Berkeley's Near Eastern Studies Department, founded in 1894, is one of the oldest and most distinguished in the country. The Department offers both general instruction and specialized training in Archaeology, Art History, Assyriology, Egyptology, Iranian Studies, Judaic and Islamic Studies, Comparative Semitics, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish.
Specific concentrations offered by the department are:
Arabic Language and Literature, Cuneiform (Assyriology, and Sumerology), Egyptology, Egyptian Art and Archaeology, Hebrew Studies (Bible, Rabbinic Literature, Modern Hebrew Language and Literature), Iranian Studies, Islamic Studies, Near Eastern Art and Archaeology, Persian Language and Literature, Semitics and Turkish Language.
For students from other disciplines, the Department offers a wide variety of courses to supplement such related fields as classics, linguistics, history, political science, comparative literature, anthropology, and art history. The Department strongly recommends that its own graduate students take advantage of courses in these other fields, provided that they are relevant to their fields of study.
Many of the Department's courses are restricted to a small number of students, thus affording an opportunity for close contact with the instructing staff. The Department offers a comprehensive body of information on past and present Near Eastern civilizations; instruction is given in both language/literature and lecture courses.
The Department of Near Eastern Studies offers the following undergraduate majors:
The Major in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures (emphasis in a Modern Language: Arabic, Hebrew, or Persian; emphasis in an Ancient Language: Egyptology).
The Major in Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Art and Archaeology (emphasis in Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology; emphasis in Egyptian Art and Archaeology).
The Major in Near Eastern Civilizations (emphasis in Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations; emphasis in Islamic Civilizations).
Graduate programs leading to the M. A. and Ph.D. degrees are offered in Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian languages and literatures, Near Eastern Archaeology, Art History, Cuneiform, Hebrew Bible, Biblical and Judaic Studies, Old Iranian Studies, Egyptology, and Islamic Studies.