The Hebrew and Yiddish subdivision offers a PhD program in Jewish Languages and Literatures. The program offers a philological, historical, and critical approach to Yiddish and Hebrew literatures. More information about the program, requirements, and exams can be found in the Hebrew and Yiddish Subdivision Handbook.

How to Apply

Find application dates, materials, and key information on the Admissions page.

Admission Prerequisite

Language proficiency in either modern Hebrew or Yiddish (determined at the admission stage). 


The PhD program in Jewish Languages and Literatures requires of all students to take at least four graduate seminars (or their equivalent) within the section of Hebrew and Yiddish at MLL. In addition, students are required to take at least four Jewish Studies courses offered outside of MLL. By the end of their second year, students will have completed 12 seminars for credit. If needed, students will continue to enroll in advanced language courses. 

Comprehensive Reading Exam

By the end of their first year, students will have developed together with Stahl and Spinner a reading list to prepare for their Comprehensive Reading Exam which will take place at the end of their third year. 

Qualifying Paper and Prospectus

All students must submit one qualifying paper and a brief dissertation prospectus. The qualifying paper should be article-length (no more than 8000 words) and suitable for publication in a leading journal in the relevant field. The dissertation prospectus should be 10 pages long, offer a statement of the problem to be addressed and a rationale for its importance, situate the dissertation within existing scholarship, and provide a brief sketch of the chapters as well as a first bibliography. 

Fourth and Fifth Years

The fourth and fifth years of the program are devoted entirely to the dissertation. Students who have successfully fulfilled all degree requirements are relieved of all teaching responsibilities in the fourth year and encouraged to go abroad to conduct dissertation research. Further information on degree requirements can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.


Teacher training and teaching practice are an essential part of our graduate program. Supervised teaching is required of degree candidates, in every year but the first and the fourth.