FSU offers a full sequence of both Modern and Biblical Hebrew, either of which can fulfill the Arts and Sciences language requirement. Hebrew can also be used to fulfill major requirements in Middle East Studies, Religion, and International Affairs. There is a Minor in Hebrew. Both Biblical and Modern Hebrew are strongly recommended for students interested in studying Judaism as part of their undergraduate work and especially for students planning to do graduate work in Jewish Studies.

Unlike the situation with Modern and Classical Greek, Modern and Biblical Hebrew have the same basic grammatical structure and core vocabulary. All the common words in Biblical Hebrew appear in Modern Hebrew. Because the Beginning Modern and Biblical course concentrate on different skills, students can take courses in both languages, though third-semester competence for one is necessary to fulfill the Arts and sciences language requirement


Students will develop competence in the four skills necessary for communication in any foreign language: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. While students primarily interested in communicating in the language of contemporary Israel will want to take the Modern Hebrew sequence, students interested primarily in Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew will also find some knowledge of Modern Hebrew helpful in reinforcing and solidifying their knowledge of basic grammar and vocabulary, as well as in increasing their confidence in reading unvocalized texts.


  • HBR 1120 – Modern Hebrew I (4hrs)
  • HBR 1121 – Elementary Modern Hebrew II (4hrs)
  • HBR 2220 - Intermediate Modern Hebrew (4hrs)
  • FOL 3930 – Experiments in Modern Language: Advanced Intermediate Hebrew (3hrs). May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.


The focus of Biblical Hebrew is to learn the grammar and vocabulary of Classical Hebrew as quickly and thoroughly as possibly in order to translate the biblical text. Typically six chapters of the Bible are translated during the first year and twelve to fifteen chapters in the third-semester course. Students interested in reading post-biblical Hebrew (including Modern Hebrew) will also find the close reading and grammatical analysis in the Biblical Hebrew courses helpful for improving their reading and translation skills. Biblical Hebrew is especially important for students wanting to read post-Biblical ancient and medieval texts, including the Hebrew of the Siddur (prayer book).


  • HBR 1102 – Beginning Biblical Hebrew I (4hrs)
  • HBR 1103 – Beginning Biblical Hebrew II (4 hrs)
  • HBR 2202 – Intermediate Biblical Hebrew (4hrs)
  • REL 4203r – Classical Hebrew Texts (1-3 hrs). May be repeated to a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours


A Hebrew minor will consist of 18 hours, at least 15 of which must be Biblical and Modern Hebrew language courses. The other 3 hours may be in any other Semitic language (Arabic, Aramaic and Syriac are currently offered at FSU). Note that courses counting toward any University language requirement cannot be counted toward the minor.

  • Students must demonstrate they have done some work in both Biblical and Modern Hebrew. This will normally mean that they must take at least 3 hours of Biblical Hebrew and 3 hours of Modern Hebrew (note that these do not have to be taken as part of the minor). All courses in both Biblical and Modern Hebrew can be counted toward the minor.
  • Students must reach the Intermediate level in either Modern or Biblical Hebrew.
  • No courses counting toward any University language requirement can be counted toward the minor. (Students may, of course, use either Biblical or Modern Hebrew for their language requirement and take an additional 18 hours for the minor.).
  • A minimum grade of C- must be earned in all courses taken for the minor.
  • No course taken for the minor may be taken S/U. (Courses at other institutions that only offer Hebrew courses S/U must include some documentation that the student has earned the equivalent of a C-).
  • At least 9 hours of the 18 required must be taken at FSU.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, Contact David Levenson, Religion Department

(850) 212-5099;