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Examine Ancient Language and Literature

Examine Ancient Language and Literature

The Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures at Catholic University provides students with graduate level training in Ancient Near East and Christian Near East studies. Offering more different forms of Aramaic than any other program in North America, the department reflects Catholic University's historical commitment to integrate religious studies with the arts and sciences. 

Master of Arts

Master of Arts

The department offers MA degrees in both Ancient Near Eastern languages and Christian Near Eastern languages. The former is primarily devoted to the languages of the Hebrew Bible and related literatures, while the latter focuses on the languages and literatures of the early Church.

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Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy

Students in our MA program generally continue on to our PhD program, where they expand upon their course of study in their primary research languages.

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Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures!

Have you ever seen an ancient inscription or an old manuscript and wondered what was written there? In the Semitics department (as we are informally known), students can channel that wonder into rigorous philological training that allows them to unlock the mysteries of and thoroughly engage with the world of antiquity. 

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  • The Bellet Lecture

    The annual lecture is given in honor of Paulinus Bellet, O.S.B. (1913-1987), member of the faculty of the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures from 1962 until his death in 1987. 

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    The Bellet Lecture
  • The Hyvernat Lecture

    The Hyvernat Lecture is given annually in honor of the department's mission and its founder, Monsignor Henry Hyvernat (1858-1941), the first professor appointed to the faculty of The Catholic University of America.

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    The Hyvernat Lecture
  • Summer Language Program 2019

    Languages and literatures of the Christian Near East (Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Georgian, Syriac) are a focus of the department's summer program.

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    Summer Language Program 2019
  • Department History

    Founded in 1897, this department reflects Catholic University's historical commitment to integrate religious studies with the arts and sciences.

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    Department History