Program in Near Eastern Studies



  • Jonathan M. Gribetz

Executive Committee

  • Molly Greene, History
  • Jonathan M. Gribetz, Near Eastern Studies
  • Amaney A. Jamal, Politics
  • Eve Krakowski, Near Eastern Studies
  • Michael A. Reynolds, Near Eastern Studies
  • Marina Rustow, Near Eastern Studies
  • Daniel J. Sheffield, Near Eastern Studies
  • Jack B. Tannous, History
  • Tehseen Thaver, Religion
  • Muhammad Q. Zaman, Near Eastern Studies

Sits with Committee

  • Sadaf Jaffer
For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Program Information

The Program in Near Eastern Studies provides students in any department of the University the opportunity to study the languages, history, and culture and institutions of the Near East and the broader Islamicate world. Its purpose is to enhance a liberal education and to offer additional training for students who plan a career in those areas.

Admission to the Program

Students may enter the program through the departments of anthropology, East Asian studies, economics, history, Near Eastern studies, politics, religion, sociology, or the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. Students from other departments who have an interest in Near Eastern studies may enter the program by special arrangements with the director. Students must meet the entrance requirements of the selected department in addition to those of the program.

Program of Study

The student's plan of study is guided and given coherence by an adviser and the director of the program. The specific courses are described in this site for each of the cooperating departments listed above. In general, students follow the plan of study of their department. A Princeton School of Public and International Affairs student in the program selects the Near East in the modern world as a field of concentration. The requirements of the program are as follows:

Language: Students who have had no relevant language training must take at least two years of Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi/Urdu, Persian, Swahili, or Turkish language as elective courses.

History: All students will take at least one appropriate history course in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Students in the Department of History will take at least two such courses.

Social Sciences: All students will take at least two courses treating the Islamicate world that are chosen from the offerings of the departments of anthropology, Near Eastern studies, politics, religion, and sociology, and the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.

Junior independent work is divided between the student's department and the program.

The senior thesis is written on an Islamicate subject under the supervision of a Near Eastern specialist in the appropriate department and the program.

Students take the regular senior departmental examination given by their department, except that a portion of it deals with the Islamicate fields studied. These examinations are described in the sections of this catalog for each department.


Students are encouraged to begin the study of one of the above-named languages as early as possible in order to enable them to continue it beyond the required minimum and, if desired, to offer it to meet the language requirement for the A.B. The program also encourages qualified students to enroll in summer language classes.

Study Abroad

The program encourages a year abroad devoted to intensive study of an appropriate regional language and society. This would count as an additional year of study, and would be spent at a university or other center in the region in question. Upon returning, the student would resume regular studies at Princeton as a member of the junior class. The program will nominate students on the basis of ability.

Students of demonstrated ability who are interested in the Arab world are encouraged to apply to the Center for Arabic Study Abroad, located at the American University in Cairo and the Qasid institute in Amman, and governed by a group of universities including Princeton. For students interested in other regional languages, appropriate arrangements will be made wherever possible.

Certificate of Proficiency

A student who completes the requirements of the program with satisfactory standing receives a certificate of proficiency in Near Eastern studies. A student who satisfactorily completes the intervening year abroad will have this fact noted on the certificate.