Bachelor of Arts in Modern Jewish Studies

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit bulletin.sfsu.edu. Any changes will appear on our errata page.

Three universities—San Francisco State University, CSU Chico, and San Diego State University—jointly offer courses toward a major in modern Jewish studies. Students use their home campus for general education and electives, take core courses in the B.A. from their home campus, and may use the joint-campus course offerings via distance learning in modern Jewish studies to get their B.A. Each of the three campuses awards the B.A. Students may take distance-learning courses only when the home campus does not offer those courses. Exceptions to this policy may be made in consultation with a modern Jewish studies advisor. No courses may be used to satisfy requirements in more than one area. The major requires 39 semester units.

Modern Jewish Studies (B.A.) — 39 units

Introductory Course (3 units)

JS 280Introduction to Jewish Studies3

Language Area (3 units)

Units chosen at student's appropriate level

JS/HEBR 151First Semester Modern Hebrew3
JS/HEBR 152Second Semester Modern Hebrew3
JS/HEBR 201Third Semester Modern Hebrew3
JS/HEBR 202Fourth Semester Modern Hebrew3

Culture and Society Area (9 units)

JS/I R/PLSI 430Israeli Democracy: Politics, Institutions, and Society3
JS/CWL 437/ENG 533Holocaust and Literature3

History Area (9 units)

JS/HIST 449American Jewish History3
JS/HIST 632Jewish History I: Beginnings to 16503
JS/HIST 633Jewish History II: 1650 to Present3

Religion and Thought Area (9 units)

JS 425Judaism: Religion and Text3
JS 410/PHIL 514Kabbalah and Mysticism in the Jewish Tradition3
JS 350Jewish Social Responsibility3

Electives (6 units)

Units chosen from the following. These units may be taken from any campus. A maximum of 6 units outside of Jewish studies may be counted toward the major and must be approved by a major advisor.

HIST/JS 317The Holocaust and Genocide3
HUM/JS 377Jerusalem3
JS/CINE 408Israeli Cinema3
JS/PHIL 415The Hebrew Bible3
JS/ENG/CWL 451Jewish Literature of the Americas3
JS/HUM/PHIL 501Judaism, Christianity, and Islam3
JS 540Anti-Semitism3
JS/ENG/WGS 54620th Century American Jewish Women Writers3
JS 600Internship3
CINE 305/JS 405Film and the Holocaust3

Complementary Studies

Students completing a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Jewish Studies are required to complete at least 12 units in Complementary Studies. Complementary Studies provides students with the opportunity to make connections across disparate forms of knowledge and inquiry. These units must come from courses bearing a prefix other than JS and may not be cross-listed with JS, and may be lower or upper division units, as well as resident or transfer units. Students who complete two majors or a major and minor automatically complete the complementary studies requirement. Otherwise, JS majors can fulfill this requirement through one of four pathways:

  1. 12 units through the study of a single language and/or literature other than English;
  2. 12 units from partial completion of a minor;
  3. 12 units taken in an approved study abroad program (e.g., CSU Study Abroad); or,
  4. 12 units from a coherent group of courses approved by a major advisor as complementary to the major.

Upon approval of the student’s major advisor, up to 6 units of Complementary Studies may be used towards the JS major (under the existing “outside coursework” allotment).

Students who have earned AA-T or AS-T degrees and are pursuing a similar B.A. degree at SF State are required to fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement as defined by the major department. Students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement in order to ensure degree completion within 60 units.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or may be an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = lower division; UD = upper division.

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in History or Political Science

California legislation SB 1440 (2009), mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation, and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals sixty units and includes completion of all lower division GE and at least eighteen units in a specific major. Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and is continuing in this major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab and displays

  • How many lower division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), go to http://assist.org Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. As described above, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3 and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. Review more information about the A3 requirement here.

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlines below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.