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Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern Studies University of Washington



Course info


The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Near Eastern Studies. Students choose one of four options offered within the major: Languages and Civilization, Culture and Civilization, Comparative Islamic Studies, and Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. Courses are designed for students planning careers in government service, non-governmental organizations, teaching, and in the private sector.

The program focuses on the languages and civilizations of the Islamic Near and Middle East, the Semitic Near East, and Islamic Central Asia, with an emphasis on the ancient and medieval roots of these civilizations as well as more recent cultural developments. Each of the languages offered represents a major literary tradition. Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Central Eurasian Turkic (such as Uzbek, Kazakh, and Kyrgyz) are the languages of the most significant manifestations of Islamic civilization. Hebrew and Aramaic are languages of the Bible, and central to Judaism and Jewish culture. A rich and vast heritage from other ancient Near Eastern cultures is explored through study of languages and literatures such as Egyptian (Hieroglyphic, Coptic), Akkadian, Ugaritic, and Syriac. The languages are taught in conjunction with their socio-cultural context, so that linguistic skills will be formed and enhanced by a broad and sympathetic understanding, and a firm foundation will be laid for both intellectual exploration and practical experience.

The Department currently offers three Bachelor of Arts degree options. Below you will also find Degree Plan Worksheets, which you can use to help you keep on track.

1. Languages and Cultures

2. Comparative Civilizations

3. Hebrew Bible & Ancient Near Eastern Studies

The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization provides a liberal arts education in new global realities and their connections specifically to history of culture in the Near East and Central Asia. A detailed and critical knowledge of ancient and modern languages of these regions is of utmost importance for a better understanding of their rich cultural heritages, and development of language skills requires cultural-historical knowledge. This includes the following:

Development of language skills, including proficiency in ancient languages of the Near East, and proficiency in modern foreign languages of the Near East and Central Asia, involving all four language skills (speaking, writing, reading, and listening).

Expansion of student understanding of cultural diversity through study of languages, literature, religious, and other cultural aspects of the ancient and modern Near East and Central Asia:

Close textual and hermeneutic studies of ancient languages and texts.

Classical and modern literature.

History of culture.

Additionally, NELC focuses on the development of student abilities in:

Critical analyses of texts.

Thorough understanding of historical and cultural contexts.

Integrative and critical thinking.

Analytical writing.

Research procedures and strategies.

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern Studies.

Full Time (180 credit hours)

Tuition fees

$39,114.00 (29,04,821) per year


21-Jun-21, 29-Sep-21


University of Washington

Schmitz Hall, 1410 NE Campus Parkway,



98195, United States

Entry requirement for international students

Student must have a High School Qualification.

Due to limited testing availability from COVID-19, the UW will accept the Duolingo’s English Test for autumn 2021 applicants. A minimum score of 105 will be required for admission. The TOEFL iBT special home edition and the IELTS Indicator at home exam will also be accepted for 2021 international freshman applicants.

English proficiency

TOEFL (iBT) - Minimum score required: 76, Recommended score: 92 or higher

IELTS - Minimum score required: 6.0, Recommended score: 7.0 or higher

* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.

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