A certificate or minor in Jewish civilization allows undergraduates to obtain an interdisciplinary perspective on Judaism and the Jewish people with a special emphasis on Jewish civilization and its interrelationship with other cultures.

Open to students of the School of Foreign Service (as well as Georgetown College, McDonough School of Business, and Nursing and Health Studies)*, this is a program for individuals from all religious backgrounds. It is appropriate for those with either a strong background in Judaism or none at all.

To apply for the CJC's Certificate/Minor program, please fill out this application form.

It is recommended that candidates submit their applications by the end of spring semester their sophomore year. However, applications are accepted at any time. 

*Minor candidates: please be aware that you will also need to fill out a “declaration of minor” form. See your dean for details.

Required Core Courses

Students must successfully complete the following courses:

INAF-199: Introduction to Jewish Civilization

This course provides a foundation for the study of Jewish civilization and is required of all certificate and minor candidates, preferably upon entering the program.

There are two different options available for this course. The first is JCIV 199-01 Intro to Jewish Civilization: Great Jewish Texts, which is offfered in the fall. The second is JCIV 199-02 Intro to Jewish Civilization: Jewish Thought on Politics, Thought, and International Affairs, which is offered in the spring. For further information, please see our course listings.

INAF-443: Senior Colloquium

Seniors completing the CJC certificate/minor must participate in a colloquium in either the fall or spring semester of their senior year and prepare either a capstone project (either a traditional thesis or a creative project) in a topic pertaining to Jewish Civilization.

Senior Thesis: Students are required to write an research paper of 25-30 pages on a topic related to Jewish civilization, prepared under the supervision of a faculty member associated with the Center for Jewish Civilization, the Visiting Professor of Jewish Civilization, Goldman Visiting Israeli Professor, or if appropriate special permission may be granted by the program director for another Georgetown faculty member to serve as essay advisor. Upon completion, seniors will make a presentation of their research at the annual senior thesis colloquium, where a prize (the Margot Gottesman Award) is given to the most outstanding paper.


Students must take a minimum of four electives from the following areas.

Humanities: minimum of one course

Social Science: minimum of one course

Hebrew Language (not required): any level; maximum of two courses

Additional electives may be approved by the program director, but must make a significant contribution to the understanding of Jewish civilization.

*Minor and Certifcate Candidates: please note that courses may not be “double-counted” toward certain majors - you should meet with your dean to confirm whether or not this applies to your major.