Online PhD programs in Hebrew Studies will enable students to truly narrow their field of study to the niche subject that most interests them. Students who complete their Ph.D. in Hebrew Studies become well versed in Judaism from historical and cultural perspectives. Programs in Hebrew studies online will be intensive research degrees. Ph.D. students spend much of their time conducting original research in an area of Hebrew studies that most interests them.
Upon completion of their degree, students are prepared for advanced careers. They are considered experts in their field and thus are very marketable in the job field. Many employers in the corporate, education, and governmental fields prefer those with doctoral degrees for higher-ranking positions, which gives Ph.D. holders an additional competitive advantage. Moreover, Ph.D. holders can expect to earn a higher income than they would with their master’s degree.
About Online PhD Programs in Hebrew Studies
A major component of a Ph.D. program is a student’s dissertation, which is typically completed after a student has finished his or her required courses. Students in an online PhD in Hebrew Studies program will likely spend about three years completing their required courses. As is the case with brick-and-mortar programs, some online schools may allow students who complete their master’s degree in the subject to exempt nearly a year of course work. Apart from learning new concepts and theories surrounding Hebrew studies, students will learn the research and reporting techniques they need to complete their dissertation. The University of Pittsburgh courses below provide an example of the curriculum required of Hebrew studies students.
- Biblical Israel. In a Biblical Israel class, students become familiar with the culture and religion during the Biblical Age.
- Readings in Jewish Historiography. In this course, students learn how and by what means Jewish history was recorded over the centuries.
- Biblical Interpretation. Students in a Biblical Interpretation course study the Jewish Bible and various interpretations historians and religious figures have taken from it.
- Medieval Judaism. In this course, students become versed with Judaism as a religion and culture during Medieval times.
- Jewish Culture in Medieval Spain. Students learn about the Jewish Golden Age and Middle Ages in Spain.
- History of the Holocaust. Students become familiar with the details of the infamous mass murdering of those of Jewish religion and descent during the Holocaust.
The dissertation process begins with a dissertation proposal. Students also take courses that prepare them for the intensive research necessary to write their 200-400 page dissertations. They are accompanied by a dissertation advisor throughout the process. Along the way, students consult their advisor regarding their original research and ideas as well as the writing and research processes.
Value and Criticisms of a PhD in Hebrew Studies
A doctorate in Hebrew studies prepares students for a multitude of careers. It is an uncommon degree and thus a commodity in many careers. Students graduate with a robust field of knowledge in the subject, which, again, makes them wanted in the job world. Those who wish to teach at the college level especially find this degree useful, as it is a job requirement at the majority of universities.
Where there are pros, there are also cons. Doctorate degrees in the subject are highly involved in terms of content and time. Some students may spend three to four years completing their dissertation in addition to the three years of required course work. Additionally, a Ph.D. is not a necessary degree in some instances. For example, though many government jobs look highly on a Ph.D. in Hebrew studies, it is not necessary in some cases.
Application & Admission Requirements
Brick-and-mortar and online PhD in Hebrew Studies programs generally have the same requirements. Students must hold a master’s degree in order to be accepted into a Ph.D. program; most programs don’t require that said master’s degree be in Hebrew studies, though it is preferred in said subject or a related one. Students must demonstrate proof of employment, generally between two and three years, in a related area. They are also required to submit official transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, admission essay/s, an application and fee, and a writing sample.
Career Options & Job Market
One of the most common careers sought by Ph.D. in Hebrew Studies earners are those as professors. Although salaries vary by a number of external factors, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that on average, professors earn about $62,050 annually. At the moment, this career field is seeing a 17% growth rate for employment. This, the BLS reports, is due to the increasing number of students enrolling at colleges and universities.
Where to Find Information
- Association for Jewish Studies is a society composed of educators and professionals who work to promote Jewish studies programs in postsecondary institutions, thus providing current and prospective students with networking opportunities.
- National Associate of Professors of Hebrew This association is comprised on Hebrew professors and is useful for those who plan to pursue their Ph.D. in order to seek future university or college professor positions.
- Association for Jewish Studies’ Directory of Programs in Jewish Studies A directory filled with various degree levels of Jewish studies programs offered throughout the U.S.
How to Get Funding
Financial aid for Ph.D. students can be located through several avenues. Many synagogues and local Jewish foundations offer scholarships to students. Less local organizations also offer scholarships, like the United Jewish Federation and JCCs of North America. Moreover, various financial aid options will be accessible through the school where you pursue your degree.
The Federal Stafford Loan provides Ph.D. in Hebrew Studies students with low-interest loans for the duration of their studies. Students can borrow $20,500 at a 6.8% fixed interest rate per academic year.
- Before ever entering into your Ph.D. program, do your research. Some careers see the financial benefit of a Ph.D., while other see it with a master’s degree alone; a Ph.D. isn’t always necessary.
- Seek financial aid. Graduate studies are expensive and graduating with as little debt as possible will help you to start realizing the financial benefits of holding a doctorate sooner.
- Consult those in or who have graduated from a doctoral program; if possible, find those whose education was specifically focused on Hebrew studies. This will help you get an idea of what to expect in terms of assignments, your course load, and the intensity of a dissertation before you start a Ph.D. program.
- While researching Ph.D. programs, be sure that those you consider are accredited by agencies approved by the U.S. Department of Education. This will ensure that your degree is of good quality and will be recognized by future employers.