Notre Dame's Jerusalem Semester Program is conducted at the Jerusalem Global Gateway at Tantur Ecumenical Institute, located atop a hill between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. From Tantur, there is a magnificent view of beautiful and historic sights. To the south are the church spires and minarets of Bethlehem and surrounding Palestinian villages. To the north spreads the city of Jerusalem, its Old City walls only a 15-minute drive away, and to the east a jumble of hills falls off into the Jordan Valley. The Jerusalem Global Gateway is ideally situated for taking advantage of numerous opportunities for cultural enrichment.
Fall Semester: Late September through early January - NEW OPPORTUNITY! Sciences-focused track
Spring semester: Mid-January through Mid-May
*Please take program dates into consideration and how they may coincide or conflict with internships and other academic requirements.
The Jerusalem Global Gateway program offers two unique semester offerings. Please carefully consider the following details, eligibility requirements, and academic course availability prior to applying.
Regardless of semester, students experience the depth and complexity of life in Jerusalem, both as a site of historical and religious significance, and as a site of contemporary political conflict. Students will be challenged to deepen their worldview through engagement with a wide variety of perspectives. In both semesters, the academic program is enhanced by co-curricular and cultural excursions. See special opportunities below.
While studying at the Jerusalem Global Gateway during the Fall semester, students take one course offered at the Gateway itself and additional coursework through the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University. A unique feature of the fall program is the science/pre-professional track, which affords students the opportunity to take core science courses and participate in an internship coordinated by Hebrew University, a top research university in Israel. Fall semester students will also have the unique opportunity to spend Chanukah, Christmas, and New Years in the Holy Land, engaging with a rich diversity of local faiths and traditions at the most festive time of the year.
Non-science students are also encouraged to apply for the fall semester, but would not be eligible to participate in the science track.
Required Core Course: THEO 24846 Three Faiths, Two Peoples: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Holy Land (Taught at the Global Gateway)
This course explores the history of Christian experience in the Holy Land, with a focus on Christian relationships with Jews and Muslims. We will focus on the theme of the Church’s identity in the world from its biblical roots to the multiplicity of contemporary understandings. (Fulfills 2nd THEO university requirement)
The Fall semester Jerusalem program offers core science courses such as Cell Biology, Genetics, Physiology, Upper-Level Neurobiology, and Neuropsychology. These courses were identified with involvement from the College of Arts & Letters and College of Science in support of continued academic progress while abroad in Jerusalem. Please note: Physics will not be offered.
Students are also able to pursue university requirements in History, Literature, Philosophy, and Fine Arts, (dependent upon availability) in addition to courses in Arabic, Political Science, Peace Studies, Psychology, Theology, Film and more through the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University. Additionally, credit-bearing internship opportunities can be coordinated through Hebrew University for all students. Placements could include such opportunities as interning at the Safra Center for Brain Sciences, Hadassah Hospital Mt. Scopus, the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, and other University research institutes.
While studying at the Jerusalem Global Gateway during the Spring semester, students take two core courses at the Gateway. In addition, students have the unique opportunity to enroll in coursework at both the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University, an Israeli institution in Jerusalem, and Bethlehem University, a Palestinian Catholic institution located in the West Bank.
Required Core Course: THEO 24846 Three Faiths, Two Peoples: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Holy Land (Taught at the Global Gateway)—See above.
Required Core Course: PHIL 24346 Modern Jewish Thought (Taught at the Global Gateway)
In broad strokes we will trace the trajectory of modern Jewish religious thought from an apologetic accommodation to the regnant philosophical and secular sensibilities – a tendency that characterized 18th and 19th century Jewish philosophy – to an affirmation of Jewish theological discourse as a mode of theocentric reflection – a tendency that increasingly marks Jewish thought since the early 20th century. (Fulfills 2nd PHIL university requirement) – Please note: this course is not offered in the fall semester.
Students are able to fulfill university requirements in History, Literature, and Fine Arts (dependent upon availability) in addition to courses in Political Science, Peace Studies, Economics, Theology, Psychology and more through Bethlehem University and the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University.
Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in an Arabic language class, as well.
- Class level
- The fall program is open to qualified juniors and seniors
- The spring program is open to qualified sophomore and juniors
- Minimum 2.75 GPA
- In the fall semester only, preference will be given to College of Science students and pre-professional Arts & Letters students, but non-sciences students are also encouraged to apply.
- Students interested in applying for this program should be independent and possess exceptional motivation, emotional maturity, and a high aptitude for adapting to new environments.
- Non-Notre Dame students may apply for participation.
Beyond their coursework, program participants will have the opportunity to visit local NGO's, engage with local religious, political, and civil societies leaders, and traverse much of the Holy Land. Some highlights include:
- Christian holy sites in Nazareth and around the Sea of Galilee
- Tel Aviv/Jaffa
- The Dead Sea
- Jordan, including Amman, Petra, and Wadi Rum
If you are considering applying to a study abroad program and you do not have a valid passport, or your passport will expire within six months past your program end date, please take steps to obtain or renew your passport immediately. Passports can take longer than expected to process, and you may need your passport to apply for visas well before your program begins. For more information about obtaining and renewing passports visit the United States Postal Service.
Housing and Meals
All students in the Jerusalem Global Gateway program will live in shared apartments at the Gateway. Each apartment has a kitchen and shared bathrooms. All meals are provided at the Tantur Dining Hall, but students also have the option to cook for themselves. During program excursions, all meals are covered by the Gateway.
An Israeli issued student visa is needed for semester-long study in Jerusalem. It is important to obtain or update your passport as soon as possible so that, once accepted, NDI can help you with the visa process.