Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

The Department of Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (JINELC) at Washington University is highly interdisciplinary and aims to explore the historical experience, literary, religious, and cultural expression, and political and material life of the Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern civilizations, both individually and comparatively. It is a unique program in the United States because it integrates Islamic and Jewish Studies. Through the study of language, literature, religion, history, and politics, students will find in these courses a way to deepen their appreciation of these complex and diverse societies and cultures.

For undergraduates, the department offers two types of majors: JINES (Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Studies) and Language and Culture. Within the JINES major, which focuses on history, literature, politics, and religion, majors select one of three tracks: Comparative Jewish and Islamic Studies, Islamic Studies, or Jewish Studies. The language and culture majors focus on specific languages and cultures, and students select one of two tracks: Arabic Language and Culture or Hebrew Language and Culture. The department also offers six minors: Arabic languages and literatures, Hebrew languages and literatures, Hindi languages and literatures, comparative Jewish and Islamic studies, Islamic studies, and Jewish studies.

For graduate students, JINELC offers two terminal master’s degrees in Jewish studies and Islamic and Near Eastern studies. The department does not currently offer a home-based Ph.D. program.

JINELC majors are encouraged to participate in the WashU study abroad program. The University currently sponsors a pre-approved program of study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the American University in Cairo, and the University of Haifa. Study abroad options also exist in Beer-Sheba, Tel Aviv, Prague, and Beirut.