The graduate program in Near Eastern studies emphasizes the languages, literatures, history, and cultures of the Near East. It is designed to help students acquaint themselves with the fundamental elements of these cultures, and also to acquire a high degree of specialization in one or more of the following areas: ancient Near Eastern studies (including archaeology); Arabic literature; biblical studies; early Christianity; Hebrew literature; Islamic studies; Judaic studies; and the modern Middle East.
Candidates for the Ph.D. degree are expected to demonstrate mastery in the language or languages of the main texts that are directly related to the topic of their dissertations. Students are advised to determine early in their training the special field of their concentration and to consult their advisors about linguistic requirements.
Before the end of the sixth term of graduate study, each Ph.D. degree candidate must demonstrate competence in reading scholarly secondary materials in two of the following languages, chosen in consultation with their committee chair: French, German, modern Greek, modern Hebrew, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. Candidates for the master's degree must demonstrate competence in one of those languages at least one term before the degree is awarded.