PhD Program in
Egyptology and Assyriology

PhD Tracks

The department currently offers three tracks to the PhD: (1) Assyriology (2) Egyptology, and (3) History of the Exact Sciences in Antiquity. Each track has different course requirements, details of which may be found in the Graduate Student Handbook. Students who enter the program in one track may switch to another track providing they are still able to complete the course requirements by the end of their third year.

Applying for Graduate Studies

We encourage applications from qualified students interested in pursuing graduate studies in Egyptology, Assyriology and the History of Ancient Science. While our program is theoretically open to any college graduate regardless of background, the more background you have in Egyptology or Assyriology before applying, the better your chances will be of being accepted into the program.

For students accepted into Brown’s Graduate School, the university typically guarantees five years of full funding (tuition and stipend). The typical PhD program at Brown therefore includes three years of coursework and two years researching and writing a dissertation. In our department, comprehensive exams are administered at the end of the second year of coursework, to demonstrate that a student has the requisite amount of knowledge to succeed as a professional in his or her field. Because these exams require a well-rounded background in Egyptology and Assyriology, it is almost impossible to acquire in two years the knowledge needed to pass them without some prior background in college or an MA program. If you are in a college that does not offer courses in our field (and most don’t), you should therefore look into an MA program before applying to Graduate School at Brown. Additionally, graduate coursework and research in Egyptology, Assyriology and the History of Ancient Science at any university requires a reading knowledge of French and German (tested at Brown by an exam during the second year); you will therefore better your chances of being accepted into a graduate program if you acquire that knowledge ahead of time.

Egyptology and Assyriology has overlapping interests with a number of other academic units at Brown, especially Anthropology, Classics, Religious Studies, and the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World. If your interests overlap with those of another program at Brown, we advise you to contact the faculty in both departments to discuss which program to apply to. The Department of Egyptology and Assyriology will normally not consider applicants who apply to more than one program.

Further details about applying for our graduate program may be found at Please note that the deadline for applications is 15 December.