Application Procedures

Inquiries concerning admission to The Rabbinical School of The Jewish Theological Seminary are welcome at any time during the year. Please contact The Rabbinical School's Admissions Office at (212) 678-8817,, or via our contact form.

Every prospective student will have a preliminary discussion with Rabbi Joel Alter, our director of Admissions. We can arrange campus visits, which include classes, daily minyan, and personal meetings with students and faculty. After visiting the school, a candidate may be encouraged to submit a formal application.

APPLICATIONS FOR FALL 2014 ARE STILL BEING ACCEPTED ON A ROLLING BASIS. Candidates wishing to apply for the Fall of 2014 should be in touch with the director of Admissions as soon as possible.


Applications Should Include:


  • Submitted online application


  • Submission of application essays
  • Three recommendation letters (download the recommendation form (PDF)). At least one recommendation must address the candidate's academic qualifications.*
  • Completed Hebrew-placement exam
  • Academic writing sample (generally not exceeding 5,000 words)
  • Digital photo

MAILED to JTS Office of Admissions:

  • Official transcripts of all postsecondary studies
  • Official scores on the GRE aptitude tests (Those whose native language is not English may take the Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL] instead.)
  • $65 application fee (payable by check or money order to The Jewish Theological Seminary).

Our mailing address:

The Rabbinical School Office of Admissions
The Jewish Theological Seminary
3080 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

These materials need not be submitted all at once. While it is preferable to submit the application and fee in the fall, the remainder of the material can then be submitted as it becomes available.

*The candidate should arrange for three or more academic, professional, and character references (PDF) to be submitted. All candidates who have attended another school at JTS within the last three years must include a letter of recommendation from the dean of that school.

The final stage of the application process occurs when the candidate, upon the approval of the Faculty Committee, is invited to meet with the Admissions Committee. These final interviews are generally scheduled in the first months of the year at JTS.

Placement Examinations:
Graduate-level Hebrew is needed to begin rabbinic training at JTS, so all applicants must take our Hebrew Placement Exam. Because enrolling students' prior experience in Jewish text study varies, placement exams in Bible with commentary and in Talmud will determine their placement in the curricular sequence. In discussion with the director of Admissions, applicants will determine whether to take their Bible and Talmud exams as part of their application process or upon admission (in preparation to begin their studies).




Candidates are required to have completed two semesters of college-level Hebrew prior to Year One. JTS's Hebrew Area administrators will give a placement test during the admissions process and verify placement during orientation.

Students entering Year One need to place into the equivalent of HEB 5301, as taught by JTS's Hebrew faculty.


(a) Mikra'ot Gedolot: Students are required to demonstrate the ability to translate biblical verses and short passages from selected medieval commentaries.

(b) Biblical Hebrew Proficiency: Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to recognize the significance of verb tense and aspect, word order, and vocalization in biblical Hebrew.


Entering students will take a diagnostic exam to determine what level of Talmud is appropriate for initial placement.

Students attending JTS's Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies who want to apply to The Rabbinical School are urged to speak with a dean or the director of Admissions of The Rabbinical School at the earliest possible opportunity. The dean will direct these students to the courses that will best prepare them for entry into The Rabbinical School. Applications from List College students will be considered on the same basis as the applications of students from other colleges.

The five-year course of rabbinical studies at JTS may be shortened when an applicant has begun studies at another rabbinical school.