Frequently Asked Questions - Creative Writing


Do I need to know Hebrew?

All the seminars and workshops within the Department of English Literature & Linguistics are conducted in English and student work must be submitted in English. Of course, it's always useful to learn the language of the country you're living in. There are Hebrew classes at the university. Let us know of your interest, and we'll put you in touch.

Please note that while many of the basic Jewish studies courses required by the university are in Hebrew, at least two will be offered in English every year.


Are there pre-requisites?

If your BA or MA degree is not in English Literature, and you have not taken any English Literature courses at undergraduate level, you will be asked to take between one and four undergraduate literature survey courses as prerequisites. These courses incur an additional fee.


Can I apply for the MA with a focus on creative writing if I've never published anything?

You are welcome to apply if you haven't yet published. However, you should wait to apply until you have a portfolio of polished writing in the genre in which you will apply. Your writing sample should be carefully prepared.


How many days a week do I have to be on campus?

The number of days on campus will vary depending on your personal circumstances.

If you need to take prerequisites. then figure on 2-3 days per week on campus for the first year and one day a week for the second year, providing you have completed most of your course requirements during the first year. 

If you don't need prerequisites, then figure on 2 days a week on campus for the first year, and one day a week for the second year, providing you have completed most of your course requirements during the first year.


What's Jewish about the Program?

It's not the student body -- though we are the only Jewish majority writing program in the world, our students are of diverse backgrounds, religions and nationalities.

It's not the subject matter -- yes, we provide a uniquely interactive and comfortable environment for writers who wish to explore Jewish themes; however, we encourage our students to  write along their interests and passions.

What is Jewish about the program is our Jewish Arts Seminar which explores the Jewish tradition in writing from the Bible through to the twenty-first century.


When do you review applications?

Applications are received between February 1 and June 30.


Does Bar-Ilan provide accommodation for its graduate students?

There is limited housing available for international students; please contact their office for help. In addition, we will be happy to provide you with links to websites and forums that will help you search independently, including posting on our Facebook page.


How much does the course cost?

Each year the cost of the MA degree is determined by the Government of Israel since Bar-Ilan is a public university. Please see:

The cost for an Israeli citizen or new immigrant is 25% less than for students on tourist visas.

If a student requires more than two years to complete their studies, additional costs will be incurred.

In the past, the Student Authority of the Jewish Agency has covered the tuition for new immigrants under the age of thirty who do not have a previous MA degree. 

The Shaindy Rudoff track has a few tuition stipends for students who show great promise and are in financial need. Please contact the program director for further information.