UMass Amherst
Judaic and Near Eastern Studies

Shalom, Salaam, Welcome


A dynamic program in Judaic & Near Eastern Studies affords an exceptional and unusual educational opportunity for students. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is the only public institution of higher learning in New England – and one of the few nationwide – with a program wholly dedicated to cultivating an appreciation of the historic role played by the peoples of the Middle East and their cultures in the development of human civilization.


Students are attracted to the Department of Judaic & Near Eastern Studies for:

  • academic rigor and dedication to intellectual training of the highest order, leading to graduate work in both fields.
  • a curriculum constantly invigorated by interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • a disciplined major or minor – preparation for seminary or a career working with youth in heritage communities, or an exciting liberal arts field in itself.
  • enrichment of other majors with courses such as Jews, Christians and Islam in the Middle Ages, The Making of Modern Jewry, Sephardic Cultures and Literatures of the Spanish Diaspora, Jews of Muslim Lands: Responses to Modernity, Archaeology of Israel and Palestine.
  • a better understanding of the political landscape of the contemporary Middle East, its people, cultures, and languages.


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This site is maintained by the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, A Department of The College of Humanities and Fine Arts.