Master of Arts in Maritime Civilizations

Department of Maritime Civilizations, Leon H. Charney School of Marine Science, Faculty of Humanities

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  • Participate in one of a kind program in Israel
  • Study in multicultural environment 
  • Obtain hands-on multi-disciplinary scientific exploration experience  
  • 1-year program



Program description

The International MA Program in Maritime Civilizations offers students an exceptional opportunity to explore the history, archaeology, and fabric of maritime societies, as well as the natural environment in which they developed and the anthropogenic environments in which they currently exist. Students enrolled in the program examine a variety of fields pertaining to maritime civilizations and the marine environment, including coastal and underwater archaeology, marine biology and ecology, maritime history, maritime geology, and geomorphology.

The interdisciplinary curriculum offers advanced knowledge and research training to students interested in exploring human interactions with the sea in a dynamic learning environment.


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What you will study

Over the course of study, special emphasis is placed on harbors, ships, and seafaring as part of the maritime heritage of the Mediterranean. The program sheds light on the ecological and geomorphological dynamics in the eastern Mediterranean and their influence on the interaction between man and the sea in ancient and modern times. This program provides a balance between frontal lectures and learning that is based on ongoing, active research carried out in the field and laboratories at the Department of Maritime Civilizations and the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies.

Culminating in a capstone project, the one-year program is taught in English over three consecutive semesters from October until September. Students wishing to pursue the thesis track are encouraged to do so and will need to submit a research thesis within one year of completing their coursework.

Upon completion of the program, students will be awarded a Master of Arts in Maritime Civilizations.

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  • Accredited BA degree, diploma and transcript
  • Preference is given to applicants whose BA degrees are in history, archaeology, ecology, biology, or geology 
  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA, 80%, or equivalent
  • TOEFL scores (if native language is not English or candidates have not previously studied at an institution of higher education where the language of instruction is English). A minimum of 570 (paper-based test), 230 (computer-based test), or 89 (internet-based test)
  • Two letters of recommendation from an academic
  • Curriculum Vitae/Résumé
  • Copy of valid passport & six passport-sized photos
  • Personal statement (500-750 words)
  • Medical forms

For more information click here

Check application deadlines.


For international students tuition and fees for the full academic year is $US 10,630*. The fee breakdown appears below: 
Tuition  $9,700
Service Fees (Security, Library, Health Insurance, etc.)  $930
TOTAL (in US Dollars) $10,630

*This information is relevant for International applicants only. For Israeli citizens and ID holders please contact the Tuition Department here  

There is a non-refundable $100 application fee per academic year for the program.

Dormitories are available for $450 per month.

* Final tuition for the next academic year is updated each August. For more information on the cost of our programs, dormitories, etc. and payment instructions please click here. For financial aid information visit the "Scholarships" tab on this page. 

Field Work

Field activities are an integral part of the program. They expose students to applied science, a variety of research methods, a first-hand acquaintance with the sea and an introduction to the challenges of marine studies. The curriculum includes field trips as well as field-based courses and research. Students will also be required to participate in a summer internship program, during which they will work on a field project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.


Core Courses

  • Marine and Coastal Research Methods
  • Mediterranean Maritime Civilizations (A): the Bronze and Iron Ages
  • The Mediterranean Sea: Ecology, Geology, and Oceanography


  • Interdisciplinary Seminar
  • Seminar on Global Sea Level Changes and Their Effect on Human Civilizations
  • Seminar on Sea Trade and Interregional Interactions in the Mediterranean: From the Bronze Age to the End of the Iron Age

Field Trips to the Coastal Sites of Israel 

Elective Courses

  • International Law of the Sea
  • Mediterranean Fisheries and Aquaculture: Past, Present, and Future
  • Mediterraenan Maritime Civilizations (B): from Archaic Greece to the Ottoman Empire
  • Scientific Applications in Maritime Archaeology
  • Ship and Marine Installations: A Model-Building Workshop
  • The Historiography of the Mediterranean

Summer Projects include: Coastal and Marine Geology, Biology, and Ecology; and Coastal and Underwater Archaeology

This is a sample curriculum. For more information please click here


Prof. Ruth Shahack-Gross is head of the International MA in Maritime Civilizationas and leading the Laboratory for Sedimentary Archaeology at the Dept. of Maritime Civilizations, Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, Israel. Graduated in Geology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Archaeological Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Conducted post-doctoral research and acted as the head of a research group at the Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science, Weizmann Institute, Israel. Prof. Shahack-Gross's main interest is understanding natural and anthropogenic processes that result in the formation of archaeological sites. She combines her geological and anthropological backgrounds into a unique research approach called geo-ethnoarchaeology. Her research methodology includes the study of archaeological sediments using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy, analysis of microscopic remains (phytoliths, ash, and more), and micromorphology. She applies these methods to study experimental, ethnographic and archaeological materials and their modes of formation and preservation. .

Read more on the laboratory webpage

For a full list of faculty staff and their fields of specialization please visit us here.


This program is approved for MASA scholarship. Information on scholarships and financial aid can be found here.

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