Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Graduate Program in Middle Eastern Studies

The MA in Middle Eastern Studies is an interdisciplinary academic degree designed to broaden and deepen the student’s knowledge of the languages and cultures of the Middle East. The program develops a strong knowledge base, preparing students for leadership positions as professionals in areas such as government, NGOs, business, consulting, foreign policy, international law, journalism, and translation. Around 30% of graduates continue in graduate studies in their chosen academic discipline.

Please review the Center's coursework requirements and program policies. The program provides an intensive but flexible course of study built largely around individual interests. In addition to completing the prescribed coursework, students must demonstrate proficiency in a Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish) through the completion of intermediate to advanced coursework conducted in the language. The degree culminates in the completion of a thesis or report on a topic that is agreed upon with the student's supervisor, who is identified by the beginning of the final year (thesis) or final semester (report).

Single-Degree Students:  For these students, the MA degree must be completed within two academic years (typically 21 months). An exception to this is the Dual-Language Track, where an additional year is permitted. The majority courses do not need to be taken in any particular order, but the thesis or report must be completed during the semester in which the student graduates.

Dual-Degree Students:  In addition to the MA in Middle Eastern studies, the Center offers seven dual degrees that allow graduate students to simultaneously earn an MA in Middle Eastern studies and a second degree from one of UT’s professional schools:  Law, Business, Information, Public Affairs (Global Policy Studies or Public Affairs), and Communications (Journalism or Radio-TV-Film).

While the Center does not offer a PhD, doctoral programs in a variety of academic disciplines at UT Austin enable students to focus on the Middle East in their course work and research.

12-Month Option

The Center offers a 12-month master's degree option, which is useful for students from the military. Funding from CMES is not available for such students. It is not a commonly pursued option as there are many challenges presented by trying to complete in 12 months what is typically completed in 21 months. But it has been done. Please review this document for details.

Program Contacts:

David Justh Graduate Coordinator
(512) 471-3217
CAL 514

Dr. Karin Wilkins Director & Graduate Adviser

Dr. Blake Atwood Asst. Graduate Adviser


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