MA Specialization in Jewish Studies


The Jewish Studies Program offers an MA specialization program that covers the wide expanse of Jewish culture, society and history, with a special emphasis on the ramified Jewish experience in Central and Eastern Europe from early modern times to the present. In keeping with the interdisciplinary character of CEU, the Jewish Studies specialization is integrated into the broader degree programs of the History Department, the Medieval Studies Department, the Nationalism Studies Program, and the Cultural Heritage Studies Program. The Jewish Studies Specialization is available both in the one-year and the two-year MA programs of these academic units.


Alongside a wide range of Jewish studies courses offered by the permanent and visiting faculty members, Jewish Studies students take the general core courses in their degree program, as well as a specialized academic writing course. Moreover, the Jewish Studies program specialization also offers optional language classes in Hebrew and Yiddish.

In their theses, students are encouraged to explore comparative approaches, using a wide range of theoretical and methodological tools. The structure and composition of the CEU faculty provides opportunities for multi-disciplinary thesis projects that blend Jewish Studies with various historical disciplines as well as Gender Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, Religious Studies and area studies focusing on Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean or the Middle East.

The Jewish Studies program is enriched by seminars given by visiting faculty from Israel, North America, and other European countries. In addition, students receive ample opportunity to interact with distinguished scholars in the framework of our international conferences and the Jewish Studies public lecture series. Further extracurricular events include tours of the cultural treasures of Vienna's rich Jewish past and annual field trips to the Jewish monuments of Central Europe.


Besides fulfilling the requirements of the respective MA program, the Jewish Studies Specialization entails the completion of a certain number of course credits in Jewish Studies and the composition of a Jewish-Studies related MA thesis. 

In the one-year program of the History Department and the Nationalism Studies Program, the Jewish Studies Specialization requires 12 classroom credits (=24 ECTS) from Jewish Studies courses. In the two-year program of these units, 20 classroom credits (=40 ECTS) need to be earned in the Jewish Studies curriculum. 6 of these credits are mandatory, the others can be chosen from the Jewish Studies Curriculum (except language classes). For students enrolled in the specialization, all classes included in the Jewish Studies course list count as elective classes toward their MA degrees at the History Department and the Nationalism Studies Program, so that the specialization does not impose any additional course load.

Students in the Jewish Studies Specialization of the Medieval Studies Department and the Cultural Heritage Studies Program may benefit from credit reductions since not all Jewish Studies classes are count toward these MA degrees.

How to Apply

Applicants should complete the respective admission procedures of the History Department, the Medieval Studies Department, the Cultural Heritage Studies Program, and/or the Nationalism Studies Program, indicating their interest in the Jewish Studies specialization in their application letter and/or their research proposal.

For more information and application forms, please visit CEU's Admissions page.

Financial Aid

In accordance with CEU's policy of recruiting students of academic excellence irrespective of their origin and economic situation, the Jewish Studies specialization offers generous living grants to qualified students. These grants have been funded by outside donors and are only available to Jewish Studies students. Additionally, students in the specialization can also apply for special research and travel grants.

Students can compete for Jewish Studies Research Support Grants, which cover research-related costs (including travel). All students specializing in Jewish Studies are strongly encouraged to apply for these grants.