Preparatory Program – Mechina
The Preparatory Program provides an academic introduction and linguistic instruction for young new students, mainly immigrants from abroad, intending to continue toward their university studies in Israel. The yearlong program is the gateway to Hebrew-speaking Israeli society with its Jewish cultural ambiance, while working to develop and refine the skills necessary for university entrance the following year. The varied post-high school student body comes from around the world.
Admission to regular studies at an Israeli university requires a level of preparation equivalent to the Israeli high school matriculation (Bagrut), as well as proficiency in both the Hebrew and English languages. Many overseas students, however, arrive in Israel without adequate qualifications or preparation. The universities therefore instituted the one-year Preparatory Program for qualified secondary school graduates from abroad.
During the preparatory year, students are given an opportunity to attain the level required for regular study at the University.
The program begins in August with an intensive Hebrew language course (Summer Ulpan) and an English course for students with no previous knowledge of the English language. After the Ulpan, there are two semesters: the autumn semester extends from October to January, while the spring semester extends from February to June. The Bar-Ilan Mechina also offers a session from late December through mid-August. The University of Haifa offers two programs: the autumn Mechina which extends from October to June and the spring Mechina which extends from February to July. The Summer Ulpan at Haifa is held during July-August.
Candidates must have a high school diploma or certificate granting eligibility for university studies in their country of origin. Some candidates may be required to take the Israeli NITE Psychometric University Entrance Examination or the American Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT 1). All candidates for admission who are under the age of 18 are required to secure the written consent of their parents or guardian. All students must present a certificate of good health signed by a physician.
Regular Degree Studies at Israeli Universities (in Hebrew)
The universities in Israel are multidisciplinary institutions open to all academically qualified students.
Undergraduate and graduate studies are conducted within the framework of faculties/schools and are organized within departments. Courses are generally conducted in Hebrew, while reading materials are frequently in English; therefore, candidates must demonstrate proficiency in both of these languages. Studies toward the bachelor’s degree generally extend over three years. At the Technion, all undergraduate engineering programs extend over four years and architecture, five years. Candidates apply not only to a specific university but also to the department of their choice. At Bar-Ilan University special study programs are offered to students with advanced religious and yeshiva backgrounds (the Institute for Advanced Torah Studies for men and Midrasha for women).
Studies toward the master’s degree generally extend over two years. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.
Studies towards doctoral degrees (Ph.D., LL.D.) extend over at least two years. The main focus is on an independent research project in the framework of one of the departments. Studies are intended for holders of a master’s degree with a good grade average who have successfully completed a master’s thesis. There is also a direct doctoral program for outstanding students who have completed their bachelor’s degree.
General Admission Requirements to Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Candidates must have a level of education equivalent to the Israeli matriculation certificate (Bagrut) or one year of academic studies at an accredited college or university or one year of preparatory studies (Mechina) at a university in Israel. Candidates must reach a certain level of achievement on the Psychometric University Entrance Examination administered by the Israeli National Institute of Testing and Evaluation (NITE) or the U.S. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT1).
General Admission Requirements to Graduate Degree Programs
Candidates must be graduates of an officially recognized university with a good grade average. Admission to master’s degree programs is on an individual basis and certain departments are highly selective. In general, students must choose a department that is a direct continuation of their undergraduate studies in order to be accepted directly to a master’s program. Certain departments require entrance examinations (e.g., the GMAT for admission to an MBA). The Technion requires candidates to take the GRE and the TOEFL.
Most of the universities in Israel offer accredited summer courses for visiting students. The language of instruction is generally English, with certain programs in French and German. In general, the courses are intensive and extend over a period of three to six weeks. Many of the courses deal with major aspects of Jewish, Israel and Middle Eastern studies, as well as a growing number of other fields, such as international relations, comparative religion, archaeology, maritime archaeology, geography, history, law, business, environmental studies, the arts and literature. Most Israeli universities offer intensive Hebrew language study (Ulpan). Language instruction is also available in Biblical Hebrew, Arabic, and English for speakers of other languages at the Hebrew University.