Programs by Campus
Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
School of Global and International Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Departmental E-mail: nelc [at] indiana [dot] edu
Departmental URL: http://www.indiana.edu/%7enelc/
(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)
Special Departmental Requirements
(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)
International applicants (non-U.S. citizens, non green–card holders) whose native language is not English are required to submit TOEFL scores only. U.S. applicants (U.S. citizens or green–card holders) or students whose native language is English are required to submit GRE scores only. Applicants from any country of which the principal language is not English must take the TOEFL, even if they consider themselves to have native or near-native fluency in English. Consult with the Director of Graduate Studies for more information.
- International applicants who have their bachelor’s degree from an institution in the Indiana University system should normally submit GRE scores only. Consult the Director of Graduate Studies or Chair.
- U.S. citizens who have been educated abroad (e.g., dual nationals from the Arab world) and have their bachelor’s degree from non-U.S., non–English language institutions, should normally submit TOEFL scores only. Consult the director of graduate studies or chair.
Master of Arts in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC)
Students must take a minimum of 36 credit hours of graduate courses in Near Eastern studies. These can be courses offered by the NELC department itself or, with the approval of the NELC Director of Graduate Studies and Chair, courses offered by other departments or schools appropriate to the course of study of the student. Each student’s curriculum must be approved by his/her academic advisor (the Director of Graduate Studies).
- 6 credits of the required course work must be fulfilled by the courses in two of the following fields: the ancient (pre-Islamic), pre-modern (medieval), or modern (1500 CE to present) history of the Middle East, chosen with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
- At least 3 credit hours of the course work must be fulfilled by a methodology / theory course from a discipline in the student’s personal academic interest, selected with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
- At least 12 credit hours of coursework in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish language(s). For this requirement, students choose one of the two options below:
a. "One major language" track: In this option, students are required to complete 12 credits in their chosen Middle Eastern (ME) Language. Out of these 12 credits, at least 6 credits must be obtained through language study at the fourth-year Advanced Level. In the case of Arabic, this is Advanced Arabic III (3 credits) and Advanced Arabic IV (3 credits). In the case of other major NELC languages, the equivalent must be completed. Students who begin their MA program at the fourth-year level or above may, with the prior approval of the course instructor and Director of Graduate Studies, count non-language courses in which they make substantial use of their major NELC language toward the 12 credits. These are courses in which the student reads primary sources in the chosen language. In the case of Hebrew, language credits can be fulfilled with a combination of Modern and Biblical Hebrew courses. The combination of courses and required levels must be approved by the Director of the Hebrew Language Program, housed in NELC.
b. "Two languages" track: In this option, in addition to a major ME language as described above, the student also chooses a second ME language and is required to fulfill 6 credits at the Intermediate (second-year) Level or above.
At the conclusion of their coursework, the following additional requirements must be met:
- Students who are not native speakers of their major language will take a two-hour comprehensive exam in their major language, which will (a) test all four language skills (reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking) and (b) include a translation exercise. Students who are native speakers of their major language will normally take a comprehensive language exam in their minor language at the highest level attained, but at least Intermediate II. Students who are native speakers of their major language and who are following the “one major language” (terminal MA) track, and who have not studied a minor language, will take a two-hour written examination in a subject area to be agreed upon with the DGS.
- Take a two-hour comprehensive exam in history covering two of the following three areas: ancient, pre-modern/medieval, and/or modern Middle East.
- Submit a suitable term or seminar paper substantially revised and expanded, which must demonstrate the following:
a. a clear understanding of the chosen topic;
b. the ability to conceive and carry out an original project of a scholarly nature, including the use of primary and secondary texts in the original language, where appropriate;
c. an advanced level of critical or theoretical insight;
d. command of academic English;
e. competence in the proper use of research and bibliographic tools.
The paper must be modeled, both in format and in intellectual substance, on articles that would be acceptable for publication in a scholarly journal of an appropriate sub-discipline of Near Eastern Studies.
Students must notify the Director of Graduate Studies of their intention to take the MA examinations before the end of the preceding semester. The examining committee will be composed of three faculty members, including the faculty members responsible for the language exam, the history exam, and the individual research paper. If additional faculty readers are required to fill the committee, they will be appointed by the DGS. All examiners and readers must be members of the NELC Graduate Faculty; any exceptions must be approved in writing by the Department Chair. The exams should be taken and the paper submitted in the final semester of the student’s coursework or shortly thereafter, in accordance with the University Graduate School rules.
Students who fail an exam may be offered one opportunity to retake it. Those who do not successfully pass the exams by the end of their sixth semester may be placed on probation and subsequently dismissed from the program for lack of progress as described in the "Academic Regulations" section of the Bulletin.
Dual M.P.A./M.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Students pursuing a dual Master of Public Affairs/Master of Arts in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures will complete a total of 66 credit hours: 36 credit hours in the Master of Public Affairs program plus 30 credit hours in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.
M.P.A. Core (18 Cr.)
- SPEA V502 Public Management
- SPEA V506 Statistical Analysis for Effective Decision Making
- SPEA V517 Public Management Economics
- SPEA V540 Law and Public Affairs
- SPEA V560 Public Finance and Budgeting
- SPEA V600 Capstone in Public and Environmental Affairs
M.P.A. Concentration (18 credits)
Students will complete 18 credit hours pertaining to one of the specialized concentration areas of the MPA, with courses to be chhosen in consultation with a SPEA faculty advisor.
M.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (30 credits)
Students will complete 12-18 credits in graduate-level courses on the culture, history, politics, and religious traditions of the Middle East.
Students will complete 12-18 credit hours of graduate level courses in an appropriate Middle Eastern language. Students should complete their language to at least the third year level (i.e., in the case of Arabic, to the level of A670, Advanced Arabic II), and must take no fewer than 12 credits of language courses. For students who begin their program with a high level of proficiency in their major language (whether attained through previous instruction or because they are native speakers), the 12-hour minimum in language can include seminars or research courses with substantial content in the major language, to be approved by the NELC DGS.
Students will submit a term or seminar paper (i.e., a paper originally written in one of their courses) substantially revised and expanded, and meeting the following criteria:
A clear understanding of a chosen topic
Demonstrated ability to conceive and carry out an original project of a scholarly nature, including the use of primary and secondary texts in the original language, where appropriate
An advanced level of critical or theoretical insight
Command of expository English
Competence in the proper use of research and bibliographic tools
The paper should be suitable in form and content for publication in a professional journal in a recognized sub-field of Middle Eastern Studies.
Students will undergo two, two-hour comprehensive examinations in Middle Eastern language, history and culture. Students who are not native-speakers of their major language will undergo a four-skill language examination, along with a two-hour written examination in Middle Eastern history. Students who are native speakers of their major language will undergo a two-hour history examination and a second two-hour examination in a field to be determined in consultation with Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Director of Graduate Studies.
Select List of Representative NELC Courses that may Count towards the Dual Degree:
- Arabic 600 Intermediate Arabic I
- Arabic 660 Advanced Arabic I
- The Cultural History of the Middle East
- Researching Politics of Muslim Countries
- States and Societies in Muslim Central Asia and the Middle East
- Islam and Politics in Muslim Central Asia & Middle East
- Representations of Islam and Muslims in Ethnographic Literature of Central Asia and the Middle East
- Islam and Modernity
- African and Middle Eastern Narratives
Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC)
The Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE) is required for domestic applicants or international applicants from countries of which the principal language is English (e.g., the U.K., Canada, Australia). International applicants from any country of which the principal language is not English are required to submit TOEFL scores. Students should hold an M.A. for admission to the Ph.D. program. Students holding an M.A. from another institution should include a writing sample as part of their application for admission. Students with an M.A. from the Indiana University Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC) will be asked to submit a statement of their Ph.D. plans as part of their admission dossier to the Ph.D. program. Successful completion of the NELC M.A. does not guarantee admission to the NELC Ph.D. program.
A minimum of 90 credit hours of graduate work (including credits earned for the M.A.), plus dissertation. The students’ courses must be approved by the Ph.D. advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.
Three languages are required for the NELC Ph.D.:
- The major NELC language (normally Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish): a minimum of 12 credit hours beyond the fourth-year proficiency required by the M.A. for continuing students or above the third-year level for incoming students, in courses approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
- The minor NELC language (normally, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish): minimum of 6 credit hours at the third-year level or above in courses approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Biblical and Modern Hebrew at the elementary and intermediate levels can be combined to satisfy the third-year level requirement with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
- A European research language (normally, French, German or Spanish), tested according to the rulles of the Graduate College.
The choice of languages must be pertinent to the student’s graduate curriculum and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Other languages may be substituted where deemed appropriate by the Director of Graduate Studies.
Students are required to minor in an outside department or program. Students must fulfill the relevant department’s rules for outside minors. The choice of minor should be made in consultation with the student's graduate advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.
Students will be examined on one major and two minor NELC fields. The three fields should be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Written examinations will be given by at least two professors, the major field lasting for three hours, and the minor field exams for two hours each. Upon successful completion of the written examinations, a student will take the oral examination within four weeks of the written examination. These examinations may be retaken once in whole or in part at the discretion of the examination committee.
Oral defense of the dissertation.
Ph.D. Minor in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Students from other departments are welcome to minor in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures as part of their doctoral program. To do so, they are required to take at least 12 credit hours of graduate-level course work, to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies so as to form a coherent program. Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average for the minor as a whole. Up to 12 credit hours may be transferred from other institutions toward the NELC outside Ph.D. minor, but at least 6 credit hours must be completed in the IU NELC department.
Termination of Enrollment in the Doctoral Program
If a doctoral student fails the written qualifying examinations twice, fails the oral qualifying exam twice, falls below a 3.5 average, or fails to complete the written and oral examinations by the end of the approved length of time, the director of graduate studies, in consultation with the research committee, can initiate steps to terminate the student’s enrollment in the program.