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Hebrew and Semitic Studies

Administrative Unit:Hebrew and Semitic Studies
College/School: College of Letters & Science
Admitting Plans:M.A., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.A., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Ph.D. Minor

Faculty: Professor Brenner; Associate Professor Troxel (chair); Assistant Professors Hollander, Hutton, Rosenblum


The Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies teaches Hebrew as a classical and living language and provides the opportunity to study the literature and thought of the cultures based on that language, in particular biblical Israel, rabbinic Judaism, medieval Judaism, and modern Israel. Also offered are courses in areas of study cognate to the above: Semitic languages, archaeology, and Jewish cultural history. Advanced courses teach the methodology of scholarly investigation. The graduate programs focus on language and literature. The student is expected to achieve a high level of Hebrew knowledge and the ability to read and analyze ancient Hebrew texts in a disciplined and sophisticated way.

The Department offers a Ph.D. concentrating in Bible studies and ancient Semitic languages. It also offers an M.A. in three tracks: (1) Hebrew Bible; (2) Hebrew Bible and Greek (in conjunction with the classics department); and (3) Hebrew literature (including all periods with specialization in one).


Admission is based on the applicant's accomplishments in undergraduate and previous graduate studies. The application deadline for the fall term is August 1, but to be a candidate for a fellowship, one must apply by January 15. Application materials include the following: application for admission; reasons for graduate study; three letters of recommendation; Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores; TOEFL or IELTS score as required by the Graduate School; two sets of official transcripts from universities and colleges previously attended; and a optional writing sample.

For more information: Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies, 1346 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1558; 608-262-3204; fax 608-262-9417; hebrew@mailplus.wisc.edu; hebrew.wisc.edu.