The Ashkenazium Jewish Studies MA curriculum entails four areas of study: History (AH), Rabbinics (AR), Intellectualism (AI), Literature (AL). Each year, different courses are offered, but there is a general 2-year cycle. The workload (120 credits) over the 2-year MA is distributed as follows:
- 8 mandatory courses (40 credits)
- 10 electives (50 credits)
- 2 external electives (6 credits)
- 3 language course (15 credits)
- master's essay (9 credits)
Thanks to the fact that the entire curriculcum is structured according to seminars each of which typically runs over a 9-day period, an incoming student may join the program at any point and take the courses in the order that they are offered from that point onward. It is likewise left to the student's personal discretion to skip an entire seminar course if she or he wishes, or to refrain from writing the essay for the course. This is can be done without any penalization; the student will simply not receive credits for that course. In short, as soon as the student has accumulated 120 credits, at whatever pace, she or he will be awarded the MA degree.
The lectures and seminars at the Ashkenazium all operate on the model of a think tank. Each course runs as an intensive seminar of about 9 days in duration with one teacher so as to facilitate an intimate meeting of minds and an opportunity to delve deeply into a subject matter. In some cases, supplementary teaching hours may be held online.
Each seminar course will involved 23 in-class hours, and 5 additional hours online. Typically, the class hour-breakdown will be as follows: Monday to Thursday 10:00-12:00 & 13:00-15:00. Friday 9:00-12:00.
Instructors have the prerogative to alter the schedule to better suit themselves and the students.
In order to pass any give course, students are expected to attend a minimum of 18 in-class hours.
TESTING & GRADING
Unless otherwise stated, the student is required to read all the assigned course material before a given seminar begins. The grade for each course will be based entirely on one essay. Students will have the option of submitting a second draught of the essay, after receiving the instructor's feedback on the first draught, in which case the higher grade assigned to the essay will be final.