Students with an interest in Jewish studies may now have the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in the subject.
In a meeting, to take place this November, the Board of Regents will discuss the possibility of establishing a bachelor’s degree in Jewish studies.
Jamie Polliard, the Jewish studies program assistant, said there is a relatively strong student desire to get the degree program approved.
“Particularly this semester, I have been dealing with at least three or four inquiries from students a week, wanting to know where we are at, in the process,” Polliard said. “I’m hoping we will have a final decision at [the meeting in November].”
Polliard said that last year the Jewish studies department submitted a proposal to create a major and minor degree option in Jewish studies in addition to the certificate currently being offered.
If approved by the Board of Regents, CU will become the first school in the Rocky Mountain region to offer a bachelor’s degree in Jewish studies, and the sixth of the PAC-12 league universities.
Polliard said there is a large demand for a minor in Jewish studies, because it would require students to complete 18 credit hours, which is six hours less than the required amount of a Jewish studies certificate, Polliard said.
“For students, to pursue a certificate, it’s 24 hours, which students pursuing a double major is sometimes quite challenging for them to accommodate,” Polliard said. “I think we have a lot of students who would really like the option of pursuing it as a minor, in addition to other majors they are studying.”
Polliard said, if the major is approved, it will most likely be less popular than the minor, and will typically consist of five to ten graduates a year.
If the plan is approved in November, students graduating this May should be able to adopt the official major and minor titles to their degrees if they have the 36 or 18 required credit hours, accordingly, Polliard said.
David Shneer, director of Jewish studies and associate professor of history, said he has wanted to establish a bachelor’s degree in Jewish studies since he first started working at CU.
“I came to the university three years ago from now, and I knew that I wanted to make the University of Colorado at Boulder the first degree-granting institution for Jewish studies in the region,” Shneer said.
Kayla Scroggins, a 22-year-old senior mathematics major, is currently taking the Jewish studies course, “Women, Gender, Sexuality and Jewish Texts and Traditions.” Scroggins said she thinks the possible approval of the major will help draw more prospective students to CU.
“It seems like it opens up more opportunities whether you just want to do a minor, or if you want to do the whole major,” Scroggins said. “If anything, it might bring more students to CU if that’s what they wanted their major to be from the beginning.”
Contact CU Staff writer Nina Holtz at Nina.email@example.com.