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Jewish Studies

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Jewish Studies Graduate Program
Institute of Arts and Humanities
Ridge Walk Academic Complex, Arts and Humanities Building, Sixth Floor
(858) 534-6477

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

The PhD in Ancient History

The Department of History offers a PhD program in ancient history. Relevant major fields are the history of Israel in the biblical period and the history of the Jewish people in antiquity. One of the two minor fields may be outside the history department. Students must acquire competence in the relevant ancient and modern languages. Note: Due to staffing shortages, the Department of History is not currently accepting graduate students in the fields mentioned above.

The PhD in Anthropology (Archaeology)

The Department of Anthropology offers graduate training in social, cultural, and psychological anthropology, as well as in anthropological archaeology and biological anthropology. In conjunction with the Jewish Studies Program, students may concentrate in Near Eastern archaeology with a focus on Israel and Jordan. Students pursuing anthropological archaeology are expected to take required courses in anthropology and engage in field research.


Since 1993 the Jewish Studies Program has sponsored major archaeological excavations in Israel’s northern Negev desert. Shortly after the peace treaty was formalized between Israel and Jordan, the program began a long-term archaeological field program in the Jabal Hamrat Fidan Region (JHF) of southern Jordan. The project aims at studying the influence of early ore procurement and metallurgy on social change from the Neolithic period through the Iron Age. UC San Diego graduate students play an active role in the fieldwork and laboratory studies of material from these excavations. Qualified students are encouraged to use these data as part of their doctoral studies. The UC San Diego Jewish Studies Program joins in several excavations along the Wadi al-Guwayb and Wadi al-Jariyeh in southern Jordan. This is part of the UC San Diego Fall Session Middle East Field School.

The Jewish Studies Program supports a state-of-the art archaeological laboratory in the Social Sciences Building. A wide range of digital-based technologies is used for archaeological data and image processing that are linked through the internet. Labs for processing pottery, stone tools, and other materials are available for student use.


Four fellowships are available for PhD students. These include:

The Dita and Erwin Gumpel Judaic Studies Endowed Fellowship

The University Fellowship

The Wexler Family Judaic Studies Fellowship Fund in honor of David Noel Freedman

Jewish Studies Fellowships

Teaching assistantships are available. Dissertation fellowships may be awarded to doctoral students at the dissertation stage of their studies. Funds are also available for support of travel to archaeological excavations. Students are also eligible for research-travel funds to other campus libraries of the University of California, as well as for grants that permit research in archives and libraries elsewhere. Students who deliver papers at scholarly conferences may also receive financial support for their participation.