Change your perspective. Explore the Past. Create the Future.

Welcome to the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Southern California. Jewish Studies is an interdisciplinary field and USC is proud to offer a major in Jewish Studies as well as two minors, one in Jewish Studies and one in Jewish American Studies. In our courses you will explore how Jews have interacted with other religious, social and ethnic groups. You will see the connections between the history of the ancient world and contemporary society. You will discover the connections between Judaism and food, Judaism and sex, and Judaism and magic. And you can gain enough Hebrew fluency to converse with Israelis and read Hebrew poetry. Whether you want to learn religion, history and culture from the beginning or augment your current major and minors, you have come to the right place.

Why Jewish Studies?

An undergraduate program of Jewish studies can prepare you for a variety of careers and further educational opportunities. Our program creates a broad foundation of cultural and intellectual diversity upon which you can build upon an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Jewish Studies offers multidisciplinary courses in history, philosophy, religious studies, literature, sociology, and linguistics that aid students in gaining an understanding of the Jewish past and present.
As a Jewish Studies student, you will learn how to deal with multicultural societies sensitively and respectfully. Whether you are interested in going into business or education, politics or social work, a Jewish Studies education will provide you with the analytical and conceptual skills you need to move yourself forward.

As the undergraduate program in Jewish Studies at the University of Southern California, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Louchheim School proudly offers a major in Jewish Studies as well as two minors, in Jewish Studies and Jewish American Studies. Taught by world class faculty whose expertise ranges from the ancient world to medieval Europe to contemporary Los Angeles, our courses explore the rich history of Jewish life, the textual traditions of Judaism, and the creativity of Jewish communities around the globe.


Major in Jewish Studies

The major offers in-depth study of Jewish history, ethics, texts, language, experience and sociology through two distinct tracks: Judaism as a Religious Tradition and Jewish History and Culture. As an interdisciplinary program, Jewish Studies challenges students to examine and learn about Jewish experience and Judaism academically. The major in Jewish studies requires 32 credit hours. Students can choose to specialize in one of the two tracks: Judaism as a Religious Tradition or Jewish History and Culture.

Minor in Jewish studies or Jewish American studies

The Jewish Studies minor is a great way to support your interest in Jewish studies and add more context to your majors. Students can choose from a minor in Jewish studies or in Jewish American studies. For the minor, students must take either JS 100 or JS 180 and then choose four upper division courses from either of the two tracks. You can expand your knowledge in Jewish history, Jewish culture, the diversity of Jewish experience.


USC offers a sequence of four semesters that will have you speaking, reading, and writing modern Hebrew; you will learn how to order food and shop at a market as well as how to score an internship, pursue graduate study, write fluently, and foster international connections. The first three courses satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement for most majors in the Dornsife College of Arts, Letters and Sciences.

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Questions? Comments? The Jewish Studies office is here to help.

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