Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations: Egyptology, PhD

NELC’s graduate program in Egyptology offers advanced study of the languages and civilizations of ancient Egypt. 

View the department's PhD general procedures.

View the University’s Academic Rules for PhD Programs.


A total of 20 course units are required for graduation.

Language and Literature Concentration

  • Primary Field
    • Ancient Egyptian language and literature (at least 8 courses)
    • History, culture, art and archaeology of Ancient Egypt (at least 6 courses)
  • Secondary Field
    • Language of chosen secondary field of concentration (at least 4 courses)
    • History, culture, art and archaeology (at least 2 courses)

Archaeology Concentration

  • Primary Field
    • Archaeology, art, history, and culture of Ancient Egypt (at least 7 courses)
    • History of ancient Egypt (at least 2 courses)
    • Language of ancient Egypt (at least 4 courses)
  • Secondary Field
    • Art, Archaeology, history, culture, and anthropology (at least 6 courses)
    • Archaeological interpretation and techniques (at least 1 course)

Other Program Milestones

In addition to the above-described required coursework, PhD students are responsible for two (2) European language reading exams, candidacy exams, and qualifying exams before preparing a dissertation proposal. 

Secondary Field in Egyptology

Graduate students in other programs (such as Mesopotamian Civilizations or Biblical Studies) who take a secondary field in Egyptology must take at least four courses in Egyptian language (Middle Egyptian and another significant phase) and two in history and culture.

  • History of ancient Egypt (at least 2 courses)

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2022 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.

Sample Plan of Study

Students in the PhD program are required to take 20 course units.  The coursework component is normally three years in length, but with the potential for transfer credit for other graduate courses within the field.  Students entering the PhD program will be assigned a faculty advisor who will supervise the student's program until the Candidacy Examinations in the 4th year of study have been completed.  

Year 1
Semester 1
Select 4 courses
Semester 2
Select 4 courses
First modern language exam by Semester 3
Year 2
Semester 3
Select 3 courses
Teaching Assistantship
Semester 4
Select 3 courses
Teaching Assistantship
Completion of AM
Qualifying Examinations at end of Semester 3 or early in Semester 4
Second modern language exam by Semester 5
Year 3
Semester 5
Select 3 courses
Teaching Assistantship
Semester 6
Select 3 courses (including NELC 9999)
Teaching Assistantship
Preparation for Candidacy Examinations
Year 4
Semester 7
Candidacy Examinations
Semester 8
Dissertation Research and Writing
Year 5
Semester 9
Dissertation Research and Writing
Semester 10
Dissertation Research and Writing