About the Department

Berkeley's Near Eastern Studies Department, founded in 1894, is one of the oldest and most distinguished such departments 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.

NES Banner, collage by S. Kurtsikidze * EXPLORING THE LIBERAL ARTS: INTRODUCING NES COURSES
* ASSYRIAN STUDIES AT BERKELEY
* BERKELEY COLLOQUIUM FOR THE ANCIENT MIDDLE EAST (BeCoMe)
* BERKELEY INITIATIVE FOR IRANIAN STUDIES (BIIS)
* CALIFORNIA CONSORTIUM IN ISLAMIC STUDIES (CCIS)

Sather Gate,Berkeley, photo by Shorena Kurtsikidze
The Department of Near Eastern Studies is becoming the Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures in Fall 2021. This comes after a thorough reconceptualization of our undergraduate major program. The name addresses our intellectual identity and our desire to be more visible to students and researchers both across campus and outside Berkeley.

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. NES is one of the leaders in the Digital Humanities movement on campus.

Women in the Near Eastern Studies Department

150 years of women at berkeley
150 Years of Women at Berkeley


The Department offers a comprehensive body of information on past and present Near Eastern civilizations.

Who We Are
Statement of Principles
Diversity Statement

COVID-19 Measures (Academc Policies)
COVID-19 Resources and Support)

NES Commencement Ceremony

The Commencement Ceremony, to be held in May, has been postponed). More information about the commencement...

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Contact Information

  • nes@berkeley.edu

  • (510) 642-3757

  • 250 Barrows Hall
    Berkeley, CA 94720-1940
    United States

  • (510) 643-8430

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