Program Tracks

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Ancient Israel Studies offers 3 possible tracks:

  • A one year MA track (without thesis)
  • A two year MA track (with thesis)
  • A one year credited courses track (for PhD students)


1. A one year Master of Arts Degree in Ancient Israel Studies from Tel Aviv University – without Thesis
This is a three-semester program, with the first two semesters combining theoretical classes and guided tours to archaeological sites, and the third, summer semester, focusing on fieldwork experience in an active excavation in one of Israel’s prominent excavation sites.

Rules and regulations for the MA track


2. A two year Master of Arts Degree in Ancient Israel Studies from Tel Aviv University – with Thesis
Upon completing the first semester with a minimum grade of 85, students will be able to apply for a second year in which, if they are accepted, they will write a thesis under the guidance of our distinguished department members. Accepted students will be required to take two seminar courses and a modern linguistic course (the linguistic course will need to be approved by the program) while in their thesis year; and depending on their thesis topic, students may be required to take prerequisite courses.
Rules and regulations for the Thesis track


3. Credited Courses Track 
For students who are studying towards their
PhD degrees, whether in Israel or abroad, this program (or some courses within the program) can be taken as a credited course towards their PhD.

Over the course of the first two semesters of theoretical practicum, students will explore the periods between the late-second millennium BCE through the Roman Period. This will be done through the study of archaeological finds, biblical text, and Ancient Near Eastern texts that illuminate the economic and social structures, diplomatic and political relations, and religious practices of the inhabitants of ancient Israel, as well as tours of archaeological sites.


During the third (summer) semester, students will actively participate in four weeks of fieldwork at one of our excavation sites.


1st year

To reach the 38 academic hours needed for the Master’s degree (in the regular track), each student will participate in:

  • 7 mandatory courses (14 credit points in total) (4 introduction courses + 3 core courses changeable every year)
  • 3 Seminars (12 credit points in total)
  • Ancient language course (8 credit points in total)
  • Academic writing workshop (2 credit points)
  • 6 Field trips 
  • 4 Weeks of excavation
  • 1 Excavation course (no credits)


2nd year (with thesis) (Getting an average of at least 85 in the courses taken the previous year.)

To reach the 44 academic hours needed for the Master’s degree (in the thesis track), each student will participate in addition to the previous year:  

  • 2 seminars (8 credits points in total)
  • Research workshop (no credits)
  • Thesis

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