Shalom, Salaam, Welcome
The Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts
at Amherst is committed to providing students with a solid foundation in the languages,
cultures, and histories of the peoples of the Middle East and in their various diasporic
settings. A wide array of courses offers students the opportunity to examine the Jewish
and Islamic traditions from their beginnings in the ancient world to their impact on
contemporary society, culture, politics, literature, and film. Two robust programs, one
in Judaic Studies and the other in Middle Eastern Studies, function side by side, both
independently and harmoniously, in an atmosphere of shared resources, intellectual
traditions, and research methodologies.
With its broad emphasis on language, culture, and history and its focus on writing,
analysis, and research, Judaic and Near Eastern Studies is an excellent liberal arts degree
for students seeking careers in academia, education, community work, and the arts. A
degree in either Judaic Studies or Middle Eastern Studies also fosters the kinds of skills
necessary in any profession involving historical and cultural understanding, critical
analysis, effective argumentation, thorough research, and effective writing.