of academic disciplines - History, Religious Studies, and Literature.  These also provide tools for studying and analyzing human societies and cultures in general, for which Jewish experiences provide an important perspective.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Explore the history of Jews and Judaism from biblical times to the present
  • Develop theoretical acumen in humanistic and social scientific inquiry
  • Acquire elementary proficiency in Hebrew
  • Select and develop proficiency in the methods of one particular discipline
  • Complete a capstone course or honors thesis


Click here for a list of the Judaic Studies concentration requirements.

Honors and Capstones

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A candidate for honors in Judaic Studies will write a thesis in the senior year.  In order to be considered a candidate for honors, students will be expected to maintain an outstanding record (at least an A-) in Judaic Studies courses.  The honors thesis, which fulfills the capstone requirement, will normally be written as a two-semester individual study project (JUDS 1975/1976).  At the end of the senior year, the thesis adviser (a faculty member of the Program in Judaic Studies), and a second reader, chosen by the thesis adviser in consultation with the student, will evaluate the thesis, and the Judaic Studies faculty will determine if it is worthy of honors in Judaic Studies.  Students interested in honors should approach a potential adviser by the spring registration period of their junior year.  When taken as preparation of the honors thesis, JUDS 1971 and 1972 count towards the ten required courses in the concentration.

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Enhance your aesthetic sensibility
  • Expand your reading skills
  • Collaborate fully
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Embrace diversity
  • Engage with your community
  • Develop a facility with symbolic languages
  • Learn what it means to study the past
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors

Alumni Pathways

Judaic Studies alumni work in business, law, education and development, and for advocacy, arts, and entertainment organizations.

Where have concentrators worked/studied in their first year after graduation?

What are concentrators doing 5 and 10 years after graduation?

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Student Leaders:

  • Evan Chernov
  • Ian MacDougald

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact focal_point@brown.edu, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.