I have had several people email me who are interested in pursuing a PhD in Semitics or ancient Near Eastern fields. To help others who might be thinking of these things, I have compiled a short list of North American programs that I think are worthy of serious consideration to anyone who is interested in these areas (a list of non-North American programs is forthcoming). This list is also included in the links at the left of the page.
A note or two about the programs that I included (and didn’t include) lest I receive the ire of many a professor and/or program director. This particular list includes programs that are traditionally focused more on the primary sources of the languages and cultures of the ancient Near East during and before the Achaemenid period than secondary literature (one could include other foci of study such as Qumran texts, Septuagint(s) study, etc. but this isn’t the focus of this particular site). This list does not include traditional Old Testament/Hebrew Bible programs of which there are many good ones. I am personally persuaded that if someone is interested in biblical studies, the best way to prepare for this is to get intense training in biblical and cognate languages and cultures and take a few classes or study the secondary literature and modern approaches on your own. In other words, in traditional humanistic spirit–ad fontes! Therefore, this list reflects this bias.
I may have inadvertently omitted a program or two and if you feel this is the case, please let me know.
- Catholic University of America (we’ll have to see how they repopulate the Semitics faculty)