Programs by Campus


Institute for Biblical and Literary Studies

College of Arts and Sciences

Director: Herbert Marks, Ballantine Hall 922, 812-855-9844

Departmental Email: marks [at] indiana [dot] edu

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Program Information

The Institute for Biblical and Literary Studies is an interdisciplin­ary consortium that aims to bring together the critical study of the Bible, the history of biblical interpretation, and the theory and practice of literary criticism. Depending on background and interest, students may concentrate on biblical texts and lan­guages, literary criticism, or the history and theory of interpre­tation. Study of ancient languages is strongly encouraged. Stu­dents with previous training in biblical studies will be advised to devote more time to courses in literary theory and Western literature; those with a stronger background in classical or modern literature will be advised to concentrate on the biblical text and its cultural setting. The institute offers a Ph.D. minor and a certificate that may be earned concurrently. Students participate in a regular seminar (I600) which, like most institute courses, combines close reading of specific texts with larger issues of methodology. Prospective students interested in pur­suing the M.A. or Ph.D. degree are urged to apply first to one of the affiliated departments, such as comparative literature (for literary theory) or religious studies (for biblical studies).

Ph.D. Minor in Biblical Literature

The Ph.D. minor in biblical literature is available to all doctoral students not specializing in biblical studies; four courses in biblical literature and in the history of biblical interpretation are required. Courses should be selected in consultation with the director of the institute.


Courses in which a student receives less than a B (3.0) will not count toward the minor.

Graduate Certificate in Biblical and Literary Criticism

The certificate is available to doctoral students in all depart­ments and to special students from outside Indiana University who wish to do advanced interdisciplinary work in biblical and literary studies.

Course Requirements

Eight courses in biblical literature, the history of biblical in­terpretation, and the theory and practice of literary criticism, including I600. The selection of courses should be made in consultation with the director of the institute. In certain cases, two of the eight courses may be in a biblical language. Courses that study biblical or exegetical sources in a national literature may also be counted.

Language Requirement

Proficiency in biblical Hebrew or Greek, to be certified by the completion of N472 or G308 or their equivalent, or by an ex­amination administered by the relevant language department.


Courses in which a student receives less than a B (3.0) will not count toward the certificate.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

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