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Jewish Cultural Arts

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Arts (M.A.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

GW's two-year MA in Jewish Cultural Arts—the only one of its kind in the United States—produces cultural leaders with skills ranging from audience development and fiscal management to the seeding and nurturing of Jewish cultural expression.

Under the direction of Jenna Weissman Joselit, the program combines the practical with the academic, providing students with the hands-on training as well as the intellectual capital to think analytically and imaginatively about the history, ethnography and sociology of the modern Jewish experience and to respond innovatively to its challenges and possibilities. The rich resources of the nation’s capital provide students with stellar career opportunities, including internships and cultural collaborations with arts and cultural organizations, foundations, museums, and government agencies.  

Core courses, each of which contains an internship component, focus on both contemporary Jewish life and the history of Jewish culture, as well as fiscal management and the administration of nonprofit organizations. Elective courses draw from history, museum studies, media affairs, theatre and dance, and the fine arts. A final project culminating in the planning and execution of an arts event for the GW community is required.

Fellowship Funding Available
The MA in Jewish Cultural Arts has available a number of special funding packages. For more information, please contact Program Director Jenna Weissman Joselit.

Admission Requirements

Admissions Deadlines:

Fall - Admission is offered on a rolling basis. (April 1 for international applicants requesting a student visa from GW.)

Spring - Admission is offered on a rolling basis. (October 1 for international applicants requesting a student visa from GW.)

Standardized test scores:

GRE is not required.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction. 

Minimum scores for the M.A. program are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based;  or
  • PTE Academic: 53

Applicants to the Master’s program who do not meet minimum English language requirements may be eligible for our full-time Applied English Language program.

Additional requirements:

A background in Judaic studies or in Jewish communal work is encouraged, as is a strong academic record. 

Recommendations required:

Two (2) recommendations.

Prior academic records: 

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for an assistantship or fellowship, you should also describe any teaching experience you have had.

International applicants only: 

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions: ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday