Summer Study Program

The Albright Institute Summer Study Program is an in-depth on-the-ground archaeological and historical introduction to the Southern Levant from antiquity through the Middle Ages. For 120 years the Albright Institute has provided a base in Jerusalem for generations of students of the Near East and related fields. Participants visit more than seventy historic places, archaeological sites, and museums over a three-week expedition across the region. Students participate in researching and presenting topics on-site and interact with scholars across a wide array of fields.

Dates: 1 – 22 August, 2020 ***Cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19. Dates for next summer will be announced in due course.***
Where: Israel, Palestine, & Jordan
Open to: Undergraduate & Graduate Students; Postdocs; High School & College Instructors, in any subject
Deadline to apply: March 15, 2020
For further information:

Matthew J. Adams
Director, W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research 

For 2020, the Summer Study Program (August 1-22, 2020) will be directed by Matthew J. Adams, Director of the Albright Institute, and staff. The program includes travel in Israel and Palestine based at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem, an extended overnight trip to sites in northern Israel, and travel and accommodations across Jordan. Site visits vary from year to year, but an effort is made to visit and study sites with significant stories to tell about the geography, history, and modern study of the region.

Participants work together in cooperative learning groups, sharing their knowledge in on-site oral presentations and seminar-style discussions. This is an active learning study tour which will include opportunities for participants to conduct research and present discoveries to the rest of the group during on-site visits. Students consider a wide variety of topics from the intersection of archaeology and textual sources, biblical geography, Hellenism and the Holy Land, Medieval landscapes, to issues of the sacred vs. the secular. 

The Summer Study Program is open to students at the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as high school and college instructors of any subject with either a professional interest in or passion for biblical studies, ancient history, archaeology, classics, and related subjects. Enrollment is limited to twenty participants. The language of instruction is English.

Undergraduates will find the Summer Study Program opening new worlds for study and intellectual curiosity. Graduate students in Biblical Studies, Classics, or Ancient History whose main focus is not archaeology will find the program provides them invaluable new perspectives on the ancient Near East that they can incorporate in their teaching and research. High-school and college teachers will discover new stories and engaging new material to share with their students back home.

The program is as intellectually and physically demanding as it is rewarding, and participants should be in good physical shape and ready to be part of a team. Every day of the program will be filled with activities for 8 to 12 hours. Most activities will be outdoors; we will visit three to five sites per day, some of which require hiking. Summers in the region can be harsh, and participants must be prepared for exertion in the heat and sun, and practice good self-care. Bus rides can be up to two hours in length without breaks. The physical demands will be matched by new and exciting intellectual challenges, as we explore a wide array of sites and periods. 

The Albright does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

The Summer Study Program is based at the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, where the group will stay for the first week and the final two nights. Participants have 24-hour access to the library and recreational spaces, high-speed wifi, and laundry facilities. Participants stay in the Albright’s hostel in double rooms (a limited number of singles are available at extra charge), where they will find a welcoming and supportive staff, home-style Palestinian cooking, the Kershaw Family Garden, and easy access to transportation around Jerusalem. The Albright is a center for those in the region for excavation season, the home of our fellowship program, and a working research facility that offers numerous opportunities for networking, interaction, learning, and socializing with the resident and visiting scholars, excavators, and students. 

Four nights are spent in northern Israel at a bed-and-breakfast at Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek, along with the participants of the Tel Abu Shusha archaeological expedition. The kibbutz offers air-conditioned guest rooms with bathrooms and refrigerators, and features a grocery store, swimming pool, pub, free wi-fi, and sports facilities. 

For the Jordan leg of the program, we will make our way from the far north of the country to Amman, Petra and Aqaba in 3-star accommodations with all the modern conveniences. 

The fee for the 2020 program is $4,200, which includes tuition; accommodation for the entire three-week period; two meals per day; travel within Israel, Palestine, and Jordan; and museum and site entrance fees. International airfare, meals beyond the two included, and incidental expenses are the participant’s responsibility.

Rates and fees are subject to adjustment if there are significant fluctuations in currency exchange rates.


Optional academic credit is offered through the University of Arizona in the form of undergraduate or graduate credit. Continuing education credits (CEU) for educators (high school, community college) are also available.  For details:

Admission to the Summer Study Program is based on academic performance and letters of recommendation. The program is limited to 20 participants.

Deadline for the online application and two recommendations is March 15, 2020. 

Link to the online application:

A complete application consists of the following:

  • Submission of the application form online by March 15, 2020.
  • A CV or Resume.
  • A personal statement indicating your educational and career goals, and how this program might support those goals.
  • Two letters of recommendation, to be submitted online by the recommenders. After you submit your online application, your recommenders will automatically be sent instructions about how to upload their recommendations. Recommendations are due March 15, 2020.