The Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to providing students with a solid foundation in the languages, cultures, and histories of the peoples of the Middle East and of the broader region, particularly those of the Jewish and Islamic traditions; in histories that have their roots in the ancient world and extend to the present; and through an array of courses that shed light 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.