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. Established in 1953, NEJS is one of the oldest and largest programs of its kind outside of the State of Israel. Our multidisciplinary department is committed to innovative research and teaching in a broad range of fields including:

  • Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East
  • Ancient and Medieval Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Studies
  • Jewish history, culture, and religion through the Modern period, including the study of Israel 

The program includes dedicated language instruction in three languages - Hebrew, Arabic and Yiddish with opportunities to pursue more specialized instruction as well. To read more about our academic programs, visit the department's website. Application information can be found below.

Apply Financial Aid Program Site

How to Apply

Please note: 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
  • 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

Application 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 send official transcripts to our office. Official transcripts sent prior to an offer of admission will be destroyed. For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions.

  • Three letters of recommendation, submitted online. The Bachelor's/Master's program requires only one letter of recommendation.

  • Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume, which should include your educational history, employment experience, and other relevant information.

  • Statement of purpose in essay form, indicating your reasons for undertaking graduate study. In addition, please describe your qualifications for the program and your objectives in undertaking this program. Master’s and Bachelor’s/Master’s applicants should discuss their plans for their academic and professional career and how the degree will help them attain their goals. Applicants to the Bachelor's/Master's program should also discuss how they plan to complete their bachelor's degree requirements along with beginning master's coursework. Doctoral applicants should outline their research interests and how they would complement those of the faculty.

  • 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 for the PhD, standalone master's, and joint master's program in NEJS/WGS. Brandeis undergraduates applying to the Bachelor's/Master's program do not need to submit GRE results. 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.

  • International applicants should visit our International Students page to determine if official results from an English language proficiency exam are also required.

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