Master of Arts Degree Requirements

Since study on the graduate level implies intellectual maturity above that of the undergraduate, the student is expected to demonstrate this scholarly attitude in his work. Admittance to the Master of Arts program is not automatic acceptance into candidacy for the degree. Students will be recognized as candidates for the degree only after fulfilling the following requirements.

All degree candidates must take course numbers 1086 and 1087 Land, Nature, and Society in Biblical Times I and II (LNS).

Candidacy Requirements

  1. Completion of a minimum of 12 semester hours of graduate study with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) or a B average.

  2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the English Bible.

  3. Fulfill all requirements for the specific M.A. degree program.

  4. Demonstration of proficiency in the area of specialization and supporting fields.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of 48 hours of graduate credit (not including language courses). A maximum of 12 semester hours may be transferred from an accredited graduate school. 

  2. Compilation of a B (3.0) average in course work. 

  3. Requirements for the M.A. degree must be completed while the student is resident in Israel. While two years is considered the normal length of the program, the course of study must be completed within three years from matriculation. 

  4. Thesis or appropriate research papers.

Language Requirements

The Master of Arts degree is an academic degree which prepares the student for future study in a Ph.D. program or for teaching, research and writing. As an academic degree, it requires the demonstration of research and writing skills, analytical ability, and proficiency in ancient languages related to the field of concentration. The languages in which proficiency is required for each major are listed in the catalog under the course requirements for that major. Proficiency in these languages can be achieved or demonstrated in the following ways: 

  1. Successful completion of the required language courses at the University of the Holy Land or one of its sister schools (Hebrew University or the École Biblique) with a passing grade on the final examination.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency by providing the Registrar authorized transcripts from a recognized school for one year or more of language instruction with passing marks. The student must be able to participate at a satisfactory level in a course or seminar. Should they be unable to do so, the instructor may request further study. The student may request to demonstrate proficiency by passing the first year final examination.
  3. Engage a private tutor. At the end of the course, the student will be required to pass the first year exam, administered by UHL.
  4. The final examination in any of the languages requires the student to be able to translate—without the aid of dictionary, lexicon, or grammar—short passages of Biblical text, identify and parse all verbs in the passage, and identify significant grammatical constructions. Language instructors will be available to offer advice on how to prepare for the exam.
  5. Language study must begin in the first semester. Admission to the graduate seminars in the second year of study depends on language proficiency.

The student must show proficiency in Biblical Hebrew and New Testament (Koine) Greek before beginning the second year of course work. This may be done either by satisfactorily completing the relevant courses at UHL, by courses taken at other institutions, or by passing the proficiency tests given at UHL. Any waiver of language requirements does not reduce the required 48 credit hours of study.

Requirements for M.A. with Thesis

Candidates for the M.A. degree are required to present a research thesis to the faculty. In order to fulfill this requirement within the standard two-year program, the student should begin his/her thesis plan and process as early as possible in the program of study. The student must seek a sponsor from the members of the faculty who will be his/her thesis supervisor. In so far as possible, the sponsor should be one whose research interest coincides with that of the student and his thesis topic. After conference, the topic title will be selected and its focus and scope will be decided. The sponsor will expedite the presentation of the thesis topic to the faculty, by whom it will be accepted or modified. The thesis sponsor, or a faculty member of his selection, will conduct any directed study regarding thesis research. An oral examination on the final revision will be supervised by the entire faculty.

Students may also select an available scholar, who is not a regular member of the faculty, for a thesis sponsor. However, prior permission of the Academic Affairs Committee is required. It is the responsibility of the student to determine that an extra faculty sponsor will be available for supervision and directed study during the tenure of thesis preparation and presentation. All expenses involved in such selection are the responsibility of the student.

The student, in conference with his thesis sponsor, shall determine when to submit his thesis. A general length for a thesis is 100 pages of double spaced typing in addition to the bibliography. It shall be submitted in two unbound copies to the Thesis Committee.

A Thesis Committee of three persons, approved by the Academic Committee of the faculty and chaired by the thesis sponsor, shall consist of two additional members of the faculty, selected jointly by the candidate and the thesis sponsor and/or visiting scholars. This committee shall evaluate the presented thesis as (a) acceptable, (b) needing revision, or (c) non-acceptable and report the results to the candidate. In the event that revision is required, specific recommendations by the committee shall be made to the candidate as to data and dates involved in the revision. Once the thesis is approved, the student shall present a bound version to UHL for the library.


Program Requirements


All degree candidates must take course numbers 1086 and 1087 Land, Nature, and Society in Biblical Times I and II (LNS).

Master of Arts Program

All candidates for Master of Arts degrees must demonstrate proficiency in Biblical Hebrew and New Testament Greek, either by course work or examination. However, course work in these two languages does not count toward the 48 required units of the degree program.

Master of Theological Studies

The M.Th.S. requires 12 credit hours (180 physical hours) of cross-cultural, service-orientated experience in lieu of an M.A. thesis. A student must submit the proposed practicum to the Academic Affairs Committee including the details of the position, requirements, location, and supervisor. Upon completion of the program, an evaluation from the supervisor and a personal evaluation from the student is required every semester until the requirement is fulfilled.

Requirements for M.A. with Research Papers

Some candidates for the M.A. degree choose to present three Research Papers to the Academic Committee in place of a thesis. To fulfill this requirement within the standard two-year program, the student must:

1.   Participate in the two required Graduate Seminars in their second year of study and in a third seminar to be selected in consultation with the Academic Advisor.

2.   Write three research papers on topics to be determined in consultation with one or more faculty members. The topics will be in different and distinct areas of research and supervised by one or two faculty members. Two of the research papers are to be written in fulfillment of the required Graduate Seminars.

3.   Completed research papers (3) are submitted to the appropriate faculty member(s) for evaluation and grading.

Please note: In the M.A. with Research Papers Program, in addition to the language requirements, students are required to fulfill 48 credit hours of classroom instruction.