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Studying Egyptology – undergraduate courses in the USA #2

This week’s instalment is the second part of the list of undergraduate Egyptology courses that are on offer in the USA.

UCLA’s Royce Hall (Source: UCLA).

UCLA offers the option to specialise in ancient Egypt in its BA Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations. Majors selecting the ancient Egypt specialisation are required to take 14 courses including four language courses and three literature and history courses . The remaining seven courses are to be selected from courses on the Ancient Near East (including Egypt), art history, Iranian, and Jewish Studies. One course must be in research methodology, such as an anthropology, English, or linguistics course.

Language: English.

In a nutshell: a very comprehensive degree, with lots of courses to choose from for those who wish to gain a more wide-ranging degree. 

The undergraduate programme in Ancient Egypt at the University of Michigan focuses on the study of the Middle Egyptian language and scripts (plus other phases of the language), and the history, archaeology, religion, and culture of ancient Egypt. Students are encouraged to take further courses on Mesopotamia, ancient Israel, and the Mediterranean world in order to ‘contextualize the civilization of Ancient Egypt’. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology provides the chance to work with the Egyptian collection and to participate in exhibitions. The university’s library also has a papyrology collection which students are encouraged to use.

Language: English.

In a nutshell: a fantastic degree with excellent resources at hand. 

The Near Eastern Languages and Civilisations minor at the University of Pennsylvania offers the chance to take courses in Egyptology including Egyptian language (two years of study) and ‘The Literary Legacy of Ancient Egypt’.  Other courses are based on the cultures of the ancient Near East, including the Mesopotamian, Israelite, Hittite and Persian civilizations.

Language: English.

In a nutshell: a perfect choice for those who do not wish to major in Egyptology but would still like to study it at some depth. 

The University of Toronto offers courses on the Middle Egyptian language and Egyptian texts for study within its undergraduate programme in Near and Middle Eastern Civilisations. These include Ancient Egyptian Historical Texts and Ancient Egyptian Religious and Funerary Texts.

Language: English.

In a nutshell: great for the linguists who wish to add ancient Egyptian to their studies. 

Yale’s major in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations is built around study of one or more Near Eastern languages, leading to a concentration in the ancient Near East, including the option to select ancient Egypt. Students following this concentration must take at least two years of Egyptian language, as well as courses in the history and civilizations of ancient Egypt.

Language: English.

In a nutshell: a good programme at a prestigious university for those wishing to specialise in ancient Egypt.

Next time: undergraduate degree programmes in Australia, Africa, and Asia.

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2 comments on “Studying Egyptology – undergraduate courses in the USA #2

  1. Thank you for the roundup. It is interesting that in fact there are not many undergraduates who study Egyptology in North America. It is by far more often a graduate program. Because the system is so very different, there is much more scope for coming into Egyptology at MA level with a degree in a completely different field (business, biology, English…). At undergraduate level there is also many many more opportunities for studying Egyptology at universities that perhaps do not offer it as an obvious degree. There are Egyptologists in departments of history, art history, comparative literature, etc… For example, I earned my BA in Special Major: Egyptology at San Francisco State University (where there is a lovely Egyptian collection). Creative and lateral thinking 😉

    • Thanks for your comments, Kasia. I did notice that yes, there is far more scope for prospective postgraduates. I will be looking at postgraduate opportunities in future posts. I think I’ll have to look at all of the not so obvious routes too!

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