The graduate program, the oldest of its kind in the nation, is designed to train professional scholars and teachers in four main areas: Egyptology, Assyriology, Northwest Semitic languages and literatures (including Hebrew Bible), and Near Eastern archaeology and art. The courses may be modified in particular years to suit the needs of students currently in residence. Reading and private study under the direction of the faculty are considered as important as work in class. The seminars allow small groups of students and faculty to engage in close study of special problems. As the program is intended to lead to the Ph.D., students are admitted as candidates for the M.A. only in unusual cases.
The department awards most students admitted to the Ph.D. program who are in need of financial aid a basic annual fellowship covering full tuition and a full stipend for living expenses for up to five years. For some of this period, the department’s support may take the form of a teaching assistantship. In addition, the period of support may be extended by the various competitive awards available to advanced students within the university. When appropriate, the department will award travel stipends for graduate students to participate in archaeological excavations in the Near East or visit collections in this country and abroad.
For further information on graduate study in Near Eastern Studies, visit the departmental website at http://neareast.jhu.edu/.
Students working full time toward the Ph.D. may expect to do three to four years of course work, after which comprehensive examinations must be written before work on the dissertation begins. The examinations cover a student’s major and minor fields of concentration. After passing these examinations, the student, in consultation with the faculty, prepares a dissertation proposal for faculty consideration and then proceeds to write the dissertation.
An ability to read scholarly French and German is necessary, and an examination in one of these must be passed within the first semester of residence at Hopkins. The examination in the other may be delayed not more than one year. Some command of Greek and Latin is necessary to pursue biblical studies.