Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies — CNES

Department Description

The Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies (CNES) offers students the chance both to major and to minor in the languages, literatures, and cultures of the Arabic speaking and ancient Mediterranean (Greek, Roman, etc.) worlds. These traditions and civilizations are living realities; they have shaped, and continue to shape, our world today. Students majoring in Arabic or Classics receive thorough preparation, from which they can advance to further study in a variety of areas: ancient, Middle Eastern, and medieval history; history of philosophy and art; comparative literature and linguistics; and a host of other fields and career tracks.

Our Undergraduate Programs feature major tracks distributed between two programs:

  • Arabic (language, literature, culture)
  • Classics, with majors in
    • Classics, Greek and Latin (Greek, Latin language/literature; Greek/Roman/Mediterranean culture)
    • Latin (language, literature, Greco-Roman culture)
    • Classical Civilization (Roman/Greek/Mediterranean culture)

Basic courses with readings in English are also offered for the benefit of all students University-wide. Our wide-ranging expertise allows us to help students pursue a variety of interests, while instruction in the spoken and written languages of the Near and Middle East has obvious and immediate relevance.

We pride ourselves in upholding the liberal-arts tradition that has set BU's Harpur College apart from the very beginning:

  • Small to medium-sized classes
  • Expert and attentive instruction
  • Courses demonstrating the interconnectedness of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures, and the relevance of those cultures in today's world

Spring 2017 Bus Trip to NYC!

Visit the Etruscan, Greek and Roman galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Time and Cosmos exhibit at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at NYU

Saturday, March 25 - bus departs BU @ 7:00 am & departs NYC @ 7:00 pm.  Cost (includes museum admission) is $36 per person (cash or check).  To confirm your space, payment is required - to Margaret Dwyer in LT 510 by March 1, 2017. 

2016 Summer Scholars Program

For senior Kyle Welch, the summer of 2016 was dedicated to dismantling stereotypes through language.  The Arabic and French double major read the Qur'an line by line - analyzing all of the written language pertaining to love.   Full article below>>

Levin Grant Reception, Presentation: Lyla Cerulli, 2016 Recipient

On Friday, 14-Oct of 2016, students and Faculty in Classics assembled to celebrate Lyla Cerulli, the first ever Levin Educational Enrichment Grant recipient. In addition to being fêted, Lyla treated those in attendance to a presentation on her Living Latin in Rome experience — more here....

Actor Tom Hiddleston, Cambridge Classics major, talks with Stephen Colbert

His World's The Stage

As a composer, producer, and playwright, Santino DeAngelo (class of 2013) knows a good story when he hears one. And for this up-and-coming artist and impresario, there is no better source material than ancient Roman and Greek tales of love, trickery and transformation. Full article>>>

CNES and the Power of SUNY

Read how Classical and Near Eastern Studies at BU responds to the marketplace while remaining grounded in the traditions of its constituent disciplines.


Ben Abbott
Ben Abbott and Amelia Lyte Expand Their Horizons through Study Abroad

Recently, two of our majors in Classics (the study of the ancient Greek, Roman, and Mediterranean worlds) had unforgettable experiences while studying abroad. Ben, a junior with interests in ancient history, spent the summer at the College Year in Athens program in Athens, Greece. Amelia, a senior with interests in law, spent last spring at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. And they brought home pictures - click here for the slide show! | Read More

See the slide show; Find out more about study abroad  

Related Links

Last Updated: 2/16/17