Thanks to technology and the Internet, people across the world are far more connected now than ever before. With countless gadgets allowing people to instantly get in touch with someone halfway across the globe, continents and oceans no longer serve as barriers. While this is all great, it does mean more people with different native languages will be communicating with each other. Making it all the more valuable to possess an innate understanding of languages and cultures.
That being said, degrees that promote that, such as a PhD in Hebrew Literature are becoming all the more popular and important. A doctoral degree in this subject forces students to completely immerse themselves in the literary teachings and culture of Hebrew and Judaism, along with other similar languages, making them all-the-more well-versed. Courses cover everything from ancient teachings to modern-day works. Students get to see how the language and literary voice evolved and came to be in its present form. The courses place a heavy emphasis on history so that students walk away with a sharp understanding and dependable foundation.
About Online PhD Programs in Hebrew Literature
Generally, if one is pursuing a degree in this concentration, it is expected that they already have a thorough understanding of the language. With such a wide breadth of material to cover, they don't have time to waste covering fundamentals of language and speaking. To keep up with the changing face of education, many of the available programs in this subject are expanding to distance education and hybrid forms to allow students to study anytime, anywhere. Doctoral candidates are generally working professionals with very busy schedules, so online options just make sense. Below are just some of the courses one can expect when studying this subject.
- Modern Hebrew Literature and Jewish Thought. In this course, students study present-day works from popular Jewish authors and philosophers.
- Hebrew Language-Secondary Level. To ensure students' language skills don't slip, they are required to take secondary language level classes. It expands on their current skills and promotes fluency.
- History of Judaism.As the title describes, this course covers the ins and outs of the long history of Judaism.
- History and Culture of Modern Middle East .To give the students a better context of the people responsible for the subject they are studying, they are required to take this course. Many Hebrew works reflect everyday life and this course helps emphasize that.
- Jewish Political Thought .Students will gain a thorough understanding of the policies and principles that are important to the Jewish people. This complements the literature focus as political unrest is sometimes documented and echoed in the literary works that will be studied.
After passing a slew of advanced examinations proving the mastery of necessary topics, the student can then begin the dissertation process. The student must select a faculty advisor, who then leads a team of about 3 or more members to oversee the project. Students generally have a year to propose a possible topic/idea to their advisor. Once it's approved and accepted, the student must work to complete it within 7 years of the initial proposal.
Value and Criticisms of a PhD in Hebrew Literature
A subject such as Hebrew Literature is very specific and concentrated. While this is a positive for some, many argue that that quality makes it an undesirable pursuit for doctoral candidates. Only a few, select professions really require or benefit from the knowledge that comes from this field of study, leaving many to argue its relevance. However, for people like rabbis, professors, and writers it might be a worthy endeavor.
Courses offered through many of these programs are rigorous and in-depth. For people in the historical, spiritual, or literary realms, this detail is not only beneficial for honing their craft, but also completely necessary. It gives them scope and credibility unparalleled by other more amateur pursuits. While it does come with a hefty price tag, a PhD in Hebrew literature makes sense for certain individuals.
Before one can begin a PhD program in Hebrew literature, one must demonstrate they possess a clear understanding of the language itself. They must possess a thorough history in the subject and have the transcript to prove it. Additionally, there are a collection of examinations that must be passed before a student can officially be admitted. All of these stipulations and requirements exist in order to ensure only the most qualified, capable students are accepted into the program.
Career Options&Job Market
As previously mentioned, individuals with a Ph.D. in this subject are best suited to become professors, writers, translators or spiritual leaders. The coursework delves deep into not only literary works but also cultural traditions and lifestyles. Students gain an immense amount of knowledge in not only the Hebrew literary works but also what inspired and formed them. One of the most stable jobs for those with PhDs in Hebrew literature is to work for a university. Schools are always looking for dependable, fresh educators for the next generation of learners, so keep that in mind.
Where to Find Information
- National Association of Professors of HebrewThis organization is for the numerous professors and educators who specialize in Hebrew language and literature — while it is geared toward professors, those in other areas of the field can contact its leaders and members for more general information on industry events, conferences, etc.
- The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew LiteratureJust as the title implies, this organization is all about the archiving, translating, and cataloging of Hebrew literature.
- National Association of Graduate-Professional Studies A bit of a broader scope, this organization is a great means of support for the working professional pursuing a higher degree in any field.
How to Get Funding
In terms of options for financial aid, students have multiple choices – ranging from loans to scholarships. There are a range of schools that hold Ph.D. fellowship programs, and appropriately so, veterans are offered additional benefits. If you are interested in applying for any form of federal aid, you will need to first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online — also have your school's numerical code within reach. The next step will be to complete the GSM Application for Federal Financial Aid.
Everyone knows that higher education can be expensive — especially at the doctoral level. Luckily, funding and financial aid for these academic endeavors is widely available. From grants to loans and even fellowships, there is a wealth of assistance available, you just have to know where to look. To get started in the process, first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online and see if you qualify.
- Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Ph.D. students looking for low-interest loans should consider the Federal Direct Stafford Loan aid program. With maximum loans at $20,500 per academic year, and a fixed interest rate of 6.80%, students will definitely get the financial assistance they need.
- Federal Perkins Loan. Another option for students seeking financial aid is the Federal Perkins Loan. This low-interest loan offers an average of $3,500 per academic year — with a fixed interest rate at 5.0% — for hard-working, full-time students.
- Campus-Based Aid. Another viable option for the graduate student in need of some funding is school-specific, campus-based aid programs. Managed by the financial aid office of your university, these are generally more specific than the programs offered throughout the country.
- Before you jump the gun and enroll in any Ph.D. program, be sure it's something you really want and can handle. Too often, students start out strong only to burn out after a semester, leaving them with nothing but wasted time, money, and energy.
- Allow yourself plenty of time for the application process and be patient. Be realistic about when you'll hear back from a university or college. This can be an anxiety-ridden time so, to keep your mind off of it, stay busy with other pursuits like work.
- Network while you're there. You will quickly find that pursuing a Ph.D. is a lot more intensive than any other level of degree, but you should still make time to get to know your peers and professors well. They will likely be, or already are, your colleagues so get a jump start on building your network.
- Don't let yourself get consumed in the dollar amount that is attached to a program. If you're interested, do research to see what your financial aid options are. You shouldn't miss out on an amazing educational opportunity simply because the price wasn't right.