Turkish dinner
Near East, Middle East, Southwest Asia & North Africa

Near Eastern Studies

We offer undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to study the languages, literatures, cultures, religions and history of regions from ancient Sumer to the modern Middle East. We also help to educate students and the wider academic community about  cross-cultural, trans-historical and inter-religious issues related to the region.


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Sonorous Desert book on a table

Sonorous Desert

Kim Haines-Eitzen

Princeton University Press, July 2022

Enduring lessons from the desert soundscapes that shaped the Christian monastic tradition.

Student writes in Arabic on a chalkboard

Major in Near Eastern studies

Interested in exploring the languages, literatures, cultures, religions, and history of the Middle East from antiquity to the modern day? Consider pursuing a major in Near Eastern studies.

We also offer undergraduate minors in Arabic and Near Eastern studies.

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Take a class

Explore the diversity of the Middle East in a class like "Wondrous Literatures of the Near East" (NES 2754) or "Islam and Gender" (NES 2270).

We offer classes on a wide range of topics, regions, and time periods of the Middle East.

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Study a Near Eastern language

Take Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, or Persian to fulfill the College of Arts & Sciences language requirement!

We also offer instruction in some of the ancient Middle Eastern languages like Akkadian and Biblical Hebrew.

See all of the Middle Eastern languages taught in the department.

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Get department updates

We send out e-newsletters regularly during the academic school year. 

Join our email list

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Support Near Eastern studies at Cornell

Your support enables the department to enhance the experience for undergraduate and graduate students and contribute to faculty excellence. Gifts can help fund lectures and conferences, faculty and student research, distinguished speakers, and other department priorities. We will greatly appreciate and immediately put into use any gift, no matter the amount.

Give to Near Eastern Studies

We place gifts made to this fund into an endowment account where they are invested in perpetuity. Income from the endowment is provided each year to the department for priorities.

More information on ways to give.