Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies

Doctorate in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (PhD)

If you are eager to conduct substantial, original research that will contribute to the field of Jewish studies or its many related disciplines, if you wish to be both supported and intellectually challenged by world-renowned experts, and if you are looking for a lifelong community of scholars from whom and with whom to learn, consider pursuing a PhD degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis.

A PhD from the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies will lead you to engage with critical questions and do innovative research in a subject about which you’re passionate, preparing you for a life devoted to the creation and dissemination of knowledge.

Why Brandeis?

Brandeis has the largest faculty in Jewish studies of any secular American university, and is home to one of the oldest and largest programs of its type outside of Israel. These award-winning scholars will be generous with their time and knowledge even as they uphold the highest academic standards for your training.

Brandeis also hosts an impressive number of Jewish studies centers and institutes through which you can enhance your work. In addition, you may take courses at the top-notch institutions belonging to the Boston Consortium for Higher Education, a rich resource that supports collaborative research and learning.

Careers and Alumni

Brandeis PhDs in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies go on to impressive academic careers at the finest universities here and abroad, and have engaged in a variety of careers in the public and private sector. Recent PhDs include a rabbi, a U.S. Naval officer, postdoctoral fellows and administrators in higher education.

Our graduates also have an impressive publication rate:

  • "Do Non-Muslims Help or Hurt Women by Wearing Hijabs?" by Celene Ibrahim PhD, appeared in the New York Times.
  • Zev Eleff PhD’15 co-authored the recent published article, "The Immigration Clause that Transformed Orthodox Judaism in the United States," in American Jewish History, with Professor Jonathan Sarna.

“The NEJS department has provided an intellectually challenging, supportive environment in which to pursue my doctoral studies. My adviser and other faculty members have been more than generous with their time and knowledge. They have challenged me to deepen my knowledge, pursue new areas of interest, and maintain the highest academic standards. My fellow graduate students have created a cooperative, intellectually stimulating atmosphere in which we share our research and support each other as we make our way through the program.”

NEJS PhD Candidate

Featured Student

Celene Ibrahim
Celene Ibrahim in The New York Times

Celene Ibrahim's article "Do Non-Muslims Help or Hurt Women by Wearing Hijabs?" was published in the New York Times Op-Ed section.

Read Celene's Article