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About Us

In its coverage of the full sweep of Near Eastern/Middle Eastern literature and history, its interdisciplinary and comparative research, and its commitment to the undergraduate experience, the department is unique among its peers.

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Overview

Established during the mid-1960s as a small language and literature department with a focus on “Semitic studies,” the department has grown enormously in recent decades, thanks to institutional and alumni support.

The department offers undergraduates and graduate students the opportunity to study the languages, literatures, cultures, religions and Near Eastern history from ancient Sumer to the modern Middle East; and educates students and the wider academic community in cross-cultural, trans-historical and inter-religious understanding. The department enrolls over 1000 students each semester, mentoring over 20 majors, and operates a small and dynamic graduate program.

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Give to Near Eastern Studies

Your support enables the Department of Near Eastern Studies 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. Please consider a donation to the department endowment gifts fund. 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.

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In my opinion, the NES major combines all of the best aspects of a liberal arts education, giving students the opportunity to study literature, cultures, languages, history and many other fields.

— Elena Wicker, Class of 2016