Important Announcement Concerning 2020-2021 Admissions Applications


The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania  regrets to announce that the Department will not accept applications for the PhD program during the 2020-21 admissions cycle. The School of Arts of Sciences, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, has made the difficult decision to focus resources on supporting current students and to ensure that future cohorts of PhD students will be fully supported.  Therefore, the Department will pause bringing new students into the program for one year, with the expectation of welcoming a new cohort of graduate students in the fall of 2022. MA applications continue to be welcomed during this pause.




The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) engages in the interdisciplinary humanistic study and teaching of the cultures of the Near East (often called the Middle East) as they express themselves in languages and texts, including both written and oral sources, as well as art, architecture, archaeology and material culture.

campus in autumn

Fall 2020 at PENN

Fall is different this year.....

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Sphinx at Penn Museum

New Home for the Sphinx

Work continues on the Egyptian Gallery, but the Sphinx is in his permanent home.  The new Sphinx Gallery, created by removing and covering the 1915 stairs to the Harrison Auditorium, will also house objects from each curatorial section, regularly rotated displays of a single highlighted object in an elegant small circular space, and a comfortable visitor seating and orientation area, as well as a new passenger elevator.

Relocated Sphinx


Arabic Conversation Hour

Muhammed Zakaria
Oct 8, 2020 - Dec 3, 2020 at - | A Zoom Event

Join us for We Speak Arabic Here@Arabic Conversation Hour every Thursday 6-7:30 pm lead by Muhammed Zakaria.  Muhammed is a Foreign Language…