Undergraduate Minor Program

A minor in NELC certifies that your undergraduate coursework at the University of Chicago has prepared you with language skills and cultural competency that can give you an advantage on the job market for a wide variety of careers –in business, in medicine or law, or in the public sector.

Students in the College with an interest in the languages and cultures of the Middle East or of the ancient Near East who are majoring in other subjects (whether in the Biological Sciences, the Humanities, the Physical Sciences or the Social Sciences) and are unable to complete all of the required courses for a NELC double major, may instead acquire a minor in NELC by taking six courses. 

The requirements for the NELC minor are described below. The Director of Undergraduate Studies, and the Department Coordinator, Amanda Young, are available to answer questions, discuss programs of study, and support students as they make their way through the minor in NELC. Students who wish to take a minor in NELC must meet with the DUS before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year to declare their intention to complete the minor. Students must submit the CONSENT TO COMPLETE A MINOR PROGRAM form to their College adviser by the deadline above. Students are encouraged to track their progress through requirements by using our minor worksheet.


Six courses are required for a NELC minor. Students may choose one of two tracks. Both tracks require a two-or three-quarter NELC civilization sequence. Students using a NELC sequence to satisfy the general education requirement in civilization studies may, with DUS approval, subsitute additional NELC languages or NELC electives in place of a second civ sequence. 

Courses in the minor may not be double counted with a student's major(s) or with other minors, and they may not be counted toward general education requirements. Courses in the minor must be taken for quality grades. 

Track 1 (Language) includes at least three courses of one NELC language. A language track minor can also consist of six language courses in one or more related languages with DUS approval.

Language Track Sample Minor

AKKD 10101-10102-10103 Elementary Akkadian

NEHC 20001-20002-20004 Ancient Near Eastern History and Society

Language Track Sample Minor

ARAB 20101-20102-20103. Intermediate Arabic

NEHC 20601-20602-20603 Islamic Thought and Literature

Language Track Sample Minor (for students who take a NELC sequence to satisfy civilizations studies requirement)

ARAB 20101-20102-20103. Intermediate Arabic

ARAB 30101-30102 High Intermediate Modern Standard Arabi

ARAB 10250 Colloquial Levantine Arabic

TRACK 2 (Culture) replaces language study with courses in such topics as archaeology, history, religion, or literature in translation.

Culture Track Sample Minor

NEHC 20011-20012-20013. Ancient Empires
NEHC 20004-20005-20006. Ancient Near Eastern Thought & Literature