Curriculum: Mechina Program

These programs, run by the Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School, offer an excellent introduction to academic studies. You’ll benefit from a highly personalized experience, including:

  • Individual academic advising and support from an experienced, multilingual academic staff
  • Exposure to a variety of academic disciplines with highly qualified faculty members
  • Academic credit for certain courses
  • Field trips

Required Courses

Hebrew Language

You will participate in the Summer Ulpan (intensive Hebrew language instruction in August-September) and continue to take Hebrew language classes during the academic year. Even absolute beginners who successfully complete the preparatory year will reach the level of Hebrew needed to continue their studies at Hebrew University or other academic institutions in Israel.

During the application process, you will take the Hebrew Placement Test online.  The grade on this test may exempt you from the Summer Ulpan requirement; however, you still must pass the Exemption Examination to meet the Hebrew language requirement.

English Language

If you did not graduate from an English-language high school, you’ll take a placement test and be assigned to the proper level of instruction. Unless exempted, you are required to study English throughout the academic year.

English-language courses focus on the development of academic reading skills that prepare you for study at an Israeli university or college, where reading materials and sources for your research are frequently in English. You’ll work extensively on vocabulary development, reading and listening comprehension, and oral communication skills. To enter degree studies at an Israeli university, you must pass an English comprehension test (unless exempted).

Learn more about the English language course and placement exam here.

Jewish & Israel Studies

During Mechina each student will participate in one class about the History of the Jewish People and the State of Israel.


You will take a mathematics placement test prior to beginning your studies. If you select the Exact and Life Sciences track or the Business/Economics track, you’ll take calculus courses at the appropriate level (at least 10 hours each semester). If you select the Humanities and Social Sciences track, you’ll take the semester-long course Introduction to Probability (4 hours). All courses are taught in Hebrew.

Learn more about the math placement exam here.

Introductory Courses

Our program offers a number of introductory courses that are taught in basic Hebrew. You’ll take at least one introductory course during the academic year. A wide range of subjects are available, such as psychology, business, statistics, international relations, and economics. Some of these courses are recognized by Hebrew University faculties in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science, and will not have to be repeated during the first year of bachelor’s studies.

Academic Writing Course 

We offer an academic writing course in various languages each year. It gives you an overview of how to write at the university level within the context of the Israeli higher education system.

Additional Options

  • If you have a high degree of English language proficiency, you may also select introductory-level courses from the RIS Division of Undergraduate Studies that are taught in English.
  • If you meet the HebrewU requirements for Hebrew and English proficiency levels as well as the departmental psychometric score requirements, you may be permitted to take a limited number of credit-bearing courses from Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • If you have sufficient proficiency in the Hebrew language, the Faculty of Science allows you to take introductory courses in biology and physics.

Study Load by Track

Humanities & Social SciencesExact & Life SciencesBusiness/Economics
Mathematics4 ***10-1410-1410-1410-14
Jewish & Israel Studies444
Introductory CoursesMinimum 4Minimum 4
Academic Writing2 ***22

***For those in Hebrew levels Bet & Gimmel only. 

Learn about the requirements for successful completion for each track.

Study Hours

The required minimum number of weekly study hours within the Mechina Program and Sadarah is determined by the number of required hours devoted to Hebrew and/or English-language studies. The remaining hours of study can be filled by a combination of elective courses taught in basic Hebrew, and for those with a higher level of fluency, standard Hebrew courses.

Required Language HoursTotal Weekly Hours
4-10 20-21
11 or more24-25

Hebrew University Quick Facts

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We offer courses and programs in a variety of fields, with a focus on social and political sciences, Israel and the Middle East, languages, religion, fine and performing arts, business and legal studies, and STEM.

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Rothberg International School
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Boyar Building, Mount Scopus
9190501 Jerusalem, ISRAEL 

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TrackSAT ACT Psychometric Test
(General or QE)
Business & English1310 28629
Business & Liberal Arts131028629
English & Liberal Arts102019516
Pre-Semester Program: “Encountering Jerusalem”
Practical Hebrew Beginners 4 credits
Israeli Society3 credits
Pre-Semester Program: “Encountering Jerusalem”
Practical Hebrew Beginners4 credits
Modern Standard Arabic Beginners 5 credits
Jerusalem: A Journey Through Time and Space3 credits
Pre-Semester Program: “Encountering Jerusalem”
Practical Hebrew Beginners4 credits
Modern Standard Arabic Beginners 5 credits
Jerusalem: A Journey Through Time and Space3 credits
Pre-Semester Program: “Encountering Jerusalem”
Practical Hebrew Beginners 4 credits
Israeli Society3 credits