About the Department

Berkeley's Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (formerly Near Eastern Studies), founded in 1894, is one of the oldest and most distinguished such departments in the country. The Department offers both general instruction and specialized training in Archaeology, Art History, Assyriology, Egyptology, Iranian Studies, Judaic and Islamic Studies, Comparative Semitics, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish.

NES Banner, collage by S. Kurtsikidze * Exploring the Liberal Arts, Introducing MELC Courses 
* Assyrian Studies at Berkeley   
* Berkeley Colloquium for Ancient Middle East (BeCoMe)
* Berkeley Initiative for Iranian Studies (BIIS)
* California Consortium in Islamic Studies  (CCIS)


Sather Gate,Berkeley, photo by Shorena Kurtsikidze
The Department offers a comprehensive body of information on past and present Middle Eastern civilizations and a wide variety of courses to supplement such related fields as classics, linguistics, history, political science, comparative literature, anthropology, and art history. MELC is one of the leaders in the Digital Humanities movement on campus.

* Who We Are
* Statement of Principles
* Diversity Statement

MELC Commencement Ceremony

The department holds its Commencement Ceremonies in May. More information about the commencement...

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Contact Information

  • bmelc@berkeley.edu

  • (510) 642-3757

  • 250 Social Sciences Bld
    Berkeley, CA 94720-1940
    United States

  • (510) 643-8430

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