Judaic Studies Major Guide for 2011-2012

What is Judaic Studies

The major concentration in Judaic Studies offers a course of study that treats Judaism as a historically evolving and culturally specific enterprise. The concentration explores Jewish culture, religion and heritage through literature, philosophy, archaeology, music, and history.  A multi-disciplinary combination of courses permits critical reflection about topics and issues in a world civilization and cross-cultural context.

Several funds and scholarships have been instituted to enhance educational experiences beyond the classroom, through a regular Judaic Lecture Series and the Abraham and Rebecca Solomon and Ida Schwartz Distinguished Lecture Fund. Two scholarship funds are also available for advanced Judaic Studies majors: The Dr. Ruben P. Robinson Judaic Studies Scholarship and the Fern and Manfred Steinfield Scholarship in Judaic Studies.

Career Opportunities in Judaic Studies

The courses in this program provide a foundation for a variety of professional endeavors and graduate studies such as Government Service, Education, Nonprofit Organizations, Community Service, Law, Business, Communications, Politics, and Community Work.

Salary Trends in Judaic Studies

An Arts and Sciences degree can propel students into limitless directions. Majors are not always the deciding factor as to what career path is followed. As with any degree, pre-professional experiences (volunteerism, work experience, internships, etc.) enhance the chances of obtaining desired employment and further affect the projected salary.

High School Preparation

Courses in history, literature, languages, and the arts and humanities in general as well as solid writing skills are recommended as the best preparation for course work in this program.

How to Major in Judaic Studies

There are no prerequisites for a concentration in Judaic Studies. A student interested in a Judaic Studies concentration should consult the Program chair, Dr. Gilya Schmidt, or a member of the Judaic Studies Committee who will help to set up a course of study.

Requirements for Judaic Studies

The major concentration in Judaic Studies consists of a minimum of 27 semester hours at the 300 level or above to be chosen from an approved list of courses. Required courses are Religious Studies 381 and History 383; 12 hours from Religious Studies 311, 312, 320, 385, 386, 405 and History 370 and 384, and 9 hours from Art History 425, 431, 475; Ger­man 350; History 369, 395; Philosophy 322; History 484. All of the above courses are cross-listed under Judaic Studies.  At the discretion of the Judaic Studies Committee, other courses with sufficient Jewish content may be used.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

A Judaic Studies minor is also available. Study abroad is highly recommended. Prospective students are also encouraged to become College Scholars with a Judaic Studies minor.

Highlights of Judaic Studies

In addition to regular guest lectures by visiting faculty, the Judaic Studies Program organizes conferences on topics such as the Holocaust and Israel, and symposia based on the work of distinguished scholars on topics of wide interest.  For 2008-2009, a Schusterman Visiting Professor will join the Religious Studies faculty.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

“Ready for the World” is part of a long-range plan to transform the UTK campus into a culture of diversity that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century.  Thus students are encouraged to actively participate in the diverse cultural programs offered on campus.  Some of these events include the guest lecture series, cultural nights at the International House, and international film screenings.  Visit the Center for International Education web site (http://web.utk.edu/~globe/about.shtml) or the Ready for the World web site (http://www.utk.edu/readyfortheworld/) for more information on upcoming cultural programs and activities.
Students are also encouraged to develop a global perspective within their academic program through study abroad.  Visit the Programs Abroad Office web site (http://web.utk.edu/~globe/pao/) for information on study abroad opportunities.

Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

Sample Curriculum

Following this four-year plan will help you stay on track to graduate in four years.  Milestone courses have been identified as the minimum courses that must be completed.

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English Composition 6
Foreign Language 6
Natural Science Lab Sequence 8
Quantitative Reasoning 6-8
Social Sciences 3
Elective 0-1
Milestone courses: English 101, Quantitative Reasoning (3 hrs) and a social science (3 hrs)
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Non-US History 6
Natural Science 3
Foreign Language or General Electives 6
Social Sciences 9
Judaic Studies 381, 383 6
Milestone courses: English 102, elementary foreign language proficiency, and natural science (3-4 hrs)
Junior Year Credit Hours
Arts and Humanities 9
Upper Division Electives 9
Judaic Studies (major) 9
Communicating Orally 3
Senior Year Credit Hours
Judaic Studies (major) 12
Upper Level Distribution 6
Communicating Through Writing 3
General Electives 9
GRAND TOTAL (minimum) 120

Students should consult the Judaic Studies website at http://web.utk.edu/~judaic/ or the program advisor and chair, Dr. Gilya Schmidt (email: gschmidt@utk.edu; or telephone: 974-2466), or any of the Judaic Studies Committee faculty members early in their course of study as not all courses may be available every year.

For More Information

Dr. Gilya Schmidt
Program Advisor and Chair
(865) 974-2466



The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.