Indiana University Bloomington

MA Degree Requirements and Curriculum

  1. U.S. students or international students whose native language is English should submit a GRE Verbal Reasoning score of 158 or better (top quarter). Most other international students should submit a TOEFL score of 90 (Internet-Based TOEFL) or better. International students who have earned a degree from a college or university in the U.S. or other English-speaking country may submit a GRE score in lieu of the TOEFL, but if will be to your advantage to submit a TOEFL as well if your GRE score is less than 158. All applicants should have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0/Good or better.
  2. The MA requires a minimum of 36 graduate-level credits to include: 18 credits of ancient Egyptian language; at least one three-credit course in Egyptian history; at least one three-credit course in ancient Egyptian religion; and at least three three-credit elective courses from an allied subject-area, to be approved by the Concentration advisor. Recommended subjects include Arabic, Classical Greek, Biblical Hebrew, archaeology/anthropology, art history, religious studies, linguistics or informatics/digital heritage. Most students will follow the Model Curriculum outlined below. However, with the approval of the Concentration advisor, students with previous advanced undergraduate course-work in Egyptology from Indiana University or from other programs may substitute up to three Special Topics courses (NELC-E695) for courses in the Model Curriculum.
  3. An MA thesis is required. Up to three credits of thesis research (NELC-N710) may be counted towards the MA.
  4. Students will demonstrate reading proficiency in scholarly French or German by the end of the first year, either by completing a 492-level course in the chosen language, or by passing the graduate-student reading proficiency examination administered by the Bloomington Evaluation Services and Testing office. Note that 400-level language courses taken to acquire and demonstrate modern-language proficiency do not count towards the required 36 graduate credits.
  5. Students may transfer up to eight graduate credits in Egyptian language, history or civilization, or in other relevant areas, provided those credits have not been used to satisfy the requirements of another graduate degree. These credits may have been earned prior to matriculation at Indiana University, or they may be earned during a semester or summer spent at another institution during their Indiana University matriculation. One possibility is excavating in Egypt with the University of Arizona’s Tawosret Temple project in Luxor, which has agreed to take Indiana University Egyptology students.

    Students may also have the opportunity to take graduate courses at institutions that take part in the “Traveling Scholars” program of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). The CIC, which includes the universities in the Big Ten conference plus the University of Chicago, allows graduate students to take courses at member institutions but register at, and pay tuition to, their home institution. Therefore, courses taken in the “Traveling Scholars” program would not count as transfer credits.
  6. At the conclusion of their course work, students will take written examinations in Egyptian history (two hours) and in Egyptian religion (two hours), and take a translation examination in Middle Egyptian (two hours).

    A student may request a waiver of one, two, or all three of the required final examinations if she or he earned an A in the relevant courses and if she or he has a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better in the Concentration as of the end of the semester before graduation is expected. This request will be considered at the end of the fourth week of the student’s final semester, and may be approved if she or he is performing at a high level in all current classes.

Two-Year Curriculum Model

Year 1:
Fall: NELC-E500: Elementary Hieroglyphic Egyptian I (3 credits).
NELC-E601: Seminar in History of Ancient Egypt (3 credits).
Elective chosen in consultation with Concentration advisor (3 credits).
Spring: NELC-E550: Elementary Hieroglyphic Egyptian II (3 credits).
NELC-E661: Seminar in Religions of Ancient Egypt (3 credits).
Elective chosen in consultation with Concentration advisor (3 credits).
Year 2:

NELC-E 600: Intermediate Middle Egyptian (3 credits).

NELC-E 660: Demotic I: Grammar and Script (3 credits).
Elective chosen in consultation with the Concentration advisor (3 credits).

Spring: NELC-E 650: Late Egyptian: Grammar and Texts (3 credits).
NELC-E 670: Demotic II: Persian and Ptolemaic Texts (3 credits).
NELC-N 710: Thesis research (3 credits).


Financial Aid

Prof. Vinson is occasionally able to get a one-semester Student Academic Appointment (SAA) to fund one or more teaching assistant, when teaching unusually large undergraduate classes; SAA positions cover tuition and a stipend. We have been reasonably successful in getting SAAs for Egyptology students in other departments, including Classics, French and Italian, and East Asian Languages and Cultures. Many such positions involve working in the classroom as a teaching assistant or instructor, but others, which carry the same benefits, are primarily office jobs. For a listing of open SAAs, see the SAA vacancy link at the Indiana University GradGrants center. Check this link often for updates. If you have been accepted to Indiana University, you can apply for positions immediately, even before you enroll; we strongly advise students to apply for any and all positions that they may be qualified for.

It can also be effective to contact departments directly, to see if they anticipate SAA openings for students with any language or other advanced skills that you may have. Students with advanced Arabic skills, particularly native speakers, may be considered for SAA positions as Arabic instructors within the Department of Near Eastern Language and Cultures; contact Prof. Vinson for advice and contact information.

International students should also explore the possibiilty of coming to Indiana University on a Fulbright Grant, which sponsors students from many countries to study in the United States.

Apply Now

International Students: Apply to the Office of International Admissions (Deadline Dec. 15)
U.S. Students: Apply to the Office of Graduate Admissions (Deadline Jan. 15)

Please also consult the website of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures for general information on graduate applications.

Use the contact form to reach us with any questions.