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Doctor of Science in Jewish Studies

Doctor of Science in Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies at Spertus Institute

At Spertus Institute, we embrace the idea that the wisdom of Jewish thought and the richness of Jewish experiences inform Jewish society and Judaism today. Our programs encourage personal reflection. Students grapple with Jewish ideas in the service of their personal, professional, and communal advancement.

Spertus Institute’s Doctor of Science in Jewish Studies (DSJS) program is designed for Jewish professionals — including educators, administrators, and communal service workers — as well as lifelong learners in any field seeking increased understanding of the Jewish experience and academic grounding in Jewish thought and practice.

The DSJS program allows students to address challenging, critical issues of Jewish life and thought, and their relevance to individuals and the community. 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.

Learning Outcomes

Students in the DSJS program learn to:

  • Describe how key issues have been addressed throughout classical Jewish history and literature
  • Discuss how Jews have re-interpreted historical experience and texts to deal with perplexing issues
  • Explain how and why authenticity and continuity have been maintained despite historical disruption and discontinuity
  • Draw upon the resources of past Jewish literature and historical experience to address issues and problems challenging contemporary Jewish life
  • Clarify their own intellectual and religious identities

Course Requirements (54 quarter-hour credits)

Spertus Institute's Jewish Studies degree programs are offered on a quarter-term system, which allows for flexible and asynchronous registration and start dates. As a result, course credit is granted in quarter hours (as opposed to semester hours).

  • Core Courses (7 courses, 3 credits each)
  • Text Courses (5 courses, 3 credits each)
  • Elective Courses (4 courses, 3 credits each)
  • Courses Related to Final Project (2 courses, 3 credits each)

Comprehensive Examinations

The purpose of the required Comprehensive Examinations is to assess students’ competencies in Jewish Studies. Comprehensive Examinations are required in each of the following areas:

  1. Biblical Israel
  2. The Talmudic Era
  3. Medieval Jewry
  4. Jewish Modernity Core

Course Titles

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


Is This Program For Me?

Contact Associate Dean for Outreach Elena Kahn or 312.322.1711, who will meet you to discuss your goals.


Spertus Institute is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604.