Master of Arts in Hebrew and Cognate Languages

Take a step into the world of biblical languages. Our Hebrew and Cognate Languages program is focused on mastering the language of the Old Testament. Students will learn to read diverse genres of Hebrew literature, as well as cognate languages and inscriptions from the land of ancient Israel.


About the Program

What You Will Learn

Through an integrative curriculum, students pursuing our M.A. in Hebrew and Cognate Languages develop a high level of competency in the languages of the Hebrew Bible within their historic and linguistic contexts. In the process, students make contact with the geographical, historical, and cultural realities that interface with ancient texts.

Particular emphasis is placed on the biblical Hebrew language as a critical aspect of the holistic cultural world of the Bible. Simply put, our students become familiar with the Bible that Jesus read.

Unique Opportunities at JUC

We are hard pressed to find a more appropriate place to study biblical Hebrew and its closely associated cognate languages than in Jerusalem. Here students enrolled in our M.A. in Hebrew and Cognate Languages have ample opportunity to draw upon the rich language resources of Jerusalem and the lands of the Bible.

Students pursuing the degree are immersed in modern Hebrew and Arabic speaking environments, important for facilitating competency in the ancient languages used in the Holy Land. Many of the sites and geographical realities that interface with ancient texts are found here. Further, the world comes to Jerusalem—conferences and seminars held throughout the city beckon our students to interact with biblical scholars and language experts from around the world.

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Course Requirements

The M.A. degree in Hebrew and Cognate Languages includes 48 semester credit hours of course work as outlined below. The degree is designed to be completed within two calendar years, although students choosing to pursue the thesis track are given an additional year to complete all of the work for the degree. Students for whom English is not their native language are expected to be able to finish the degree in three years if taking the non-thesis track, and four years if pursuing the thesis track.

Hebrew and Cognate Languages: 20-24 hours from the following:

Geography: 4 hours

Context Courses: 14-18 hours from the following:

Thesis-track degree: 6 hours

Non-Thesis-track degree: 6 hours of additional context courses

Bible Content Examinations

  • Old Testament Bible Content Examination
  • New Testament Bible Content Examination

Comprehensive - Integrative Examinations

  • Biblical Hebrew Examination
  • Cognate Languages Examination

Proficiency Examination in Modern Hebrew or Arabic (optional)

Total Credit Hours: 48


Double M.A.

JUC offers double M.A. programs for students who choose to study for an additional year and are accepted into a second M.A. program. Students may share up to half (24) the credits between the following three M.A. programs: Biblical History and Geography, Hebrew and Cognate Languages, and Hebraic Roots of Christianity.


Thesis Track

M.A. students may choose to write a thesis as part of their degree program. Once a topic of interest is chosen, the student will work with two faculty members to develop a thesis proposal, then research and write the thesis. The process of writing a thesis not only allows the student to engage a topic in depth, but also to learn methods of research and writing that allow the student to pursue further academic work.

Sample Thesis Titles

Greek Hosea: A Linguistic Study of Text and Translator

A Linguistic and Literary Investigation of First Temple Period Sources: The Building Terms and Source Citations in the Books of Kings and Chronicles

A Textlinguistic Analysis of a Narrative: The Book of Jonah

An Introductory Study of the Paragraph Structure of Biblical Hebrew Narrative

How Much Does It Cost?

Studying at JUC is affordable. Learn about the program costs and our financial aid options.

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