The mosque serves as a place where Muslims can come together for salah (prayer)

The cultures from this area of the world are very complicated. We teach them from the modern perspective, but always within a historical and cultural context and a consideration for their religious aspects.

{Richard Davis, faculty emeritus, NESA} 

Careers for Undergraduates

Arabic and Hebrew majors prepare students for a variety of post-collegiate pursuits. These include specialized graduate study in Arabic, Hebrew, linguistics, Judaic studies and Near Eastern studies; careers in government, such as foreign service or translation; journalism, business or teaching. 


Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, Hindi, Uzbek language plus a number of pre-modern and ancient Near Eastern languages: Akkadian, Aramaic, Biblical Hebrew, Phoenician, Syriac, Ottoman Turkish and Ugaritic. 

By the Numbers

Faculty: 15
Graduate Students: 21
Undergraduate Students: 118

Graduate Programs:

MA and PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

Undergraduate Programs:

BA in Arabic, Hebrew or Islamic Studies

Undergraduate Minors: 

Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, South Asia Studies, Turkish

Undergraduate Studies

More than 350 Ohio State students complete at least one course in Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Persian, Turkish or Uzbek language each year. 

More than half of NESA faculty teach interdisciplinary courses in anthropology, comparative studies, history, international studies, Jewish studies, Medieval and Renaissance studies and more.

GE Courses

A wide range of courses for non-majors includes:

NELC 2241 The Middle East Close-Up, Peoples, Cultures, Societies
The cultures of the contemporary Middle East, as lived in its villages, towns and cities

NELC 2244 Films of the Middle East
Contemporary films from different Middle Eastern countries; how filmmakers view, present and construct their countries using particular modes of representation

NELC 3204 The Middle East in the Media
Contemporary Middle Eastern cultures through critical evaluation of the media, which inform our understanding of international politics

NELC 3205 Women in the Muslim Middle East 
Examination of the position of women in the contemporary Middle East; impact of regional environment on gender identity and gender bias studies in various Middle Eastern countries

NELC 3501 Introduction to Islam
Examination of Islam as a world religion, enabling an understanding of its major tenets and beliefs as they are envisioned by insiders and outsiders

Summer Intensive Arabic Program

Each year, NESA offers an intensive Arabic language program for both non-Ohio State and Ohio State students during the seven-week summer term.

The program provides students in graduate and professional programs the opportunity to complete two semesters’ worth of language training without interfering with their enrollment in seminars; provides students at other institutions access to Ohio State’s foreign language expertise; and offers Ohio State undergraduate students a chance to rapidly advance within the broader Arabic curriculum.

Language Emphasis

Arabic is the fifth-most spoken language in the world. It is one of six official U.N. languages. The U.S. Department of State considers Arabic a critical language. Hindi is the world’s fourth-most spoken language, with an estimated 310 million speakers; Persian and Turkish are both spoken by more than 60 million each. NESA languages are spoken natively by more than ten percent of the world’s population.