For more information

"The support and constant encouragement from my advisor, other professors and staff at NEJS on the sometimes bumpy road of graduate studies made this process so much easier and more enjoyable than it otherwise might have been. Once you are accepted, people always believe in your ability to finish and succeed. It's a very constructive academic environment."

For More Information

For further information about the graduate program, contact the graduate program adviser:

Eugene Sheppard
NEJS Department, MS 054
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02454-9110
(781) 736-2965

New Graduate Program Advisor effective July 1, 2015:
ChaeRan Freeze
NEJS Department, MS 054
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02453-9110
(781) 736-2987

For help on general questions (e.g., housing, scholarships and the like), see the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences FAQ.

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Why Brandeis?


Professor Ilan Troen with NEJS students

Brandeis’ Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies is one of the oldest, most extensive programs outside of the State of Israel, with the largest faculty in Jewish Studies of any secular American university.

At Brandeis NEJS an internationally renowned faculty, authors of dozens of books and hundreds of articles, provides unequaled training. There are compelling reasons why you should consider Brandeis:

Intellectual Diversity

NEJS itself represents a wide variety of areas, approaches and methodologies. We cover literature, philology, history, sociology, law, religious studies and gender studies. In addition to ancient near eastern religions and Judaism, we focus on Islamic and Christian studies. In addition, Brandeis has an array of graduate programs that complement and overlap with the graduate program in NEJS, including politics, history, sociology, and English and American literature.

First-Class Training

The Near Eastern and Judaic Studies program is a highly selective program that trains students in a variety of areas. As part of a liberal arts college, it emphasizes teaching and critical thinking, research and writing skills. Small classes and opportunities for independent studies offer close contact with faculty.

Dedicated Mentoring

Brandeis emphasizes small classes and genuine mentorship; each student has the opportunity to work closely with distinguished scholars.


To enable qualified students to attend Brandeis, the graduate school has a need-based scholarship fund that allows a partial reduction in the cost of tuition and fees.

Connected Institutes and Centers

Brandeis is home to a wide array of Jewish studies centers and institutes that provide programming, promote research and scholarship, and offer opportunities for involving students in their work. These include: the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, Hornstein: The Jewish Community Leadership Program @ Brandeis, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, the National Center for Jewish Film, The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, and the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry.

Special Programs

Brandeis is one of the few universities outside of Israel that offers an extensive program in Israel studies.

Career Support

The Office of Career Services helps to identify opportunities, design an effective resume and prepare for interviews. Graduates with Master of Arts degrees from NEJS are accepted into the finest doctoral programs, and have engaged in a variety of careers in the public and private sector.

Library Resources

Goldfarb Library has a current, nationally recognized collection in most areas of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, including a large paper collection as well as the relevant electronic databases. In addition, the Boston Library Consortium allows graduate students to use books in major libraries throughout the area. Brandeis is within easy commuting distance of some of the best public and university libraries in the United States.


Brandeis students partake of the rich intellectual and cultural environment of the Boston area—from a plethora of events at area universities to the array of museums and other institutions in metropolitan Boston. It facilitates cross-registration in courses offered by different institutions, and publicizes seminars, talks and other events of interest to students of history. Several area universities also have programs in Near Eastern or Judaic Studies, offering students a group of graduate students with compatible interests.