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The Department of Near Eastern Studies serves as the central hub of teaching and research on the Near East for Cornell University.  

The “Near East”—as defined by the department—extends from Morocco (and medieval Spain) across North Africa, through Egypt, the Levant (Israel and Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan), Turkey and South-West Asia. We offer courses on a wide array of subjects important for understanding the breadth of Near Eastern civilizations, including language, literature, history, linguistics, archaeology and religion.

Graduate Study

Our program is focused on preparing students for careers  as researchers and professors. It is designed to help students acquaint themselves with the fundamental elements of Near Eastern 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.

The NES major not only gave me a wonderful liberal arts education, but also helped me to discover a more diverse range of courses and interests than I could have imagined. I am extremely grateful to the supportive, approachable faculty of this department for sharing their passions with me.

— Julia Pascale, Class of 2016