Undergraduate

Undergraduate Program

The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures introduces people, languages, cultures, and societies of the Near and Middle East to the students. Beyond the development of skills in one or more of the languages of the region, a wide variety of directions of study is available to students. We offer a major leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree, and minors in Arabic, Persian, Islamic Studies, and Near Eastern Civilization.

Courses are also available to students in other disciplines who wish to acquire a working knowledge of a Near Eastern language or satisfy a foreign language requirement. Students considering careers in government and foreign service, law, journalism, education, or business, among others, and those who anticipate graduate study in Near Eastern or related fields may be particularly interested in NELC courses.

Courses in Near Eastern literatures and cultures, many of which are open to students with no knowledge of these languages, may be used in conjunction with other disciplines such as Comparative Literature, English, Folklore, and Linguistics, or to satisfy college distribution requirements. Many courses can also be taken as electives.

The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures offers a minor in six different tracks: Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Kurdish, Islamic Studies, and Near Eastern Civilizations.

Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours within the department.

  • Nine of these credit hours must be taken in the NELC department or relevant courses in affiliated departments on the Bloomington campus. No more than six credit hours of foreign-study, transfer, or special credits can be accepted with the consent of the department's undergraduate advisor. COAS Topics courses taught by NELC faculty can count toward the NELC minor.
  • For the minor tracks in Arabic, Turkish, Persian and Kurdish, two courses are required in the appropriate Near Eastern language. This requirement cannot be satisfied through testing. In addition, at least three credit hours are required in a course related in content to the student's primary language, but not a language course per se.
  • For the minor tracks in Islamic Studies and Near Eastern Civilization, students must take 15 credit hours, selected from the broad array of departmental courses.

Each student's course work must be approved by the department.

The major is designed to provide a solid grounding in the student's area of focus and to offer an in-depth look at the ways in which modern scholars seek to understand the languages and cultures that have come from the Near East.

With a basic training in Near Eastern languages as the student's starting point, NELC and its adjunct departments offer serious coursework in various topics of Near Eastern study.

Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 25 credit hours within the department. Students need to select one of the two tracks offered in NELC: the culture track or the language track, as outlined below.

Culture Track

  1. Two years or the equivalent of Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, or Persian.
  2. Seven additional courses chosen with the consent of the undergraduate advisor.

Language Track

  1. Three years of Arabic, Hebrew, or Persian, including two semesters of study at the advanced level.
  2. Five additional courses chosen with the consent of the department's undergraduate advisor.

Students must also complete the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Current Courses

Listings of NELC classes offered for the past several years through the present day may be found on the IU Schedule of Classes. Descriptions for NELC courses offerred between 1998 and the fall semester of 2011 may be found at the IU Course Descriptions website.

The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures offers a diverse array of courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level within five main tracks of study:

  • Arabic Language and Linguistics (A)
  • Egyptology (E)
  • Islamic Studies (IS)
  • Middle Eastern Cultures and Civilizations (MEC)
  • Middle Eastern Literatures (MEL)
  • Middle Eastern Religions (MER)

Courses followed by an asterisk (*) are crosslisted from another department. Please note that not all courses are offered every semester.

Arabic Language and Linguistics (A)

A100–150 Elementary Arabic (A)
A200–250 Intermediate Arabic (A)
A300–350 Advanced Arabic (A)
N181–182 Qur'anic Arabic (A)
N223 Conversational Arabic (A)
N255 Multimedia Arabic (A)
N310 Arabic Composition (A)
N312 Arabic Grammar (A)
N329 Arabic Phonetics and Phonology (A)
N394 Individual Readings in Modern Arabic (A)
N398 Readings in Arabic Language and Linguistics (A)
N393 Individual Readings in Classical Arabic Literature (IS, MEL, A)

Egyptology (E)

E100–150 Elementary Hieroglyphic Egyptian (E)
E200 Intermediate Middle Egyptian (E)
E201 Ancient Egyptian History and Civilization (E)
E204 Myths, Legends and Poetry of Ancient Egypt (E)
E250 Late Egyptian: Grammar and Texts (E)
E300 Demotic Egyptian I: Grammar and Script (E)
E301 Religions of Ancient Egyptian (E)
E350 Demotic Egyptian II: Persian and Ptolemaic Texts (E)

Islamic Studies (IS)

E104 Voices from Africa: History in Novels, Films, and Memoirs
E336 History of East Africa (IS, MEC) *
E338 History of Muslim West Africa (IS, MEC) *
F430 Islam among the Folk (IS, MER, MEC) *
N205 Topics in Near Eastern Culture and Literature
N220 Muhammad: Life of the Prophet (IS, MER, MEC)
N265 Introduction to Islamic Civilization (IS, MER, MEC)
N350 Khomeini: Roots of Revolution (IS, MEC, MER)
N365 Islamic Philosophy (IS, MER, MEC)
N370 Qur'anic Studies (IS, MEL, MER)
N385 Persian Mystical Literature in Translation (IS, MEL)
N393 Individual Readings in Classical Arabic Literature (IS, MEL, A)
R152 Introduction To Religions of the West (IS, MER) *
R257 Introduction to Islam (IS, MER) *
R300 Topics in Islam (IS, MER) *
R356 Islamic Mysticism (IS, MER) *
R367 Shi'ite Islam (IS, MER) *
R456 Topics in the Study of Islam (IS, MER) *
U394 Islam in the Soviet Union and Successor States (IS, MEC) *
U493 Central Asia in the 16th-19th Centuries (IS, MEC) *
U498 Studies in Inner Asian Religious Traditions

Middle Eastern Cultures and Civilizations (MEC)

E336 History of East Africa (IS, MEC) *
E338 History of Muslim West Africa (IS, MEC) *
F307 Middle Eastern Folklore/Folklife/Folk Music
F420 Health and Morbidity in Traditional Cultures (MEC) *
F430 Islam among the Folk (IS, MER, MEC) *
H203 Islamic Civilization to 1300 CE (MEC) *
N220 Muhammad: Life of the Prophet (IS, MER, MEC)
N265 Introduction to Islamic Civilization (IS, MER, MEC)
N350 Khomeini: Roots of Revolution (IS, MEC, MER)
N365 Islamic Philosophy (IS, MER, MEC)
N241 Contemporary Israeli Culture (MEC)
U311 Prophets, Poets, and Kings: Iranian Civilization (MEC, MER) *
U320 Topics in Central Eurasian Studies
U394 Islam in the Soviet Union and Successor States (IS, MEC) *
U397 Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (MEC)
U398 Peoples and Cultures of Central Asia (MEC) *
U493 Central Asia in the 16th-19th Centuries (IS, MEC)*
U498 Studies in Inner Asian Religious Traditions

Middle Eastern Literatures (MEL)

C370 Arabic-Western Literary Relations (MEL) *
E103 Topics in Arts and Humanities
F307 Middle Eastern Folklore/Folklife/Folk Music
L367 The Literature of the Bible (MEL, MER) *
N205 Topics in Near Eastern Culture and Literature
N240 Directed Readings in Persian Literature (MEL)
N370 Qur'anic Studies (IS, MEL, MER)
N380 Topics in Persian Literature in Translation (MEL)
N385 Persian Mystical Literature in Translation (IS, MEL)
N388 Recent Hebrew Literature in English
N393 Individual Readings in Classical Arabic Literature (IS, MEL, A)
N395 S. Y. Agnon and the Jewish Experience (MEL)
N492 Research in Classical Persian Texts (MEL)
N495 Directed Readings in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (MEL)
N497 Individual Readings in Hebrew
R311 Narrative in the Hebrew Bible (MEL, MER) *
R445 Topics in History of Judaism

Middle Eastern Religions (MER)

B325 Judaism and Christianity in Conflict (MER) *
C400 Studies in Comparative Literature
E103 Topics in Arts and Humanities
E334 Jews in Moslem Society (MER) *
F307 Middle Eastern Folklore/Folklife/Folk Music
F430 Islam among the Folk (IS, MER, MEC) *
L367 The Literature of the Bible (MEL, MER) *
N205 Topics in Near Eastern Culture and Literature
N220 Muhammad: Life of the Prophet (IS, MER, MEC)
N265 Introduction to Islamic Civilization (IS, MER, MEC)
N350 Khomeini: Roots of Revolution (IS, MEC, MER)
N365 Islamic Philosophy (IS, MER, MEC)
N370 Qur'anic Studies (IS, MEL, MER)
R152 Introduction To Religions of the West (IS, MER) *
R210 Introduction to the Old Testament (MER) *
R257 Introduction to Islam (IS, MER)*
R300 Topics in Islam (IS, MER) *
R310 Prophecy in Ancient Israel (MER) *
R311 Narrative in the Hebrew Bible (MEL, MER)*
R317 Judaism in the Making (MER) *
R342 Religious Thought in Medieval Judaism (MER)*
R356 Islamic Mysticism (IS, MER) *
R367 Shi'ite Islam (IS, MER) *
R410 Topics in Israelite Religion (MER) * (C400, above)
R425 Introduction to Judaism (MER) *
R445 Topics in History of Judaism
R456 Topics in the Study of Islam (IS, MER) *
U311 Prophets, Poets, and Kings: Iranian Civilization (MEC, MER) *
U320 Topics in Central Eurasian Studies
U498 Studies in Inner Asian Religious Traditions

 

The departmental honors program is designed to provide outstanding students with an in-depth training in Arabic or Persian. Such students are encouraged to enroll in this program in their junior or senior year.

Honors students must complete a minimum of two courses:

  1. N399 Reading for Honors (3 cr.)
  2. N499 Honors Thesis (3 cr.)

Students interested in enrolling in N399 should consult the departmental honors advisors and the appropriate language supervisor for Arabic or Persian.

In N399 students will do advanced readings in Arabic or Persian in preparation for work on a research project.

N499 involves a research project leading to the completion of the student's honors thesis. This course should be taken under the supervision of the faculty tutor who guided the student in N399.


General Education at NELC

All IUB undergraduate students who matriculate in or after first summer session of 2011 are required to complete the campuswide GenEd program prior to graduation. This new curriculum is intended to ensure that, through the Common Ground requirements, all undergraduates at IUB develop a host of essential skills in arts and humanities, social and historical studies, natural and mathematical sciences, and world languages and cultures. The GenEd Curriculum also includes Shared Goals of intensive writing experience, information fluency, an understanding of diversity in the United States, and other enriching educational experiences. The Common Ground requirements are the same for all undergraduate students, regardless of their school or academic unit. Shared Goals are implemented by the schools in ways that complement their degree programs. For a list of NELC courses offered to satisfy the General Education requirements, consult the GenEd master list.

Breadth of Inquiry: Arts and Humanities
NELC-N 212 Contemporary Literatures of the Middle East (in English Translation)

Breadth of Inquiry: Social and Historical Studies
NELC-N 122 U.S. Foreign Policy and the Muslim World
NELC-N 208 Muslim Communities in Europe and the U.S.: Transnational Islam
NELC-N 220 Muhammad: Life of the Prophet
NELC-N 265 Introduction to Islamic Civilization
NELC-N 268 Military History of the Middle East

Breadth of Inquiry: World Languages
NELC-A 100 Elementary Arabic I
NELC-A 150 Elementary Arabic II
NELC-A 160 First-Year Arabic
NELC-A 200 Intermediate Arabic I
NELC-A 250 Intermediate Arabic II

Breadth of Inquiry: World Cultures
NELC-N 204 Topics in Middle Eastern Culture and Society
NELC-N 212 Contemporary Literatures of the Middle East (in English Translation)
NELC-N 220 Muhammad: Life of the Prophet
NELC-N 265 Introduction to Islamic Civilization

Should you need more information, consult either of the following:

DEPARTMENT MEMBERCONTACTQUESTIONS REGARDING:
Aziza Khazzoom
Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
khazzoom@indiana.edu
Global and International Studies Building 3049
(812) 856-2279
Undergraduate studies, undergraduate admissions
Will Smith
Undergraduate Academic Advisor
wsmithii@indiana.edu
Global and International Studies Building 1028
(812) 855-2736
Undergraduate advising, scheduling visits to campus for prospective students, undergraduate degree requirements

Below is a summary of IU programs and Non-IU programs that may be of interest to NELC undergraduate students.

IU Programs

Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel: offers language courses in both Hebrew and Arabic as well as interdisciplinary courses focusing on Israeli and Middle Eastern Studies. This program is offered as an IU program for the semester or academic-year. Summer programs at HUJ are considered non-IU programs.

Non-IU Programs

There are many opportunities for Arabic language study both within the United States and abroad. We strongly encourage our NELC students to take advantage of these programs. The non-IU program procedures are outlined on website for the Office of Overseas Study.

  • Summer Intensive Arabic Language Studies through SIT in Amman, Jordan
  • Summer Water and Environmental Policy in the Middle East through SIT in Amman, Jordan
  • Summer Arabic at University of Virginia's program in Irbid, Jordan
  • Summer Arabic in Jordan with Arizona State University
  • CIEE programs in Amman, Jordan or Rabat, Morocco
  • IES in Rabat, Morocco
  • Economic Development, Energy, and Diversification in the Gulf through SIT in Oman

Domestic Programs

We also offer summer Arabic classes at IU-Bloomington—you can complete a full year of Arabic study (at either the Elementary or Intermediate level) in fourteen weeks! This may even be a great way to prepare yourself for a semester or year of studying abroad.
Below are some other ways to study Arabic while remaining in the United States:

Graduate Students

General Study Abroad Information, including financial aid

  • The Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies
  • Critical Languages Program (including Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu) funded by The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. All expenses paid by the government.
  • Indiana University Office of Overseas Study Financial Aid Information Page

We are Hamilton Lugar.

Read the HLS viewbook

Want to learn more?

Plan a visit

Are you ready?

Apply now