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Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations (NELC)

The NELC Minor

The requirements for students choosing a minor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations include Basic Requirements for all NELC minors and the requirements specific to a student’s chosen concentration. NELC offers concentrations in one of four areas:

* Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations (ANE).
* Arabic & Islamic Studies (Arab/Islam)
* Arabic & Hebrew Studies - modern or medieval (Arab/Heb)
* Hebrew & Judaica (Heb/Jud)

All courses taken for the minor must be taken for grade. They cannot be taken pass/fail.


Language Requirement: 4 c.u. Both basic language courses and advanced courses in literature in the original language count toward this requirement.

Electives: 4 c.u. These will normally be content courses within the chosen concentration, but each concentration may specify additional requirements. Electives must be selected for appropriateness with the student's major advisor. Students may count up to two courses from outside the Department (i.e. not cross-listed in NELC) towards the minor electives; and up to four courses, with the special approval of the student's Adviser. In no case may a student count more than half of the total minor requirements in non-NELC courses.



Ancient Near East (ANE): This concentration explores the cultures of the ancient Near East, including Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Israelite, Hittite and Persian civilizations. The language requirement will normally consist of either two years of Egyptian (ANEL 460, 461, and 462); or two years of Biblical Hebrew (HEBR 151, 152, 153, 154); or two years of West Semitic: Aramaic (ANEL 575/576 or Ugaritic (ANEL 573/574); or one year of Akkadian (ANEL 440/441) and one year of West Semitic. However, it is possible to fulfill 2 c.u. of the 4 c.u. language requirement by appropriate courses in literature in translation, such as NELC 061 (The Literary Legacy of Ancient Egypt) and NELC 342 (Intro to Mesopotamian Literature). The other language c.u. will normally consist of either one year of Egyptian (ANEL 460); or one year of Biblical Hebrew (HEBR 151/152 or 153/154); or one year of a West Semitic language, either Aramaic (ANEL 575/576) or Ugaritic (ANEL 573); or one year of Akkadian (ANEL 440/441.) Electives must include NELC 101 (Intro to the Ancient Near East).

Arabic & Islamic Studies (Arab/Islam) OR Persian Language & Literature (PLL): This concentration explores Arabic, Persian and/or Turkish cultures in the context of Islamic civilization. The 4 c.u.’s of the language requirement may be chosen from the following :

* ARAB: 031, 032, 033, 034, 035, 036, 037,432, 433, 436
* PERS: 011, 012, 013, 014
* TURK: 021, 022, 023, 024

The electives should be chosen in consultation with the student's Adviser and include one course each in history, religion and literature. For a list of courses that satisfy the elective requirements for this concentration, see the list of approved electives for the major concentration at

Arabic & Hebrew Studies (Arab/Heb): This concentration explores the inter-relationships between Arabic and Hebrew cultures within the modern and/or medieval periods. The language requirement is normally fulfilled by second-year level of proficiency in both Arabic and Hebrew (4 c.u.). Thus, this minor is available to only those students who enter with some degree of proficiency in one of these languages. Should a student enter with a second-year level of proficiency (demonstrated by a placement test) in one of the languages, the required 4 c.u.’s must be used in the study of the second language. Students who enter with less than a second-year level of proficiency in one of the languages must consult with the Adviser to see if it is possible to achieve a second year level of proficiency in both languages which may require using some electives for language courses. The four electives must include courses that deal with both Arabic and Hebrew cultures within the modern and/or medieval periods and should include courses from the areas of history, literature and religion.

Hebrew & Judaica (Heb/Jud): This concentration explores Hebrew culture from the Biblical through the Rabbinic and Medieval periods and modern times. Students without previous knowledge of Hebrew are required to fulfill the language requirement (4 c.u.) with modern (HEBR 051-054) or Biblical (HEBR 151-154) Hebrew. Of the four remaining electives, 2 c.u.’s must be in the study of Hebrew texts from at least two of the following three areas: Biblical, rabbinic or medieval, and modern Hebrew literature. For students with previous knowledge of Hebrew who place above HEBR 051, the corresponding number of language c.u. requirements will be converted to additional electives. (NOTE: For students who already have fulfilled the language requirement in Hebrew when they first matriculate at the University, the minor requirement is reduced to 6 c.u., of which 3 c.u.’s are to be in the study of Hebrew texts from each of the following three areas: Biblical literature, rabbinic or medieval literature and modern Hebrew literature. The remaining three c.u.’s will be electives chosen in consultation with the student’s Adviser.