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Certificate of Achievement Overview

Certificate of Achievement Overview

The Certificate of Achievement in Holocaust Studies is a four-course, interdisciplinary program open to undergraduate students in Northwestern undergraduate degree programs. The certificate of achievement allows students to study the Holocaust of European Jewry from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Certificate of Achievement in Holocaust Studies Recipients


The Certificate of Achievement in Holocaust Studies is administered and awarded by the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University (HEFNU) in consultation with the Certificate Committee, which is composed of faculty who offer core and elective certificate courses. Please note the Certificate of Achievement differs from other NU certificate programs; it will not appear on your NU transcript. 

Certificate Application and Award Process

In order to be admitted to the certificate of achievement program, students must fill out an application, including a plan of study, and meet with the Director of HEFNU. Students who have already completed Holocaust-related courses can retroactively count those courses towards completion of the certificate of achievement. The certificate of achievement will be awarded once a student has completed all requirements. Please contact Sarah Cushman, Director of HEFNU at

Required Courses (4)

To receive a Certificate of Achievement in Holocaust Studies, a student must earn a satisfactory grade (at least a C-) in 4 courses: the History of the Holocaust (HISTORY 349-0); 2 Holocaust Studies electives; and 1 Context Course elective. These 4 courses must be distributed between at least 2 departments or schools.

Core Course: History of the Holocaust (HISTORY 349-0)

All certificate students will be required to take History of the Holocaust in order to complete the certificate. This course will provide students with an in-depth analysis of the Holocaust as a historical event. This course is offered every academic year.

Holocaust Studies electives (Two Courses)

Students choose 2 Holocaust Studies courses. The following courses have been offered in recent years, but the list may change from year to year. See a list of currently available courses.

JWSH_ST 350-0 – Representing the Holocaust in Literature and Film
SESP 323-0 –Trauma & Atrocity: Holocaust Memory, Memorials, and Museums
TEACH_ED 351-0 – Special Topics: The Holocaust and Education
HISTORY 392/GNDR_ST 382-0 – Gender, Race, and the Holocaust
HISTORY 101-6 – First-year Seminar: Collaboration, Complicity, and the Holocaust
ENGLISH 105-6 – First-year Seminar: Children and the Holocaust
HUM 301-0 – Justice for the Holocaust
HISTORY 392-0 – The Holocaust and Memory in the U.S.
RELIGION 339-0 – God after the Holocaust
PSYCHOLOGY 314 – Special Topics: The Holocaust – Psychological Themes & Perspectives

Context Course (One Course)

Students choose a course about Jewish culture, philosophy, or religion in pre-WWII Europe.

Summary of Requirements

4 courses, including:

(1) History 349-0

(2) Holocaust Studies Electives

(1) Context Course in Jewish Studies (pre-Holocaust)

At least 2 of the 4 courses must be at the 300-level or above.

At most 1 of the 4 courses can be completed outside Northwestern.

Certificate students are required to attend the annual spring Theodore Zev Weiss/HEF Lecture in Holocaust Studies. Students submit a two-page response paper to within two weeks of the lecture.


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