Brandeis University

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MA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies/MA-COEX


Promoting Coexistence between Civilizations in the Near East

Building sustainable peace is a priority at the crossroads of civilizations in the Near East. It deserves a profession with a proven range of skills and a deep understanding of the greatness and complexity of the Near East.

This joint MA degree in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence and in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies combines a rich and specific knowledge of the historical, religious, linguistic, and cultural dimensions of the Near East with professional skills for implementing successful interventions that enable groups, nations, and the region to embrace coexistence values. 

The Conflict Resolution and Coexistence program (COEX) at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management builds an understanding of the structural and psychosocial causes of conflict and violence from the local to the global.  Students develop the professional skills needed to design, facilitate, monitor and evaluate strategic interventions that prevent, mitigate or resolve violent conflicts.  Students also learn how to build partnerships delivering coexistence work through security, democracy, human rights, education and development.

The Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department (NEJS) at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences provides a deep understanding in the fields that it embraces: the study of the history, religion, languages, and literature of the Jewish people, Arabic and Islamic civilizations, early Christianity and the languages and culture of the Bible and the Ancient Near East. It is a requirement for students graduating from this joint program to master at least Hebrew or Arabic.

This joint program is designed for early and mid-career professionals who wish to expand their knowledge of the Near East and their coexistence skill set in order to develop or enhance a career within governments, international agencies, non-government peace organizations or related fields.

This intensive program is usually taken over a period of 21 months, or five consecutive semesters, including a COEX Practicum in a conflict area or with a peacebuilding organization, and concluding with a Master’s Paper and Capstone Presentation. A student entering with sufficient background in Hebrew or Arabic will be able to complete the program within approximately two years. Students will take at least 8 NEJS courses (including the NEJS pro-seminar and a culminating joint MA project and paper), 8 courses in COEX (including the 6 core courses, three of which are 4-credit and three of which are 2-credit courses), fulfill the NEJS language requirement, and complete a three-month COEX practicum (either after the two years or during the intervening summer).

Recommended Sequence

First Year

  • Summer One
  • Practicum or Master's Project

Second Year

  • Spring Two
  • NEJS Core Elective

  • NEJS Core Elective

  • COEX Core Elective

  • COEX Elective

    2 for students doing an internship

  • Summer Two
  • Practicum or Master's Project

    if not completed in summer 1