Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations introduces students to the ancient and modern peoples, languages, cultures, and societies of the Near and Middle East. Loosely defined as stretching from Morocco in the west to Iran and Afghanistan in the east, the region is home of the world’s great religions and civilizations. The influence of its languages, literatures and material culture has spread across the world, from the earliest permanent human settlements to today's news headlines. The study of the Near and Middle East is a key area of academic inquiry for its political, economic and cultural significance on the international stage through history.  Department Website

Undergraduate concentrators develop skills in one (or more) of the languages and literatures of the region on their way to choosing from a wide variety of directions of study. The Department offers instruction in a range of ancient and modern languages including Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Egyptian, Hebrew, Iranian, Persian, Sumerian, Turkish, and Yiddish. The concentration provides a solid grounding in the student’s area of focus and offers an in-depth look at how scholars explore a region that continues to be so influential in the world of today.

Students choose one of four specific tracks for concentration: The Middle East in Antiquity, Histories and Cultures of Muslim Societies (Islamic Studies), Jewish Studies, or Modern Middle Eastern Studies. All tracks have a requirement that involves the study of at least four terms of a language of the region.