Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

Scope and Objectives

The mission of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures is the discovery, interpretation, dissemination, and preservation of human values created over a period of five or more thousand years in an area that was the cradle of all civilization.

The department offers instruction in the major modern and ancient languages of the Near East: Akkadian, ancient Egyptian, Arabic, Armenian, Berber, Coptic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkic. To meet increasing demands for a knowledge of this area and its past and present, it treats each language in a wide perspective — as a means of communication, as a vehicle of a cultural heritage, as a research tool for the area, and as an object of research itself.

Undergraduate majors may be taken in Ancient Near East and Egyptology, Arabic, Iranian Studies, Jewish Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. MA and PhD programs are offered in Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Iranian, Islamic Studies, Semitics, and Turkic.

Courses in the department prepare students for careers in government, foreign trade, teaching abroad, journalism abroad, archaeology, and further academic work involving the area.