The Department of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies offers three tracks to the PhD: (1) Ancient Western Asian Studies, (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.
Applications from qualified students interested in pursuing graduate studies in Egyptology, Ancient Western Asian Studies and the History of Ancient Science are encouraged. While the program is theoretically open to any college graduate regardless of background, the more background a student has in Egyptology or Ancient Western Asian Studies before applying, the better the chances 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 Ph.D. program 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 Ancient Western Asian Studies, 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, Ancient Western Asian Studies 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 Ancient Western Asian Studies 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 Ancient Western Asian Studies will normally not consider applicants who apply to more than one program.
Admission requirements: Writing sample: at least one college paper in Egyptology or Ancient Western Asian Studies (of less than 20 pages). Reading knowledge of both German and French recommended. Students selected for preliminary approval will be asked to an interview before being accepted in the program.
GRE General: Required
GRE Subject: Not required
Application deadline: December 15