Major Requirements

Major
Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Majors in NELC choose between two tracks - Language and Culture or Archaeology. While specific course requirements within each track vary considerably, all majors in NELC are required to complete thirteen courses and a research project.

The following is an overview of course requirements. Please consult the College Catalog for more detailed information about each of our major tracks.

The Director of Undergraduate Studies,our BA Preceptors, and the NELC department staff, are available to answer questions, discuss programs of study, and support students as they make their way through the major in NELC.

Language and Culture Track Requirements

Students are encouraged to track their progress through requirements by using our Language and Culture Track Major Worksheet.

  • Civilization Sequence: Two or three quarters of a sequence listed below. If a NELC civ sequence is used to meet the College general education requirement, a second Near Eastern civilization sequence is required for the NELC major:
    • NEHC 20011-20012-20013. Ancient Empires I, II, III
    • NEHC 20001-20002-20003. Ancient Near Eastern History and Society I, II, III
    • NEHC 20004-20005-20006. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and Literature I, II, III
    • NEAA 20001-20002-20003-2004-20005-20006. Archaeology of the Ancient Near East I, II, III, IV, V, VI
    • NEHC 20501-20502-20503. Islamic History and Society I, II, III
    • NEHC 20601-20602-20603. Islamic Thought and Literature I, II, III
    • JWSC 12000-12001.Jewish Civilization I-II.
  • Languages: Six courses in one of the Near Eastern languages (e.g., Akkadian, Arabic, Egyptian, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish). With approval of DUS, students may combine courses in related languages. Credit for language courses may not be granted by examination or placement.
  • Electives: Three or four elective courses in the student’s area of specialization. These may consist of any NELC courses, including additional language courses, an additional civilization sequence, or NELC courses in areas such as archaeology, art, literature in translation, history, and religion. NEHC 29995 Research Project may be counted towards the elective requirement.
  • The Research Colloquium (NEHC 29899) is required of all NELC majors. It is to be taken in the Autumn Quarter of the year in which the student expects to graduate. See the Research Project section for more detailed information.

    Archaeology Track Requirements

    Students are encouraged to track their progress through requirements by using our Archaeology Track Major Worksheet.

    • Archaeological Methods Course:
      • NEAA 20100 Archaeological Methods and Interpretations
    • Geographic Information Science Course:
      • NEAA 20061 Ancient Landscapes 1 or GEOG 28202 Geographic Information Science
    • Three methodologically oriented courses, chosen from among the following:
      • NEAA 10020 Ceramic Analysis for Archaeologists
      • NEAA 20027 New Approaches to Old Stones: Chipped & Ground Stone Analysis
      • NEAA 20035 Zooarchaeology
      • NEAA 20062 Ancient Landscapes II
      • GEOG 28402-28602 Geographic Information Science II-III
      • ANTH 26900 Archaeological Data Sets
      • ANTH 28400 Bioarchaeology and the Human Skeleton
      • BIOS 22265 Human Origins: Milestones in Human Evolution and the Fossil Record
    • Electives: Three courses in the archaeology, history, or culture of the region(s) of interest offered by NELC or another department
    • Languages: Two courses in a relevant foreign language, ancient or modern, chosen in consultation with the NELC Director of Undergraduate Studies.
    • Statistical Methods Course:
      • STAT 22000 Statistical Methods and Applications or DIGS 20002 Basic Mathematics and Statistics for Digital Studies
    • Archaeological Fieldwork: All Archaeology Track majors must participate in archaeological fieldwork with a University of Chicago faculty member or in an approved field school sponsored by another university. The fieldwork requirement for the major will often be fulfilled during the Summer Session for course credit from the University of Chicago or for transfer credit from another school. If the fieldwork is done without earning course credit, the student will substitute an additional elective chosen among the methodologically oriented courses or the courses in the archaeology, history, or culture of the region(s) of interest quoted above, or an additional language course. In any case, the student must engage in approved archaeological fieldwork as a requirement of the major.
    • The Research Colloquium (NEHC 29899) is required of all NELC majors. It is to be taken in the Autumn Quarter of the year in which the student expects to graduate. See the Research Project section for more detailed information.
    Mid East Photo
    Image courtesy of Alexis Nicholson.

    Study Abroad Language Credit

    NELC strongly encourages students to study abroad if they are able. NELC students can receive credit towards major and minor requirements for language courses taken while studying abroad. Credit has to be approved by relevant NELC language faculty. Students should retain all syllabi, coursework, exams, etc. from study abroad language courses. Upon return to Chicago, students should complete this form, attaching all supporting materials, and submit to the NELC department administrator.

    Grading

    All courses used to meet requirements in the major must be taken for quality grades with the exception of the Research Colloquium (NEHC 29899), which is taken for P/F grading.

    Advising

    As soon as they declare their major in NELC, students must consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies to plan their programs of study. In Autumn Quarter of their fourth year, all NELC students must see the Director of Undergraduate Studies with an updated degree program and transcript.

    Honors

    Students who complete their course work and their Research Project with distinction are considered for graduation with honors. To be eligible for honors in NELC, students must have an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher, they must have a NELC GPA of 3.5 or higher, and they must have earned a grade of A on their Research Project.

    Prizes

    The department awards the Justin Palmer Prize annually to the Research project judged to be the most outstanding. The Director of Undergraduate Studies makes this determination in consultation with the Department Chair and faculty members. This monetary prize is made possible by a generous gift from the family of Justin Palmer, AB’04, who completed a minor in NELC.