Minor in Jewish Studies

Program Learning Outcomes for the Minor in Jewish Studies

Upon completing the minor in Jewish Studies, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of key Jewish religious traditions, texts, and figures throughout history, from the ancient to the contemporary, as well as the place of those traditions, texts, and figures within specific historical, geographical, or sociopolitical contexts.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of Jewish history and culture during different time periods and in different geographical locations.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to understand and apply theories and methods from multiple disciplines—including religious studies, literature, history, film, and sociology—to address key issues or undertake research in the field of Jewish studies; synthesize theories and methods from multiple disciplines to address questions within the field of Jewish studies.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to read and interpret primary and secondary texts critically, including ancient as well as modern literature, religious texts, film, and modern scholarship; demonstrate the ability to use these texts to develop and support evidence-based research questions and arguments in discussions, verbal presentations, and in research papers.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in writing and orally at the college level; this includes demonstrating the ability to communicate in a critical, scholarly manner by developing evidence-based research questions and arguments, using and citing evidence to support argumentation, and writing and speaking clearly and correctly.

Requirements for the Minor in Jewish Studies

Students pursuing the minor in Jewish Studies must complete:

  • A minimum of 6 courses (18-21 credit hours, depending on course selection) to satisfy minor requirements.
  • A minimum of 3 courses (9 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.
  • A maximum of 3 courses (9 credit hours) from study abroad or transfer credit. For additional program guidelines regarding transfer credit, see the Policies tab. 
  • A maximum of 2 courses from Hebrew (HEBR) course offerings.
  • A maximum of 2 courses from Religion (RELI) course offerings.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this minor. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the minor’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the Program Director. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the minor's Official Certifier). Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Minor in Jewish Studies 18-21

Minor Requirements

Core Requirement
Select 1 course from the following:3-4
JEWISH HISTORY, 1500-1948
GREAT BOOKS OF JEWISH HISTORY AND CULTURE
INTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM
JERUSALEM: HOLY CITY IN TIME AND IMAGINATION
Elective Requirements
Select 1 elective course from Language and Literature (see course list below)3-4
Select 1 elective course from History and Culture (see course list below)3-4
Select 1 elective course from Thought, Philosophy, and Ethics (see course list below)3
Select 2 additional elective courses (see course lists below)6
Total Credit Hours18-21

Course Lists to Satisfy Requirements

Elective Requirements

To fulfill the remaining Jewish Studies minor requirements, students must complete a total of 5 additional courses (15-17 credit hours, depending on course selection) from the following categories as listed below. At least 1 course (3 credit hours) must be completed from each of the three categories. If a course is listed in more than one category, students can elect a category for which the course counts, yet each course can apply to only one category. Two additional electives (6 credit hours) must be selected from any of the approved Jewish Studies coursework to total 5 elective courses (15 credit hours).   

Language and Literature
Select at least 1 course from the following:3-4
ISRAEL: LANGUAGE AND CULTURE I
ISRAEL: LANGUAGE AND CULTURE II
GREAT BOOKS OF JEWISH HISTORY AND CULTURE
JEWISH GRAPHIC NOVEL
ISRAELI WOMEN WRITERS
SEX AND GENDER IN MODERN JEWISH CULTURE
HOLOCAUST REPRESENTATION IN LITERATURE, ART, AND FILM
JEWISH-AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
BIZARRE BIBLICAL STORIES
MODERN GERMAN WRITERS: KAFKA
LITERATURE OF THE HOLOCAUST AND EXILE
HOLOCAUST MEMORY IN MODERN GERMANY
POLITICS OF THE FLESH IN GERMAN LITERATURE, THOUGHT AND FILM
INTRODUCTION TO BIBLICAL HEBREW I
INTRODUCTION TO BIBLICAL HEBREW II
INTERMEDIATE BIBLICAL HEBREW III
THE PROPHET JEREMIAH: THE BIBLICAL BOOK AND ITS RECEPTION IN JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY
THE BOOK OF GENESIS
THE BIBLE: A BRIEF INTELLECTUAL HISTORY
APOCALYPSE THEN AND NOW
THE MESSIAH
LOST JUDAISMS: THE APOCRYPHAL WRITINGS
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
THE PSALMS AND THEIR POETIC AFTERLIFE
History and Culture
Select at least 1 course from the following:3-4
WITNESSING THE HOLOCAUST
THE HOLOCAUST IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
JEWS ON FILM: CINEMATIC REPRESENTATIONS OF JEWISH LIFE
NATIONAL SOCIALISM AND FILM
HOLOCAUST MEMORY IN MODERN GERMANY
VIENNA AND ITS PEOPLE
MEDIEVAL MEDITERRANEAN WORLD
JEWS AND CHRISTIANS IN THE MEDIEVAL ISLAMIC WORLD
CONFLICT AND COEXISTENCE IN MEDIEVAL SPAIN
JEWS AND CHRISTIANS IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE
JEWISH HISTORY, 1500-1948
MULTICULTURAL EUROPE, 1400-1700
GREAT BOOKS OF JEWISH HISTORY AND CULTURE
JEWISH FOOD: RELIGION, CULTURE, AND CONSUMPTION FROM THE BIBLE TO BAGELS
ARCHIVAL RESEARCH AND HISTORICAL METHODS: JEWISH HOUSTON
BECOMING AMERICANS:THE JEWISH IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES
SEX AND GENDER IN MODERN JEWISH CULTURE
HOLOCAUST REPRESENTATION IN LITERATURE, ART, AND FILM
MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPTS
INTRODUCTION TO JEWISH MYSTICISM
INTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM
THE BIBLE AND ITS INTERPRETERS
MYSTIC CINEMA: KABBALAH IN FILM
PEOPLE OF THE BOOK: JUDAISM AND SCRIPTURE
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
GOD, TIME AND HISTORY
JERUSALEM: HOLY CITY IN TIME AND IMAGINATION
AFRICAN AMERICAN-JEWISH RELATIONS: RACE, RELIGION, POLITICS, AND POPULAR CULTURE
Thought, Philosophy, and Ethics
Select at least 1 course from the following:3
MARX, FREUD, EINSTEIN: FOREBEARERS OF MODERNITY
POLITICS OF THE FLESH IN GERMAN LITERATURE, THOUGHT AND FILM
MULTICULTURAL EUROPE, 1400-1700
SEX AND GENDER IN MODERN JEWISH CULTURE
MYSTICISM THROUGHOUT THE AGES
INTRODUCTION TO JEWISH MYSTICISM
THE BIBLE AND ITS INTERPRETERS
PEOPLE OF THE BOOK: JUDAISM AND SCRIPTURE
THE BIBLE: A BRIEF INTELLECTUAL HISTORY
JEWISH PHILOSOPHY: GREAT THINKERS AND THEMES IN JEWISH THOUGHT
THE MESSIAH
GOD, TIME AND HISTORY

Policies for the Minor in Jewish Studies

The courses used to meet the Jewish Studies minor are open to all students at Rice from all backgrounds. Our classes meet student interests in Jewish experience and its importance for history, literature, art, politics, law, and philosophy. 

Program Restrictions

Students pursuing the minor in Jewish Studies should be aware of the following program restriction:

  • As noted in Majors, Minors, and Certificates, i.) students may declare their intent to pursue a minor only after they have first declared a major, and ii.) students may not major and minor in the same subject.

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Program Transfer Credit Guidelines 

Students pursuing the minor in Jewish Studies should be aware of the following program-specific transfer credit guidelines:

  • No more than 3 courses (9 credit hours) of transfer credit from U.S. or international universities of similar standing as Rice may apply towards the minor. 
  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis. 

Distribution Credit Information

The determination of distribution eligibility is done as part of the new course creation process. As part of an annual roll call coordinated each Spring by the Office of the Registrar, course distribution eligibility is reviewed and reaffirmed by the Dean’s Offices of each of the academic schools.  

Faculty and leadership in the academic schools are responsible for ensuring that the courses identified as distribution-eligible meet the criteria as set in the General Announcements. Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet graduation requirements by completing coursework designated as distribution at the time of course registration. 

Distribution courses from Jewish Studies (JWST) are broad in theme and scope and prompt students to consider the ways in which the study of Jewish history, culture, and religious practice inform the general study of the Humanities. Like the field of Jewish Studies itself, these courses are interdisciplinary in nature and offer students tools for making critical arguments about what Jewish history and culture can teach us about broader historical and cultural questions. Most of these courses are introductions to basic elements of the study of Judaism and Jewish culture.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Jewish Studies website: https://jewishstudies.rice.edu.

Opportunities for the Minor in Jewish Studies

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Jewish Studies website: https://jewishstudies.rice.edu/

See https://humanities.rice.edu/student-life for tables of fellowships, prizes, and internships/practica that may be relevant to this minor.