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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Dual Degree MA/JD with the School of Law

The School of Law and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies offer one of the few programs in the United States leading to the Doctor of Jurisprudence and the Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies. The program combines the study of law with interdisciplinary area studies and language courses. It responds to the increased need in both the public and private sectors for legal specialists with a thorough understanding of the economics, geography, history, politics, and culture of the Middle East and North Africa.

During their first year, students must complete the normal first year of course work at the School of Law, before they take any language or other courses pertaining to the Middle East. After the first year, students should arrange their course schedules so that both degree requirements are completed in the same semester. Generally, a student with the requisite language background can obtain both degrees in eight semesters.


Prospective dual degree students must apply separately to both programs and fulfill the distinct application requirements and deadlines of each. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the appropriate materials are sent to the respective departments. An applicant must be accepted to each individual program in order to be admitted to the dual program. Please review the Admissions section of this website for a list of Center application requirements.

Admission to the School of Law is highly competitive. Typically, only one out of three Texas applicants and one out of four non-resident applicants is admitted. Application requirements differ significantly from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Applicants should review their dual-degree page and carefully review the requirements and procedures outlined in their admissions section.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a combined total of 119 semester hours in both programs, which includes a three-credit-hour report based on original research and co-supervised by a faculty member from the School of Law and a faculty member from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. The particular requirements for the programs are listed below.

All Law School requirements applicable to students in the normal J.D. program must be satisfied. 86 hours are required for graduation. As a general rule, no courses taken to satisfy the M.A. degree requirements, other than offerings in the School of Law itself, may be credited toward the J.D. degree.

No language or other Middle Eastern Studies courses (or other course work beyond the normal first-year curriculum of the J.D. program) may be taken in the first year of Law School.

Middle Eastern Studies:

MA with thesis (30 hours)
•    6 hours of history
•    6 hours of social science
•    6 hours of arts/humanities
•    6 hours of concentration courses
•    6 hours of thesis coursework

MA with report (33 hours)
•    6 hours of history
•    6 hours of social science
•    6 hours of arts/humanities
•    12 hours of concentration courses
•    3 hours of report coursework

Concentration courses must relate to the student’s thesis or report topic.

All courses on the program of work, i.e., all courses used to fulfill the requirements listed above, must be taken on a letter-grade basis.
Language Requirement
Students must complete two upper-division or graduate-level in-residence courses conducted in one Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish) while enrolled in the degree program. These courses may fulfill other degree requirements in the arts/humanities.

Native speakers of a Middle Eastern language must complete these courses in a second Middle Eastern language.

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