Language Requirements

Most successful applicants will demonstrate proficiency in Biblical Hebrew as well as some knowledge of Greek, Aramaic, and/or other relevant ancient languages (Akkadian, Ugaritic, et al.). In order to advance to candidacy, students must pass two sets of written language exams: modern and ancient. The modern language exams typically entail one exam in French and one in German (although under certain circumstances one of these might be exchanged for another language, such as modern Hebrew, depending on the student’s particular research interests). This requirement can also be fulfilled by receiving a grade of B or better in a second-year or higher language course offered in the university or by accreditation from a Yale Summer School course designed for this purpose. In very select circumstances, an exemption is granted (e.g., for native speakers or students who have otherwise demonstrable capacities in one of these modern languages). The ancient language exams are intended to test the student’s proficiency in the three main biblical languages: Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. They are typically completed by the end of the third year of the program.