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Academic Degrees in Israel

Bachelor's Degree | Master's Degree | Doctoral and Research Programs

Bachelor's Degree

The universities in Israel are multidisciplinary institutions open to all academically qualified students.

Undergraduate and graduate studies are conducted within the framework of faculties/schools and are organized within departments. Courses are generally conducted in Hebrew, while reading materials are frequently in English; therefore, candidates must demonstrate proficiency in both of these languages. Studies toward the bachelor’s degree generally extend over three years. At the Technion, all undergraduate engineering programs extend over four years and architecture, five years. Candidates apply not only to a specific university but also to the department of their choice. At Bar-Ilan University special study programs are offered to students with advanced religious and yeshiva backgrounds (the Institute for Advanced Torah Studies for men and Midrasha for women).

General Admission Requirements to Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Candidates must have a level of education equivalent to the Israeli matriculation certificate (Bagrut) or one year of academic studies at an accredited college or university or one year of preparatory studies (Mechina) at a university in Israel. Candidates must reach a certain level of achievement on the Psychometric University Entrance Examination administered by the Israeli National Institute of Testing and Evaluation (NITE) or the U.S. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT1).

Master's Degree

Master’s degree programs are designed to provide the student with in-depth knowledge and research capabilities in a particular field.
Most of these programs usually extend over a period of two years and the candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.

General Admission Requirements to Graduate Degree Programs
Admission Requirements: The requirements for admission to master’s degree programs at Israeli universities are similar to those at Western universities. Generally, a “B” average is required; however, some departments require a higher average in the student’s major field, while others may conditionally accept students with lower grades.
In some cases, special tests (e.g., GRE, GMAT) and/or personal interviews are required. An adequate knowledge of Hebrew for class participation is necessary. An ulpan may be taken prior to the opening of the academic year.

Many departments offer two trends. One requires students to write a master’s thesis and allows them to pursue doctoral studies in the department, while the other does not require a thesis and is designed for students who do not intend to pursue a doctorate in the department.
Undergraduate studies in Israel are highly specialized; therefore, most students who earn their bachelor’s degree abroad are required to take supplementary courses prior to or in conjunction with their regular graduate studies.

Candidates must be graduates of an officially recognized university with a good grade average. Admission to master’s degree programs is on an individual basis and certain departments are highly selective. In general, students must choose a department that is a direct continuation of their undergraduate studies in order to be accepted directly to a master’s program. Certain departments require entrance examinations (e.g., the GMAT for admission to an MBA). The Technion requires candidates to take the GRE and the TOEFL.

Doctoral and Research Programs

The doctorate represents the highest level of academic achievement with the Israeli educational system. The doctoral program focuses on a scientific thesis or dissertation that is expected to make an original, significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge. The various doctoral degrees are listed in Table 1, and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is by far the most common. Seven universities have been authorized by the Council for Higher Education to award this degree. Doctoral programs extend over a minimum of two years after completion of the master’s degree, but are generally completed only after four or more years.

Admission Requirements: Applicants to doctoral programs normally must have a master’s degree from a recognized university with a grade average of at least “B” or “Good” in master’s level course work and a thesis grade of "Very Good". Applicants from departments offering two programs towards the master’s degree are required to have completed the trend which requires a master’s thesis.

At the discretion of university doctoral committees, applicants who do not meet normal admission criteria but appear to be able to meet the requisite standard within one year may be admitted provisionally. Provisional candidates follow a prescribed program of supplementary studies for one year, after which time the qualifications of the applicant are reevaluated. Previous scientific work, research and publications are taken into consideration.

The Direct Doctoral Program is intended for exceptional students who have a bachelor’s degree with a grade average of at least 90 (“A”) in the area of their intended doctorate and an average of at least 80 (“B”) in other course work. The first year of the program is an accelerated master’s program. If high achievement is maintained, the student may bypass the second year of the master’s program and proceed directly to doctoral studies.

Program Structure: Requirements for the doctorate are regulated by individual university doctoral committees, which operate in conjunction with the university department and/or faculty through which the degree will be recommended. As a result, program structure varies slightly from institution to institution and from department to department. In general, doctoral programs comprise course work as well as a language requirement and focus on original research within the framework of the department.

Within six months of being accepted into a program, the student must try to find a senior faculty member to supervise his or her research and dissertation. A research proposal must be submitted to and approved by the university doctoral committee. While the research is usually carried out in the framework of the student’s university department, under certain circumstances it may be conducted in part or in its entirety at another scientific institution in Israel or abroad.

During the course of the program, students meet with their advisor, submit written progress reports, and present a lecture to a research seminar or a similar forum. The dissertation is evaluated by a committee of three, one of whom is the advisor. The written evaluation submitted by the committee serves as the basis for awarding the degree. The dissertation is normally written in Hebrew, although special permission may be granted for its submission in another language. Course work is generally required. Some institutions do not specifically require enrollment in courses but assume student attendance and participation in courses that have been selected in consultation with the student’s advisor

Post-Doctoral Research Programs

Post-doctoral fellowships are available from Israeli universities. These fellowships are generally for a period of up to two years of intense advanced research under the auspices of one or more of the senior faculty of the university.

Fellowships are available in the natural sciences, health, engineering, the social sciences and the humanities.

In order to encourage students who completed their doctorates in North America and Western Europe to conduct post-doctoral research at universities in Israel, the universities, in cooperation with the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education in Israel, award annual fellowships of US $22,500.

Candidates for post-doctoral fellowships should contact the specific professor with whom their research will be conducted


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