Graduate Programs in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (NEJS)
*Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Near Eastern and Judaic studies department has made the difficult decision to pause admission to most of its PhD programs for the 2021-2022 academic year. Forgoing a cohort of new students will allow us to prioritize support for our current graduate students, which we believe is the most ethical action we can take in these circumstances.
A generous external grant will enable the NEJS department to consider applicants who are applying to become scholars at the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies (SCIS). We will consider your application this year if you are interested in becoming a Schusterman scholar. We will expand applications to other tracks within the department again in September 2021 for fall 2022 admission.*
Brandeis University's Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (NEJS) bears a proud tradition of scholarly excellence in the fields that it embraces. The study of the Jewish people, including their history, religion, literature and place in civilization, the history, languages, and culture of the Bible and ancient Near East, the study of Arabic and Islamic civilizations. 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. To read more about our academic programs, visit the department's website. Application information can be found below.
How to Apply
Please note: Applicants to the Joint MA in Coexistence & Conflict and NEJS should visit the Heller School's website.
- 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
- Dual MA in Hornstein/NEJS: January 15 and rolling thereafter. Please note that applicants to the Dual MA in Hornstein/NEJS should consult admissions information on the Hornstein website.
- Joint MA in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and NEJS: Applications received by January 15 will be given first consideration, though applications will be accepted through May 1
- Five-Year Bachelor's/Master's Program: Current undergraduates should apply for the Bachelor's/Master's program during their sixth semester at Brandeis
To apply for all programs, you need to submit:
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. Please note that if you are applying to the joint MA program in NEJS/WGS for the 2021-2022 academic year, your application will receive full consideration even if you are unable to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Typically, the GRE General Test is required for the joint program. If you will be submitting results from this exam, our GRE institution code is 3092 (please note: this ETS institution code only applies to GRE scores). MyBest™ scores from ETS will not be accepted.
Additional Requirements for International Applicants: Score report from one of the following English language proficiency exams: TOEFL iBT, TOEFL Revised Paper-delivered Test, TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solution, IELTS Academic, PTE Academic, or Duolingo English Test. You can arrange for the delivery of your TOEFL iBT or Revised Paper-delivered Test score report by providing ETS with our institution code, 3261 (no department code is necessary); please note that MyBest™ scores from ETS will not be accepted. Delivery of your TOEFL ITP Plus scores can be arranged via your Vericant account, delivery of your Duolingo scores can be arranged via your Duolingo account, and delivery of your PTE Academic scores can be arranged via your Pearson account. Further information about this requirement can be found on the International Students page.
For a more comprehensive description of application requirements, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.