List College Policies and Procedures

Many JTS policies that affect List College students can be found in the JTS Academic Bulletin. Below is your one-stop shopping location to find the most relevant policies and procedures: JTS courtyard

Academic Integrity
Academic Probation
Advanced Placement Credit
Application for List College Jewish Education Awards
Application to the Fellows Seminar for Non-Fellows
Application to Write a List College Senior Thesis
BA/MA Programs
Courses Not Generally Open to Undergraduates
Dean’s List
Distance Learning
Grade Grievance Procedure
Incomplete Grades
JTS General Grievance Policy
JTS Email Policy
Latin Honors
Pass/D/Fail Option
Sexual Harassment Policy
Talmud Placement
Text Intensive Requirement: What Is It and Which Courses Fulfill It?
Transfer Credit

Credit available for university-sponsored Ulpan courses taken after spring 2007; see full policy for details

Academic Probation [Adopted July, 2007]

A student who receives 6 credits of work graded D, 3 credits of work graded F, or who receives 3 credits of work graded D in two consecutive semesters (including summer sessions), shall be placed on academic probation for the following fall/spring semester. A student may be placed on probation on the basis of academic performance during a summer session, but probation itself will apply only during the fall-to-spring academic year.

If a student’s grade of Incomplete or Work in Progress is subsequently changed to an F, the student will be placed on probation for the semester immediately following the change in grade.

If a student is making insufficient academic progress in the combined program with Columbia or Barnard (sufficient progress is defined as: successful completion [with a C- or better] of: at least 24 credits per year in the combined program, a Hebrew class each semester until the Hebrew language requirement is completed, and at least one List College core requirement each semester until the core is completed), the student is subject to academic discipline at one or both schools. If a student is on probation at one school one semester and at the other school the following semester, the student is subject to academic discipline at one or both schools.

To be restored to good standing in the probationary semester, a student may not receive any grade for that semester lower than C– or take an Incomplete for any reason whatsoever. If, during a probationary semester, a student takes fewer than 9 credits at JTS and 3 credits at Columbia/Barnard, probation continues for a second semester.

A copy of probation/dismissal letters will be mailed to parents one week after the student is notified.

Except in the case where probation continues because the student has taken fewer than the 12 credits specified above, a student who fails to remove himself or herself from academic probation and be restored to good standing during the probationary period will be notified that he/she is suspended from List College for the following semester.

Except in the case where probation continues because the student has taken fewer than the 12 credits specified above, a student may not be placed on academic probation more than twice during his/her tenure in List College. Students who are placed on academic probation can receive financial assistance for only one semester of probation. A student who is placed on academic probation for a third time, for any reason whatsoever, will be automatically suspended from List College.

A student who has been suspended from List College will have the right to appeal that decision in accordance with the student disciplinary procedures.

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Advanced Placement Credit

Credit from qualifying AP scores can count toward your List College elective requirements. List adheres to Columbia and Barnard’s standards to determine how much AP credit to award and which AP subjects and scores are eligible for credit.

You should arrange to have your AP scores sent to Columbia (Joint Program students) or Barnard (Double Degree students) for processing. A chart of AP tests, scores, and credit available at Columbia can be found at Consult with your Barnard adviser to determine what AP credit is available at Barnard.

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Application for List College Jewish Education Awards

Several scholarships are available for students who are interested in pursuing a career in Jewish Education.

1. Sylvia and Harry Skolnick Award: This grant of $5,500 is awarded annually to two rising junior or rising senior students who intend to work in the field of Jewish Education. In return for each year they receive this award, recipients will be expected to work in the Jewish community for one year.

2. Ganya Becker Spinrad Memorial Award: This $1,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a student planning to pursue a career in Jewish Education. This award is open to all students but especially good for rising sophomore rising junior students.

3. Alumni Association Education Scholarship in honor of Sylvia Ettenberg: This scholarship of $5,000 is awarded to two rising junior or rising senior List College students intending to continue their studies after graduation from List at JTS's William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. In return for each year they receive this award, recipients will be expected to work in the field of Jewish education for one year.

To apply for these awards, please submit the following to the List College Office no later than the deadline published by the Dean’s Office each spring.

  1. A résumé
  2. A personal statement (no length requirement, though a page or two should certainly suffice) explaining which award you are applying for, your experience with Jewish education, and your vision for your future in the field.

You may apply for one or all of the awards for which you are eligible. If you are applying for more than one award, it is only necessary to submit a single application—just be sure to note in your personal statement which awards you would like to be considered for.

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Application to the Fellows Seminar for Non-Fellows

As a part of the List College Fellows Program, a Fellows Seminar is offered each semester. These seminars are usually interdisciplinary and always challenging and rewarding for students.

Fellows Seminars are open to all List College fellows and by application only to a limited number of non-fellows. The final decision on admittance will rest with the professor who is teaching the seminar each semester and the dean. To be eligible to apply, you must:

- Be a rising sophomore, junior or senior in good academic standing.
- Have a minimum GPA at List of 3.5.
- Have completed at least one course in the department of the seminar.
- Have the recommendation of a JTS faculty member.

If you are interested in applying to be part of the a Fellows Seminar, you must submit the following by the deadline published each semester by the Dean’s Office:

a. A written request to the dean (via email is fine: Dean Shuly Rubin Schwartz)
b. A letter of recommendation from a JTS faculty member. This can be submitted electronically to the dean directly from the professor.

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Application to Write a List College Senior Thesis

Writing a List College senior thesis gives you the opportunity to delve deeply into a subject that interests you. Working closely with your adviser, you will narrow down your interests into a manageable topic, conduct extensive research, complete a written project, and present your findings to your peers at the annual thesis siyyum.

Dr. Marjorie Lehman, director of the List College thesis program, teaches the thesis seminar, a year-long class with monthly meetings for all thesis writers. Through presentations, lectures, practical advice, and interaction with fellow students, the seminar will help to familiarize you with the process of completing an extensive piece of original academic research.

List College juniors with at least a 3.5 GPA at JTS are eligible to apply write a List College Senior Thesis.

To apply, complete the application (please type) and attach a writing sample (see application for specific instructions).

Completed applications are due in the List College Office no later than 4:30 p.m. on February 15 each year.

Why write a thesis? Here's what some alumni who wrote theses have to say:
Jenny Labendz, DD '02

My thesis was easily the most academically formative element in my undergraduate career at JTS. Although I had certainly written plenty of papers before then, the thesis introduced me to three new things: protracted research (rather than the end-of-semester rush it had always been), working closely with an adviser (rather than meeting once or maybe twice to run my topic or a single rough draft by the teacher), and perfecting a piece of writing (rather than just working on it until it was good enough to hand in and be done with). I learned what it meant to do scholarship, and that paved the way for my graduate studies. It was well worth every moment.

Ita Paskind, JP '04

As a Talmud major at JTS, I was privileged to take many wonderful classes with excellent professors. Moreover, as a thesis candidate, I was afforded the opportunity to examine a topic of my choice and work closely with my esteemed adviser, Rabbi Joel Roth. With his help, I delved into an issue that mattered very much to me, that of our tradition's view of women and the obligation (or lack thereof) to perform positive time-bound commandments. I had recently begun to wear tallit and tefillin and was considering The Rabbinical School, to which I later applied and currently attend. My research gave me much greater facility and familiarity with certain parts of the Talmud and the Codes (the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch), which my fellow Talmud majors did not receive. I consider writing my thesis a privilege and an honor, one that helped shape the better part of my senior year and of which I am proud.

Benjy Brown, JP '06

The reason that I was initially attracted to the thesis program was that it allowed me to explore my interest in Yiddish culture, beyond what was available in courses taught at Columbia or JTS. Working with Professor David Roskies as my adviser, I was given the unique opportunity to learn a tremendous amount about my specific subject matter, but also about other related subjects. I believe that such an opportunity to study Yiddish culture in further depth would not have been available to me in any class, nor in the Columbia thesis program.

Although learning by working on my own throughout the course of the year was a significant aspect of the thesis, the group dynamic of the thesis program at JTS is probably my fondest memory of the process. Because the group of students in the thesis program is invariably small, and all students in the program know each other, the environment created is one in which students often work together and help each other through the process. Beyond the more formal monthly meetings that we had throughout the year, all of us who were writing a thesis frequently consulted each other informally for help and advice (often into the late hours of the night). We shared ideas, suggestions, and different approaches to the challenges of researching and writing. Knowing that we were all working toward the same goal rather than competing against each other truly fostered an atmosphere of cooperation and support among the thesis writers. This dynamic, which was of great benefit to the students in the program, was in my opinion one of the greatest advantages of writing a senior thesis at JTS.

Doron Kenter, JP '05

Writing a thesis at List was one of the best choices I made while at the Joint Program. Thesis writing in general is a process that allows you to focus on a subject of your choice, with personalized advising and fantastic support. At JTS specifically, I was given the opportunity (along with my fellow thesis writers), to work with phenomenal professors who are at the top of their fields. I specifically chose to write a thesis at JTS because of the caliber of all of the advisers and because the emphasis is on personal growth and not just an entrenched system of library visits and infrequent advising. In addition, the seminars with all of the other thesis writers offered a great opportunity to learn from each other, from classmates with varying backgrounds and within many different majors. For example, I wrote on "The Halakhic Dimensions of Drinking on Purim," while also learning about Jewish members of Congress, women in Jewish ritual, the Jewish Jesus in modern art, the valuation of currency in the Mishnah, and more. The thesis writing process was the perfect culmination of my growth as a student, the guidance from my advisor and from Professor Marjorie Lehman [director of the thesis program] was exceptional, and I had a great work product at the end.

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BA/MA Programs

BA/MA Option with The Graduate School
A special BA/MA option has been developed in conjunction with List College. Students in List College who successfully maintain at least a 3.33 cumulative grade point average at List and a 3.0 in the liberal arts course required for the BA are eligible to apply for an accelerated MA degree. Students who anticipate completing their undergraduate degree with the requisite cumulative grade point average are encouraged to complete a Pre-Application form for the BA/MA Option at The Graduate School Admissions Office no earlier than the second semester of their sophomore year in List College.

Then, in their final year at List, interested students must fill out The Graduate School's MA application. Students accepted from List will be permitted to apply 9 credits of graduate-level Judaica coursework earned during their final year at List to both the BA in List College and the MA in The Graduate School. These students will be permitted to apply additional graduate-level Judaica credits earned during their final two years at List, beyond those needed for the BA, toward the MA in The Graduate School. Each student meets with the dean of each school and the departmental adviser to determine exactly what combination of elective and major credits toward the BA will be accepted for the MA degree, and what additional coursework will be required.

A List graduate cannot begin work at The Graduate School until all the requirements for the BA have been completed. The Graduate School maintains its own admissions procedures and requirements.

BA/MA Option with William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education
Students in List College may apply to a special program leading to an accelerated MA degree. Students accepted to the program will be permitted to apply 12 credits of graduate-level course work to both the BA and the MA in Jewish Education. Each student meets with the dean of each school and the departmental adviser to determine exactly what combination of elective and major credits toward the BA will also be accepted for the MA, and what additional course work will be required.

Acceptance to the program does not ensure admission to The Davidson School, which can take place only after all requirements for the BA have been completed. The Davidson School retains its own admissions requirements.

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Courses Not Generally Open to Undergraduates

Many advanced List College students will take graduate-level courses to complete major, core elective, or general elective requirements. Students from all five JTS schools can benefit from the unique sharing of perspectives, experience, and ideas that takes place in classes that include both graduate and undergraduate students. Students who feel ready to take on the challenge of graduate-level course work.

There are, however, some JTS classes which are intended solely or primarily for graduate students.

Some general guidelines to determine if a class is appropriate for undergraduates:

  1. Classes whose descriptions include phrases such as "open to second-year rabbinical students only" are probably not open to undergraduates.
  2. Undergraduates are not permitted to take graduate-level introductory survey courses for which there exist equivalent undergraduate courses.
  3. The 6000-level classes tend to be reserved for rabbinical students (exception: MID 6101, Introduction to Exegesis is recommended for undergraduate Midrash majors).
  4. The 7000-level and higher classes tend to be reserved for advanced graduate students but may in some cases be open to advanced undergraduates as well with the written permission of the instructor.

The List College Dean’s Office maintains a list of the courses that are generally not open to undergraduates and publicizes this list each semester in advance of registration. The most recent version of this list is available below:

Number Title
BIB 5011 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible; undergrads take BIB 1013/1014
BIB 5012 Survey of the Pentateuch; undergrads take BIB 1013/1014
BIB 6011 History of Biblical Israel
BIB 6101 Mekhina I
BIB 6103 Survey of Basic Literary Structure and Themes I: Torah
BIB 6561 Biblical Grammar for Reading Comprehension; undergrads take BIB 5560
BIB 6571 Biblical Literature & Religion I; undergrads take BIB 1013/1014
CDE 7527 Selections from Early Responsa Literature
HIS 5531 American Jewish Social History (some exceptions, ok for MJS majors)
HIS 6313 Jews and Judaism in the Middle Ages; undergrads take HIS 1011
LIT 5031 Introduction to Liturgy; undergrads take LIT 1031/2031
MDS 5101 Classics of the Jewish Tradition
PHI 6107 Modern Thought
PHI 6736 Theodicy
PRO 6001 Mekhina Seminar I
PRO 6101 Year I Rabbinical Seminar
PRO 6401 Rotations
PRO 6405 Supervised Rabbinic Fieldwork
PRO 7209 Senior Homiletics
PRO7401 Professional Internship: The Resnick Internship Program
PRO 7409 Religious Leadership Colloquium
SWK 5101 Social Work Seminar I
SWK 5105 Social Work Seminar II
TAL 5015 Introduction to Rabbinic Literature; undergrads take TAL 1011/2011
TAL 5025 Introduction to Text Study I; undergrads take TAL 1021
TAL 6111 Mekhinah I

Please note: These are general guidelines, and everyone's situation is unique. If you have questions about how any of these rules or exceptions might apply to you, please consult with your advisers.

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Dean’s List

A student registered for 9 or more credits of letter-graded work at JTS who attains a grade point average of 3.5 or higher will be placed on the Dean’s List of academic excellence. Students who earn at least a 3.5 GPA in fewer than 9 credits are not eligible for the Dean’s List but are commended for their good work.

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Distance Learning

List College students in good academic standing (i.e., not on Academic Probation or Warning) may apply a maximum of 3 Distance Learning credits toward the List College BA. Distance Learning is limited to upper-class students, who need the permission of the dean/academic adviser. If the class is in the major, the major advisor must also give his/her written permission.

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Grade Grievance Procedure

If a student is dissatisfied with a grade:

  1. The student should speak to the relevant faculty member directly and attempt to resolve the issue informally.
  2. If unsatisfied with this initial conversation, the student may meet with dean.
  3. The dean will speak to the faculty member and attempt to facilitate a resolution of the dispute.
  4. If the student or the dean is still unsatisfied, the dean will bring the matter to the faculty member’s department chair.
  5. The department chair will then meet with the faculty member. They will review any documents together and attempt to resolve the issue.
  6. If the student is unsatisfied with this resolution, he/she may submit a complaint in writing to the dean of Academic Affairs, who will review documents and meet with the interested parties as necessary before making a decision.
  7. If the student remains unsatisfied, he/she may appeal to the provost. This is the final appeal.

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A student who, for compelling reasons, finds it necessary to postpone the submission of required course work may petition for the grade of incomplete (INC). The student must obtain a Request for Incomplete form from the Office of the Registrar. This form must contain all information requested, including a description of the work to be completed and the due date, which cannot be later than the date specified in the academic calendar. The form must be signed by the student, instructor, and dean and submitted to the Registrar's Office. The last day to submit a Request for Incomplete form is indicated in the academic calendar.

All outstanding course work must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than the date specified by the academic calendar. Generally, this date is six weeks from the end of the final examination period.

The registrar shall record that the work has been submitted and provide a written receipt to the student for the work received. The registrar will transmit the completed work to the instructor. No work should be sent or given directly to the instructor by the student. The student is advised to retain a copy of all work submitted to the registrar's office.

The grade of INC shall remain on the student's transcript until a grade has been submitted by the instructor.

If a student fails to submit the outstanding work to the Registrar's Office by the specified due date, the grade of INC will be converted to the alternate letter grade that was previously submitted by the instructor. This alternate grade reflects the instructor's assessment of a student's performance taking into account the fact that work is missing. Students should be aware that the missing work may have been counted as an F (or 0) in the computation of the final grade for the course.

In special circumstances, the dean has the authority to grant an extension for the submission of overdue work as long as it is agreeable to the instructor. This extension must be sent in writing by the dean to the registrar's office.

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Latin Honors

Students who have demonstrated academic excellence throughout their years at List College may be eligible to graduate with academic honors. Students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 will graduate cum laude; those with a 3.67 will graduate magna cum laude; and those with a 3.9 will graduate summa cum laude. These academic honors will be noted on the List College diploma.

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Pass/D/Fail Option

A student may opt to take two courses (6 credits) Pass/D/Fail during his or her college career, but not more than one course (3 credits) during a single semester. This option may not be used for Hebrew language requirements. The last day to submit a Pass/D/Fail request is indicated on the Academic Calendar .

Updated Pass/D/Fail "uncovering" policy now in effect: A student may opt to take two courses Pass/D/Fail during his or her college career, but not more than one in a given semester. This option may not be used for Hebrew language requirements. Students may elect to uncover a grade of Pass within two weeks of the start of the semester immediately following that in which the grade of Pass was received. Students have until the end of the add/drop period in the spring semester to uncover the grade of a fall course, and until the end of the add/drop period in the fall semester to uncover the grade of a spring or summer course. Seniors graduating in May who wish to uncover the grade of Pass for their spring courses must do so by the Monday of Commencement week. Whether or not a student uncovers the Pass, the Pass/D/Fail option may only be utilized twice. Also, once a student has chosen to uncover a grade, the Pass cannot be reinstated. All Pass/D/Fail requests must be approved by the dean no later than the date indicated on the Academic Calendar.

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Talmud Placement

The department of Talmud and Rabbinics has instituted a requirement that all students who must complete courses in the Talmud department beyond the basic required courses of their schools must take a Diagnostic Exam at the end of each year. The purpose of the exam is to be one tool of several in determining the appropriate placement in Talmud classes for all students.

Students in List College who would like to be in any course numbered higher than TAL 1022 must take the exam. This includes, as well, any student who may currently be in a higher numbered course and wishes to take yet another course with a higher number than the one he/she is currently enrolled in.

The Office of Academic Affairs will publicize several dates each spring when the Talmud Diagnostic Exam will be offered.

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Text Intensive Requirement: What Is It and Which Courses Can Fulfill It?

List College requires all students to take at least one course during the course of their List College career that is "text intensive," meaning that it is an upper-level course whose primary work includes reading and analyzing texts in the original Hebrew and/or Aramaic. A course being taken to fulfill a core or major requirement may also fulfill the text intensive requirement.

The List College Dean’s Office maintains a list of the courses that have been approved to fulfill the text intensive requirement and publicizes this list each semester in advance of registration. The most recent version of this list is available here.

If you are wondering about a course that does not appear on this list, you should be in touch with your List College adviser.

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Transfer Credit

In general, students may receive credit for approved college-level courses where an official transcript and course description are submitted to the dean. No credit will be accepted for transfer for a course in which a grade lower than C– was earned. Students considering Pass-D-Fail for a course taken outside List College in fulfillment of liberal arts requirements should note that, unless the course is graded Pass-D-Fail (as opposed to Pass/Fail), credit will not be awarded for a grade of P. Academic courses which do not fulfill core or major requirements may be used toward elective credits.

Students who study Hebrew at another university may be eligible to receive transfer credit. Transfer will be awarded provided a grade of C– or better is achieved.

NEW Policy on Ulpan Credit: For Hebrew University courses (or courses taken at another Israeli university) taken after spring 2007, credit will be awarded for Ulpan courses on the same basis as for courses offered during the regular academic year.

Courses at the alef, bet, or gimel level will be awarded up to 6 credits per semester, and courses at the dalet, hay or vav level will be awarded up to 3 credits per semester. Credit will not be awarded for Hebrew elective courses.

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