• Ancient Near East Civilizations

    The graduate program in Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations allows students to explore the depths of the Ancient Near East through one of three emphases: (1) language (2) literature (3) archaeology. Students electing to focus on language can choose from a variety of languages to complete their studies such as Egyptian, Hebrew, Akkadian, Sumerian, and Aramaic. All students, regardless of which emphasis they choose, will acquire rigorous training allowing them to receive a wide breadth of knowledge in the historical, literary, and cultural background on the area, language, and civilization of their choice. Students completing the program will have substantial proficiency in the languages they choose as well as the intellectual capacity to excel in academia.

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  • Arabic

    Arabic is spoken by over 300 million people around the world and is used as the main language for Islamic scholarship, literature, and philosophy. Graduate students in Arabic will not only advance their aptitude in Arabic, but gain a literary and cultural understanding of its importance in the Near East region and the Islamic world. The Arabic program can either be completed by pursuing a M.A. or continuing on to a PhD. Courses range from Advanced Studies in Islamic Art to Middle Eastern Politics.

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  • Armenian Studies

    Armenian has a 3,000 year history of cultural and literary preservation for the Armenian people. Students can choose on either a language emphasis or a literature emphasis in order to advance their knowledge and proficiency of Armenian. Students in the graduate program can learn classical Armenian and Armenian Film and Culture. The small class setting and dedicated faculty will provide excellent guidance for graduate students to continue in their academic endeavors.

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  • Assyriology

    Assyriology is the study of the languages and civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia. Our PhD program allows students to engage in research concerning what was arguably the first—certainly the best documented—high civilization in history. The Babylonian writing system, cuneiform, spans thousands of years of use, with hundreds of thousands of clay tablets and inscriptions on other media today housed in public and private collections around the world, and many thousands more of these unique historical records becoming available for research each year.

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  • Near Eastern Archaeology

    Archaeology enriches our knowledge of past people and culture through artifacts and material culture. Near Eastern Archaeology narrows this endeavor by focusing on the study of the past peoples and cultures who resided in the Near East. Graduate students who choose to specialize in Near Eastern Archaeology will learn about the political, economic, and ideological landscape throughout the Near East as they relate to societal changes.

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  • Egyptology

    Ancient Egypt represents the world’s first regional state and one of the world’s first primary complex civilizations. Its grand civilization, majestic architecture, divine kingship, and hieroglyphic script are alluring still. UCLA offers one of the few graduate programs in Egyptology in the United States. We provide Egyptology students with rigorous training in the language, literature, religion, archaeology, history, art and architecture of ancient Egypt.

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  • Hebrew Bible

    Hebrew is spoken by nearly 7 million people around the world and has been the lingua franca for Jews all over the world. Since the 10th century BC, Hebrew has played a central role in preserving and expressing the literary, religious, and cultural traditions of Judaic followers. Students in this program can either choose a language emphasis or a literature emphasis during their studies. Students will engage in Hebrew poetry and prose and explore the history and significance of the Hebrew language.

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  • Levantine Studies

    The Hebrew Bible, also known as the Tanakh or the Old Testament, is one of the classic texts for the Jewish tradition. It narrates the creation of the universe, the emergence of civilization, and the redemption of God’s chosen people. It is not only a sacred text for the Jewish people, but also a foundational text for the Christian and Islamic traditions. Hebrew Bible at UCLA is an exciting program for ambitious students looking to immerse themselves to the world of ancient Israel and early Judaism. Students will study the Hebrew Bible and related literature as well as its historical context and reception (e.g., Dead Sea Scrolls). The program is designed for students who wish to become teachers and researchers in the Hebrew Bible and cognate literatures as well as the history of ancient Israel and early Judaism.

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  • Jewish Studies

    The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures offers an undergraduate major in Jewish Studies and a PhD in various specializations of Jewish Studies including Modern Hebrew literature, Rabbinics, 2nd Temple Judaism, and Hebrew Bible. Jewish Studies allows students to gain a rich understanding of Jewish literature, philosophy, history, religion, languages, and culture.

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  • Islamic Studies

    This interdisciplinary program focuses on the study of Islamic civilization in its diverse historical and regional contexts. Subfields of concentration include Islamic law, theology, history, Islamic education, gender and women’s history, contemporary Muslim political and social movements, Sufism, and Quranic studies. The program offers both terminal MA and PhD degrees.

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  • Iranian

    The Program of Iranian Studies at UCLA, one of the oldest doctoral programs in the field, was established half a century ago, in 1963. Bestowed with a number of endowed chairs, fellowships, and lecture series, and commanding several hundred enrollments per annum, it remains the largest and most comprehensive program of its kind in the Americas. It covers the entire spectrum of Iranian studies across disciplines, linguistic boundaries, and periods. Among its distinctive strengths is the focus on Old and Middle Iranian philology, ancient Iranian history and religions, archaeology, as well as the study of classical and modern Persian literature. In addition, courses in Judeo-Persian literature and Baha¹i history and religion are regularly read in the Program.

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  • Semitics

    Semitics refers to the study the languages, literature, culture, and history of the language families are most commonly found in Southwest Asia and North Africa. Semitic languages such as Arabic, Ethiopic, and Hebrew still continue to be utilized as a primary languages for over 500 million people today across the world. Other languages such as neo-Aramaic are dying out, while others such as Ugaritic or Akkadian are long extinct. The languages store important ideas and values that have been carried for thousands of years. UCLA offers a wide variety of courses in Semitic languages including Akkadian, Aramaic, Arabic, Hebrew, Ugaritic, and Syriac. In addition, related languages such as Sumerian, Hittite, Luwian, and Egyptian are also offered. Students are expected to reach a high proficiency level in one of the main Semitic languages with a secondary competence in at least two other related languages.

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  • Turkish Studies

    The graduate program in Turkic Studies at UCLA offers both a language emphasis and a literature emphasis. The language emphasis requires students to know either Turkic or Uzbek as a primary language, a second Turkic language, and know the history and literature of their primary language. The literature emphasis requires proficiency in two Turkic languages and knowledge of the written literature of both languages.

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