Jewish studies are a unique discipline from an anthropological, historical and cultural viewpoint. Four thousand years of continuity have marked it as people deeply integrated into the influences of ancient and modern civilizations. From its religion, sprang two other of the world’s most prominent religions; Christianity and Islam. Its written history forms the basis for tracing the development of Western civilization. It continues to be a modern force in shaping world affairs and earning a place in history. The University of Maryland at College Park now offers a bachelor degree program in Jewish studies to anyone looking for spiritual answers, or looking to enhance an academic career with a solid foundation of belief.
What the UMCP Bachelor Degree Program in Jewish Studies Teaches
The bachelor degree program in Jewish studies at the University of Maryland will teach both Jewish studies majors and minors; the history, culture, religion, philosophy and literature of the Jewish people. Students who major in Jewish studies must obtain proficiency in the Hebrew language.
There is a pre-requisite of two years of college level Hebrew before entering the program. Students who major in Jewish studies without prior knowledge of the Hebrew language might find it practical and efficient to spend some time at an Ulpan in a University, in Israel initially. However, the University of Maryland College Park does offer beginner’s classes in Hebrew that have successfully helped students prepare for the rigors of Jewish studies.
There are a number of scholarships available for students of Jewish Studies. Besides the resources offered by the University of Maryland at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, many of the local Jewish communities grant scholarships for the degree program. Scholarships may also be found online.
Traveling Abroad and Other Exciting Options at UMCP
The Jewish Studies degree program encourages its students to spend a semester to one year studying abroad. Many students choose to study in Israel. With three major Universities in Jerusalem and one in Tel Aviv, plus others scattered throughout the country, Israel is an ideal place for studying abroad.
A convenient study abroad program is available at the University of Haifa in Jerusalem. The Maryland in Haifa program allows students to continue taking University of Maryland courses while studying in Haifa. This relieves the student of having to transfer credits as the University will transfer them automatically.
There are also Jewish Studies programs in universities throughout the world, offering study abroad opportunities. Students will receive the chance to increase their understanding of Jewish life within the regions where they are studying. Students studying abroad often take courses not usually offered by the University of Maryland.
Not all Jewish Studies programs outside the University are given college credits by the University. The University does not take credit offered by religious institutions nor for any religious programs such as Yeshiva, seminary, or bet Midrash. It evaluates the academic merit for all courses posed for transferred credits from all universities. Students should check the transferred credits center database for previously approved courses before choosing an institution for studying abroad. If you want to do more, practice more, all the while increasing your knowledge of law, faith and culture, it is time to take an accredited test from UMD!