Graduate

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.

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The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) offers PhD and MA degrees in five distinct fields. Our PhD procedures and MA procedures conform to the general guidelines formulated by Penn’s Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences. However, individual fields of study may have their own additional specific requirements. 

Graduate students in NELC, whether at the MA or PhD level, will work closely with the faculty of the NELC Graduate Group, whose members include not just NELC departmental faculty but also faculty from across the University whose interests and specialties involve the advanced study of the Near East and its cultures.

An advanced degree in NELC can lead to any number of careers. Our NELC graduates commonly adopt careers in academia, but not always. Recent graduates are employed as faculty in the full range of private and public research universities and smaller liberal-arts colleges. But many have also found distinguished careers in museums, government, journalism, diplomacy, and other areas, as can be seen from this list of our graduates and their theses from the past 150 years or so. Currently, NELC has one of the best placement records of any department in the Humanities at Penn.