Message From Chair

schniedewindWelcome to the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC) at UCLA. We believe our department is one of the finest all around departments of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures in the United States and is growing. As you navigate through this website, you'll note that our department has excellent degree programs in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (including Arabic and Islamics, Armenian, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Iranian, Turkish) and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations (including Assyriology and Sumerology, Biblical Studies, Egyptology, Near Eastern Archaeology).  We offer a comprehensive body of undergraduate and graduate courses. Our students are committed to excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.  We have an outstanding faculty that is collectively dedicated to offering high quality graduate and undergraduate education, ground-breaking research and professional service.

The faculty is also committed to working with students on cooperative research projects and preparing them for future education and careers in the field. Students and faculty are affiliated with and supported by several research centers on campus including the Center for Near Eastern Studies (, the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology (, the Center for Jewish Studies (, the Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies (http:// and the Center for the Study of Religion ( These research centers support the ongoing research and intellectual life of faculty as well as both undergraduate and graduate students by hosting conferences and symposia, sponsoring lectures, and providing funds for research and travel (for both students and faculty).

The Near Eastern Languages & Cultures faculty is fully committed to making the educational experience as meaningful and enriching as possible. We see ourselves as “adventurers in search of ideas.” Should you be interested in knowing more about our department, please feel free to contact us. We welcome you to visit our beautiful campus in West Los Angeles, come and sit in on some of our classes and talk to our faculty and students.

William Schniedewind
Chair, Near Eastern Languages & Cultures Department