May 19, 2022
The interdisciplinary major in Jewish Studies investigates the study of Jewish religion, history, culture and languages through a variety of academic perspectives. Students can work with scholars in the School of Religion in USC Dornsife College, the Louchheim School for Judaic Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and faculty across the USC campus trained in religious studies, Jewish thought, history, linguistics, literature, international relations, political science, music and sociology. The curriculum is designed to allow students options in combining courses that focus on Judaism as a religion with those that focus on history, literature and other forms of Jewish culture and civilization.
Students choose among courses that focus on Judaism as a living religious system and those that focus on Jewish history, culture and society in its global setting.
Three core courses are required: REL 301 Introduction to the Study of Religion, REL 401 Seminar in Religious Studies, and either JS 100 Introduction to Jewish History or JS 180 Judaism.
Students must choose one course from the Judaism as a Religious Tradition track and one course from the Jewish History and Culture track which are listed below.
In addition, students must select three courses from either track. No more than two courses in total may come from the lower-division (100 and 200) levels. A total of eight courses are required for the degree (32 units.)
A. Core Courses
Three courses are required. Students must take REL 301 and REL 401 and select one course from either JS 100 or JS 180 .
B. Judaism as a Religious Tradition (at least one course required)
C. Jewish History and Culture (at least one course required)
- HEBR 315 Modern Hebrew Language (Hebrew IV) Units: 4
- HIST 305 Women and Gender in Pre-Modern Europe Units: 4
- HIST 323 The Holocaust in 20th Century Europe Units: 4
- HIST 383 The Modern Middle East Units: 4
- HIST 402 Cultural Heritage, Religion, and Politics in the Middle East Units: 4
- HIST 443 Race and Religious Riots in Modern World History Units: 4
- HIST 444 Mass Violence and Comparative Genocide in Modern World History Units: 4
- HIST 446 Resistance to Genocide Units: 4
- ITAL 352 The Holocaust in Italian Fiction and Film Units: 4
- JS 100gp Jewish History Units: 4
- JS 211gw The Holocaust Units: 4
- JS 214 Zionism, Israel, and the Modern World Units: 4
- JS 300 American Jewish History Units: 4
- JS 315g Anti-Semitism, Racism and Other Hatreds Units: 4
- JS 330 Jewish Power, Powerlessness, and Politics in the Modern Era Units: 4
- JS 340 Modern Jewish History Units: 4
- JS 342 Reading in Two Directions: Connecting Law and Literature in Jewish Tradition Units: 4
- JS 360m Identity, Community, and Service: Jews and Other Americans Units: 4
- JS 362 Terror and Resistance in Literature and the Media Units: 4
- JS 370gp Digs and Dispute: Religion and Archaeology in Israel Units: 4
- JS 379gm Mixing and Matching: Intermarriage in the 21st Century Units: 4
- JS 381 The Jew in American Society Units: 4
- JS 383 Jews in American Popular Culture Units: 4
- JS 389 Culture and Society in Israel: Inventing the Dream Units: 4
- JS 390 Special Problems Units: 1, 2, 3, 4
- JS 415 The American Jewish Experience in Film Units: 4
- JS 490x Directed Research Units: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
- JS 499 Special Topics Units: 4
- MSCR 475 Introduction to Jewish Music Units: 2
- REL 324g Sex and the Bible: Gender, Sexuality, and Scripture Units: 4
- SPAN 350 Cultural Cross-Currents of the Iberian Middle Ages Units: 4
D. Major Electives (three courses required)
In addition to the three core courses in Area A and one required course in each of Areas B and C, students must complete three additional courses chosen from lists B and C. No more than two courses in total may come from the lower-division (100 and 200) levels.
Jewish Studies majors are encouraged to take HEBR 120 , HEBR 150 and HEBR 220 , which fulfill the Dornsife College foreign language requirement.