Professor ChaeRan Freeze with students in class

ChaeRan Freeze, Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies


Brandeis University's Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (NEJS) bears a proud tradition of scholarly excellence in the fields that it embraces:

NEJS is one of the oldest and largest programs of its type outside of the State of Israel. We have the largest faculty in Jewish Studies of any secular American university. At Brandeis, students have the opportunity to study with the scholars who are, in many cases, the foremost experts in the world in their field. Our internationally renowned faculty has published dozens of books and hundreds of articles. Many are known throughout the world.

Degree Options


We encourage you to explore one of the department's greatest assets through our faculty pages.

Courses and Degree Requirements

For the most updated course listing, course descriptions, and degree requirements, please visit the Registrar.

How to Apply

Please note: Applicants to the Hornstein/NEJS Dual MA should consult the admission information on the Hornstein website. Applicants to the Joint MA in Coexistence & Conflict and NEJS should visit the Heller School's website.

Application Deadlines

  • PhD: January 15; fall admission only
  • MA: Applications received by January 15 will be given first consideration, though applications will be accepted through May 1
  • Joint MA in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and NEJS: January 15
  • BA/MA: Current undergraduates should apply for the BA/MA program during their sixth semester at Brandeis using our online application

Admission Requirements

To apply for all programs, you need to submit:

  • Online application;

  • Application fee;

  • Transcripts from all universities and colleges attended must be uploaded to your application; do not mail official transcripts to our office. For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions;

  • Three letters of recommendation, submitted online. The BA/MA program requires only one letter of recommendation.

  • Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume;

  • Statement of purpose‚ indicating your reasons for undertaking graduate study. In addition, please describe your qualifications for the academic program and your objectives in undertaking this program.

  • Writing Sample‚ not exceeding 35 pages; the 35-page maximum may consist of a single critical essay or two shorter essays of approximately equal length.

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)‚ recommended but not required. Brandeis undergraduates applying to the BA/MA program do not need the GRE. Note: For the joint MA in NEJS/Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program, the GREIS‚ required. Our GRE institution code is 3092 (please note: this institution code only applies to GRE scores).

  • International applicants: Additional requirements for international applicants (non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents), minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores, and important information regarding visas. If you are submitting TOEFL scores, please note that our TOEFL institution code is 3261.

For a more comprehensive description of application requirements, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Generous scholarships and financial aid are available; for more information please visit Financial Aid.

Careers and Alumni

Students and alumni can work closely with Career Services for an array of resources including CV/resume help, job search, and networking.