About us

Central European University offers a Jewish Studies specialization covering 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. The specialization, which was established at CEU in the euphoric years after the fall of Communism, has played an important role in revitalizing Jewish Studies in a region where this field of study had long been neglected or considered taboo. It attracts students, faculty and visiting lecturers from across the globe, who enjoy the open, international atmosphere of the university and benefit from the unique research opportunities in the region.

In keeping with its interdisciplinary character of CEU, the Jewish Studies specialization is integrated into the broader degree programs of the History Department, Medieval Studies Department, and the Nationalism Studies Program. A Jewish Studies specialization within the Cultural Heritage Studies Program was created more recently. The specialization is offered in the one- and two-year M.A. degrees of all these departments and programs. Advanced students can pursue their studies in the PhD programs of the Doctoral School of History. Jewish Studies students are eligible for the fellowships and stipends offered by each department, as well as special stipends and research grants offered by the Jewish Studies specialization.

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 History, Medieval Studies or Nationalism Studies, as well as a specialized academic writing course. Hebrew and other relevant languages can be studied as source languages. 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 Budapest's rich Jewish past and annual field trips to the Jewish monuments of Central Europe.

CEU publishes a bi-annual Jewish Studies Yearbook, in which texts from the public lecture series are published along with other original research by students and faculty.

Under the aegis of the Jewish Studies Project, we are happy to offer a specialization in Jewish Studies for MA and PhD students in the History Department, Medieval Studies Department and the Nationalism Studies Program. The Jewish Studies specialization is available in the 1-year and 2-year MA programs and entails the completion of a certain number pf course credits in Jewish Studies (in addition to all the other requirements of the History DepartmentMedieval Studies Department or the Nationalism Studies Program). The credit requirements for formal recognition of having completed the Jewish Studies specialization are as follows:

History Department and Nationalism Studies Program (1-year program)

1 CEU credits=2 ECTS

  • 12 classroom credits from Jewish Studies courses
  • Thesis on a Jewish Studies-related topic

History Department and Nationalism Studies Program (2-year program) 
1 CEU credits=2 ECTS

  • 20 classroom credits from Jewish Studies courses
  • Thesis on a Jewish Studies-related topic

For those wishing to complete the specialization, the following courses are mandatory: 

  • Problems and Paradigms in Jewish History (Fall Semester, 2 CEU credits)
  • Jews and the City (Winter Semester, 2 CEU credits)
  • Jews in East Central European Communist Systems (Winter Semester, 2 CEU credits)

Classical Hebrew courses are offered by the Source Language Teaching Group (SLTG). These do not count towards the 16 classroom credits from Jewish Studies courses.

All credits earned in MA and PhD classes listed under Jewish Studies (infosys code: JEWS) are accepted by the History Department and the Nationalism Studies Program.

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.