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Egyptology at Brown

Discover an ancient culture. Decipher hieroglyphics. Study Egyptian religion and magic. At Brown University, you can go beyond a basic degree in Archaeology or Cultural Studies by concentrating specifically in Egyptology.

Key Stats
Program: Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) with a concentration in:
Egyptology and Assyriology, Egyptology track
Program Type: 4-year undergraduate degree
University: Brown University
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Students: 2-4 students per year choose this track
Program URL: https://www.brown.edu/academics/egyptology/undergraduate


There’s no doubt about it– Brown University has an impressive selection of programs for undergraduates interested in ancient cultures and archaeology.

egyptology egypt pyramids gizaIn fact, if you’re interested in Egyptology, there are two main ways you can go about it:

  1. You can study Egyptology and Assyriology and choose the Egyptology track, or
  2. You can study Archaeology and the Ancient World and choose the Egyptian and Ancient Western Asian Archeology track

Either way, you’ll get to look at the history and culture of the ancient Egyptians and gain the skills you need to lead archeological inquiries, read ancient languages, and conduct original scholarly research in the field.

How does the “Egyptology and Assyriology” program work?

Brown’s Egyptology and Assyriology program allows you to choose from two tracks: Egyptology or Assyriology.

The Assyriology track focuses on studying the Near East, including Mesopotamia. The Egyptology track focuses exclusively on Egypt.

How is the “Archaeology and the Ancient World” option different?

egyptology hieroglyphsThe Archaeology and the Ancient World program focuses, at its core, on archaeology. In contrast, the Egyptology and Assyriology programs focus on more than just archaeology– they also look at religion, literature and science.

Moreover, if you study archaeology you’ll find the requirements to be somewhat less intently focused on Egypt. For example, you’ll get to choose between ancient language courses in Aramaic, Akkadian, Coptic, Classical Hebrew, and Middle Egyptian. In the Egyptology program, however, you will be required to study Middle Egyptian and Middle Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts.

What are the benefits to choosing a concentration in Egyptology at Brown over a broader cultural studies or archaeology degree elsewhere?

The fact that it is specific is perhaps the greatest benefit to this program! You’ll really hone in on the language, religion, science and literature in ancient Egypt, thereby becoming quite specialized in your field.

A variety of interdisciplinary, comparative, and theoretical approaches will be introduced to give students the tools and methods to explore the region’s ancient languages and literatures, political and socio-economic modes of organization, art and architecture, religious traditions and other systems of knowledge, such as early science.
— Brown’s Department of Egyptology and Assyriology

If you know you want to study Egypt, this is a great way to start your career. Moreover, you’ll still benefit from the broad, liberal arts curriculum that is a hallmark of every Brown undergraduate student’s education.

Will I complete a capstone project?

Yes! All Egyptology and Assyriology students are required to complete a capstone project. Typically, the capstone is an in-depth research project that culminates with a public presentation.

If you’re planning to write an undergraduate honors thesis, your capstone presentation will focus on the same content as discussed in your thesis.

An honors thesis in Egyptology or Assyriology is expected to add to existing scholarship.  While the resulting study is not necessarily expected to be ground-breakingly original, and may engage with a well-studied topic, it will usually include a new insight into or interpretation of the material considered.
— Brown’s Department of Egyptology and Assyriology

Is there a strong culture of research in the department?

Yes! Faculty in the Egyptology and Assyriology program abydos egyptology brownconduct archaeological research in Abydos, Egypt. The department also frequently brings guest lecturers to campus and hosts seminars to discuss topics such as understanding early Egyptian language.

What kinds of classes would I take?

Your classes could include: Introduction to Classical Hieroglyphic Egyptian Writing and Language, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Old Egyptian, Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic, Temples and Tombs, and Ancient Egyptian History.

In addition, you’ll also enroll in the core classes that are required for all Brown undergraduates.

What kind of careers can this degree lead to?

With this degree, you could go on to pursue graduate studies or a law degree.
You could also work at a museum.

When was this program created?

The Department of Egyptology and Assyriology was created in 2006.

We work with students worldwide

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