Undergraduate Program Judaic Studies

picture of a synagogue

Judaic Studies Bachelor's Degree and Minor Overview

A bachelor's degree in Judaic Studies from Portland State University prepares you to succeed in our interconnected world of diverse cultures and religions.

In the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies, we take the 3,000-year-long history and culture of the Jews as our point of our departure for grappling with urgent human questions about justice and knowledge, tradition and change, and crisis and resilience.

Truly interdisciplinary, the Judaic Studies major explores topics in history, English literature, Hebrew language, religion, and film studies.

We welcome students of all backgrounds who seek an intensive liberal arts experience. Our faculty offer close mentoring to support your success. Our partnerships provide opportunities for internships, study abroad and scholarships.

Degree Details

Judaic Studies Bachelor's Degree or Minor: Why PSU?

Pursuing a bachelor's degree in Judaic Studies from Portland State University, you will learn how to navigate the complexity of our modern world by understanding its relationship with the past.

You will gain broad exposure to the study of Jews and Judaism in multiple historical and geographical contexts, from ancient Israel to 21st-century America. Through a combination of courses, lectures, research symposia, scholarly conferences, and cultural events, you will gain a unique insight into the roles of religion and culture in society.

We offer:

  • An Intimate Learning Environment: You'll enjoy small classes taught by our scholar-teachers who foster the kind of close-knit academic community usually associated with small liberal arts colleges, all nestled within a major urban university.
  • Caring Faculty: Professors are committed to your success, offering close mentoring in addition to academic advising. Core Judaic Studies courses are taught by tenured professors who are experts in their fields.
  • Modern Hebrew: The first language of seven million speakers, Modern Hebrew is also a gateway to studying Biblical Hebrew.
  • Vibrant Student Community: Students from all backgrounds and majors engage with Hebrew Club, PDX Hillel, the Jewish Student Union, and Chai (Cultural Historical Association for Israel).
  • Exciting Opportunities for Study Abroad in Israel: The Lorry I. Lokey Endowed Fund for Israel Scholarship provides up to $5,000 annually for a Judaic Studies major to travel to and study abroad in Israel.
  • Funded Internships at Local Community Organizations: The Sara Glasgow Cogan Memorial Internship provides you with the opportunity to gain real-world experience with community partners.
  • Generous Scholarships: We offer several scholarships for students majoring in Judaic Studies, from $500 to $7,000 annually.

What can I do with a bachelor's degree or minor in Judaic Studies?

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in Judaic Studies go on to fulfilling professions in education, community and social services, the rabbinate and ministry, research, the arts, marketing, consulting, and law.

You will develop marketable skills perennially relevant in the future of work:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Ability to communicate ideas clearly and compellingly
  • Cultural intelligence and global perspective
  • Analytical acumen
  • Leadership, empathy, and collaboration

We would love for you to visit our downtown campus to connect with students and our faculty.

Featured Courses

  • JST 317 Jewish History: Antiquity to 1000 CE
  • JST 318 Jewish History: 1000 CE to the Present
  • ENG 330 Jewish and Israeli Literature
  • FILM 384U The Jewish American Experience in Film
  • JST 324 Historical Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
  • JST 381 Kabbalah: The Jewish Mystical Tradition
  • HST 399 History of Antisemitism
  • JST 380 The Holocaust
  • JST 379 History of Zionism
  • JST 333 Israeli Culture and Society


  • JST 335U Sex, Love, and Gender in Israel
  • JST 378 Pagans, Christians, and Jews
  • JST 399 Fantasy and Faith


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).