Hebrew is the language of instruction at the Hebrew University; therefore, a certain level of Hebrew language proficiency is a requirement for admission. This requirement applies to applicants for undergraduate, graduate, and supplementary programs as well as those with the status of "Special Student" (excluding MA programs taught in English).
Special track in the BA program in English for applicants lacking Hebrew proficiency is detailed in the section on the Faculty of Humanities.
Most departments require students to reach at least Hebrew level Dalet, or reach a score of at least 105 on the YAEL test, before commencing studies. Applicants who have not yet achieved the required level may have to delay commencement of their studies.
The following departments require a more advanced level of Hebrew:
Score Required on YAEL
Level required on Proficiency/Exemption Examination
General and Comparative Literature, Yiddish
History of the Jewish People,
Bible, Hebrew Language, Hebrew Literature, Hebrew Language/Literature, Jewish Thought, Talmud and Halakha
All other departments
Candidates are exempt from studying Hebrew and taking the Exemption Examination under the following conditions:
- They completed the Israeli Bagrut at a high school where the language of instruction is Hebrew.
- They completed high school overseas but passed with a minimum of 70 the Israeli Bagrut Hebrew Language test.
- They took the Psychometric Entrance Test in Hebrew.
- They passed the Behina Yerushalmit.
- They received a minimum grade of 4 in Higher Level Hebrew on the I.B. Diploma.
There are two ways to meet Hebrew language requirements: the YAEL Track and the Rothberg International School Division of Hebrew Instruction Track.
The YAEL test is given after the psychometric test in foreign languages but can also be taken by itself, on any of the sessions on which the Psychometric Entrance Test is offered. Registration for the test is with the National Institute for Testing and Evaluation, Tel: 02-6759555, Website: www.nite.org.il.
Applicants that will achieve the required minimum score, according to departmental requirements (as detailed above), will be exempt from further Hebrew requirements.
YAEL-Net: Another option is taking the YAEL-Net exam which is a computerized Hebrew proficiency exam. The exam format is identical to the Hebrew chapters of the psychometric exam and to the questions in the YAEL exam. The exam’s results are published two-three weeks after the exam. Pencils are necessary for the writing assignment.
The exams take place at the Mt. Scopus campus in Jerusalem. Note that only Hebrew University students and candidates can the YAEL-Net exams given at the University! Registration is via the Personal Information website, using the ID/Student number and personal code: https://www.huji.ac.il/dataj/controller/stu/?
Information on exam dates and fees: http://info.huji.ac.il/reception-components/yahelnet
Division of Hebrew Instruction Track
The Hebrew level is determined in two stages: an internet Placement Test and a Proficiency or Exemption Test - according to the level achieved on the Placement Test.
Placement Test (B’hinat Miyun)
In the first stage, all applicants must take the Placement Test that is given online. A personal code is needed to take the test; therefore, it can be taken only after submitting the application and receiving a confirmation notice. This test can be taken only once so students who are currently in an Ulpan should take the test towards the end of their Hebrew studies. It is highly recommended to take the Hebrew examinations in time to register for the Summer Ulpan, if necessary, and not later than the beginning of August in order to avoid difficulties with course registration.
Proficiency Test (B’hinat Shibutz)
According to the level on the Placement Test, applicants must take a Proficiency Test that will determine their final level.
Applicants who reached level Gimel or Dalet on the Placement Test will not be accepted until they reach level Dalet on the Proficiency Test.
Applicants who reached at least level Heh on the Placement Test will be accepted unconditionally to departments that require level Dalet. However, they have to take the Proficiency Test before the beginning of the academic year in order to register for the required Hebrew class.
The Hebrew University will only grant a degree to students who have received an exemption (P’tor) from Hebrew language studies (excluding the MA programs taught in English).
Therefore, students who have not received an exemption (P’tor) by the Division of Hebrew Language Instruction (and did not get the required score on the YAEL test), must take Hebrew language classes in addition to their normal academic course load during their first year of studies. This should be taken into account when planning one's schedule, especially in MA programs that organize their courses in one or two weekly days.
Students accepted with level Dalet Hebrew, will not be able to carry a full course load, especially if they need to study both Hebrew and English in their first year of undergraduate studies. Such students may need an additional year to complete their degree program.
The Proficiency Test is taken at the Division of Hebrew Language Instruction, Boyar Bldg., Mount Scopus, in rooms 444-447 or 434. The test is offered every Mondays and Wednesdays between 9:00-13:00, not including holidays. The test takes up to 45 minutes and there is no need to register in advance.
Applicants who reached the exemption level (P’tor) on the Placement Test may take the Exemption Examination but it is recommended that they verify their level through the Proficiency Test.
Candidates must take the Exemption Examination but do not need to take the Placement Examination under the following conditions:
- They received a minimum grade of 4 in Standard Level Hebrew on the I.B. Diploma.
- They completed the Israeli Bagrut at a high school where the language of instruction is not Hebrew.
- They studied at least eight years in Israel (including two years of high school) and their native language is Hebrew.
All relevant documentation must be submitted to the Overseas Applicants Unit.
As a rule, all students must pass the Hebrew Language Exemption Examination by the end of their first year of studies. Those required to study Hebrew language during their second year must obtain special permission from the faculty and pay an additional fee.
The Exemption Examination will be offered on the following dates in 2017: June 29, July 31, September 27 or October 17. Candidates for the spring semester will take the test on February 19, 2018. Candidates must register for the test at least two weeks in advance by E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or through "contact us" on the website.
At any time, during the first year of study, students may try to get exemption on the basis of the YAEL test.
Registration for all Ulpan programs described below is through the Rothberg International School. Note that it is a separate procedure than the application to a degree program at the University.
Applicants complete a special form and submit it with a copy of a letter issued by our office, and a copy of the application fee receipt.
Information and forms are available on the website or from the secretary of the Division of Hebrew Language Instruction, Boyar Bldg., Mount Scopus, room 445-446, Tel.: 02-5882603 or 02-5882698.
The Summer Ulpan is an intensive Hebrew language course designed to prepare students from abroad for studies at the University. Students generally advance one level by the end of the Ulpan.
Courses are offered on six levels, ranging from Aleph (beginners) to Vav (upper advanced), and generally consist of 200 academic hours. Classes are usually held in the morning, Sunday through Thursday and certain Fridays, five academic hours a day.
The Hebrew University requires at least level Dalet on the Proficiency Examination to begin degree studies. Therefore, students on levels Aleph and Bet (based on their Proficiency Examination results) are urged to begin intensive Hebrew study independently, in order to enter level Gimel at the beginning of the Summer Ulpan.
Candidates for degree studies at the University, who are not exempt, should register for the Summer Ulpan, which will be held between August 17 and September 27, 2017.
Deadline for application: July 6, 2017.
Applicants who did not reach the required Hebrew level are advised to consult with the Division of Hebrew Language Instruction about their options. Further details can be found on the website. Please note that the Ulpan tuition is a separate fee that is not included in the yearly tuition for studies at the Hebrew University.
The Winter Ulpan is an intensive Hebrew language course designed primarily for new students who will be commencing their studies in the spring semester. It usually consists of 100 hours. It is not possible to complete a full level in the Winter Ulpan. Candidates should consult with the Division of Hebrew Language Instruction before registering.
Courses are usually offered on four levels, Aleph (beginners) to Dalet (lower-advanced). Classes on levels Heh andVav (Advanced and Upper-Advanced) only open if enough students register. Classes are usually held in the mornings Sunday through Thursday and may be held on certain Fridays. The Winter Ulpan will be held January 24 - February 19, 2018. Deadline for application: January 1, 2018. Further details can be found on the website. Please note that the Ulpan tuition is a separate fee that is not included in the yearly tuition for studies at the Hebrew University.