Graduate Admissions

Early dinastic steatite sheep or ram, circa 3200 B.C., Yale Babylonian Collection, YBC 2261.The Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations encourages applications from highly motivated and qualified students who prefer small classes and a course of instruction built around their individual needs and interests, and who are prepared to undertake a program of study entailing more coursework than is the norm for other graduate programs in the humanities: three full years, or twenty-four term courses, before qualifying for candidacy for the doctorate.

Demonstrated reading knowledge of French and German is required of all students. Competence in at least one is expected for admission; any deficiencies must be made good before admission to the second year of study. The Department also requires a GRE score and, for students whose native language is not English, a TOEFL score. Foreign students can arrange to take these tests through the American Embassy in their respective countries.

Recipe cookbook in Akkadian, circa 1750 B.C., Yale Babylonian Collection, YBC 8958All applicants for the PhD program are considered for Graduate School financial aid as part of the admissions procedure. No financial aid is available for the Masters program. The Department has no fellowship funds of its own, but post-doctoral fellowships in Semitics (Kohut Fellowship) and Egyptology may be available through the Department.

Candidates should state in their applications the field within the Department in which they wish to concentrate. 

Prospective Students. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to visit the Yale campus in order to discuss their interests with the Department faculty, to attend classes, and to meet the graduate student population.

Degree Requirements. The Department aims to train scholars in the cultures of various Near Eastern peoples through study and interpretation of their languages and literatures, their history, and archaeological analysis of their cultures. Concentrations are provided in Arabic and Islamic Studies, Assyriology (Akkadian and Sumerian), Egyptology, and Graeco-Arabic Studies, and may occasionally be arranged in other fields.

A program leading to scholarly proficiency in one of the concentrations named above will be planned at the beginning of the student’s course of study. This will normally consist of three years of course work and the subsequent writing of a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

For the Master’s degree, two years of course work and a thesis are required, for the MPhil degree three years of course work and successful completion of a comprehensive examination. For more information on the requirements for the MA, MPhil, and PhD degrees, consult the Departmental listings in the Bulletin of the Yale Graduate School.