Hey, I'm going to be a Junior at Harvard, I'm majoring in Medieval History and Literature, and I've realized that I want to pursue a Master's and PhD in Religion, probably either in Judaic Studies or something more comparative with a focus on the conception of women through religious texts, cultures and traditions...or something like that :-P
The problem is, now that I just started researching this, they expect me to come in knowing so many languages!!! Right now am pretty proficient in Italian and can read Old English...but that sounds pretty useless when compared to the requirements of most of the schools I would like to attend. I may not be able to take it as a graded course since I've already taken Italian for four semesters, but I am completely interested in learning Hebrew. I have started teaching myself this summer anyway, and I'm sure somebody at the school's Hillel or Chabad could help me out if the language won't fit into my schedule.
But I have no time to learn French or German by the end of my college career. I also admit I never had an interest in learning these languages. Why are they seen as so essential? You would think being able to read the primary sources in Hebrew or Greek would take preference to reading modern scholarly commentary in that original language...you'd think it would be less of an issue to read an English translation of something written only a century ago, no?
Anyway, can I learn both of these languages after getting in, or do I already have no chance? That does sound like an awful lot of time learning languages.
I had no idea this would be so complicated! Why don't they warn you about all the different requirements grad schools have when you are registering for college classes?
I recall the highschool CC to be very big on stats, so I obviously haven't taken the GRE yet, but my GPA is around 3.3-3.4 right now...would be higher if I didn't have one bum semester. I have no idea if that means I'm doomed or not, though I am pretty sure that GPA would fly better for grad school than for law school.
I've only researched Ivy League schools and Stanford so far about this, so also let me know if you have any suggestions for solid, academic (no desire to become a priest, reverend, rabbi, etc.) religion programs.
I'm also worried about course preparation for this sort of thing--I'm already kind of in a double major, with lots of requirements, and while I could easily work a course on Maimonides in there and medieval history courses do love discussing Catholic history, Islamic-Christian-Jewish relations, and Christianity's adjustments to gain pagan converts, I guess I won't have the same background as an actual religion student. Is this a problem?