There are no online degree programs available in the field of Egyptology. However, it is possible to earn a bachelor's degree in the closely related field of Middle Eastern studies. These programs provide a broad education in the social sciences, covering topics such as the politics, geography, economics, religion and history of the Middle East, which many academics consider to include Egypt and other North African and Southwest Asian countries that were once part of ancient Egypt.
Program Information and Requirements
Bachelor's degree programs that cover Middle Eastern studies can be completed entirely online. Depending on the program, students may earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Middle Eastern Studies or a BA in History with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies. Over the course of these programs, students explore the culture and history of the region, as well as current political and economic trends in Middle Eastern countries. Some programs also require students to take foreign language courses in Arabic. Alongside major and/or concentration courses in Middle Eastern studies, students must fulfill general education requirements.
In order to enroll, applicants must have a high school diploma or an equivalent. At some schools, students may also be required to pass a college readiness assessment. For success in an online program, students must also have access to a laptop or desktop computer running a relatively recent operating system and antivirus software. It can also be beneficial to own headphones, since online coursework often includes audio lectures. Also, if the bachelor's degree program includes a foreign language requirement, students may need to download specific software and have an internal or external microphone for their computer.
Bachelor's degree programs in Middle Eastern studies are highly interdisciplinary. They are generally offered in lecture formats, often with supplementary readings from both primary and secondary sources. Here are some course titles that you might take in a Middle Eastern studies program:
World Civilizations: Prehistory to 1500
This course covers the world's major civilizations up to the year 1500, including ancient Egypt. Students learn about the political, social, economic and cultural aspects of all of these civilizations.
History of the Middle East
This course usually covers the history of the region starting with the rise of Islam in the seventh century. Students learn about the influence of the Prophet Muhammad during the Arab hegemony, the Ottoman Empire and the role of Middle Eastern leaders in World War I.
Middle Eastern Culture
In this course, students study aspects of Middle Eastern culture, including religion, literature and music. They may also explore the impacts of new media and globalization on Middle Eastern culture today.
Religions of the Middle East
In this course, students learn about Islam, Judaism and Christianity, which are the three most common religions in the Middle East today. In addition to examining religious texts and key historical events, students also learn about the role that each plays in the modern Middle East.
Government and Security in the Middle East
This course provides an overview of the internal politics of Middle Eastern countries, as well as interstate relations within the region and with external actors. Regional security concerns are a particular area of emphasis.
In this course, students examine one of the most salient political issues in the modern Middle East: the Arab-Israeli concept. They learn about the major events of the conflict, as well as recent developments and possible solution strategies.
This course trains students to understand, speak, read and write in the language of Arabic. Relevant cultural topics are also covered. Certain technical equipments may be required to complete this course.
After completing an online bachelor's degree program in Middle Eastern studies, graduates may go on to pursue a master's degree or Ph.D. in Egyptology if they are willing to enroll in an on-campus program. They may also pursue an online or on-campus graduate program in a closely related field, such as history or international relations.
A bachelor's degree in Middle Eastern studies provides a broad liberal arts foundation that can prepare individuals for success in a wide range of careers. Graduates who want to get a job that is directly related to Middle Eastern studies may be able to get a job as a museum technician in an institution that houses Middle Eastern artifacts. Technicians are involved in artifact acquisition and administrative record-keeping, and they may also educate museum visitors about the collection. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for museum technicians are expected to increase by 5% from 2014 to 2024. The average annual salary was $42,920 in 2015 for technicians and conservators.
Alternatively, graduates could go on to teach social studies courses at the middle or high school level, as they often cover ancient Egypt and other topics in Middle Eastern studies. The BLS reported that the average annual salary for middle school teachers was $58,760 in 2015, and it was $60,440 for high school teachers. The job outlook for both of these groups is 6% for the 2014 to 2024 decade.
Although it is not possible to earn an online degree in Egyptology, a bachelor's degree in Middle Eastern studies can provide similar coursework. It can also help prepare individuals for on-campus graduate studies in the field.