Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

M.A. Program in Middle Eastern Studies

Course Requirements

CMES offers a master’s degree with thesis and a master’s degree with report; the course requirements for each are outlined below. The time to degree completion for single majors is set at 21 months (nearly 2 academic years). Exceptions are for those pursuing dual-degrees (3 years, except Law at 4 years), the Center's dual-language track (3 years), or the Center's the 12-month option. On occasion, the Graduate Adviser or Director may approve an extra summer to complete thesis/report research if there is a justification to do so. 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 (except thesis/report). There is one required course that must be taken in the first semester, MES 386:  Middle Eastern Studies, An Interdisciplinary Introduction.

MA with thesis (30 hours)

  • 18 credits (6 courses):  At least 4 MES courses and at least 2 language courses (upper-division or graduate level).
  • 6 credits (2 courses):  non-MES coursework. Continued MES coursework may substitute for non-MES coursework.
  • 6 credits (2 courses):  Thesis coursework, MES 698A & 698B. Taken on CR/NC grade basis. (Thesis courses are sequential at 3 credits apiece, despite the course number beginning with the number 6.)

MA with report (33 hours)

  • 21 credits (7 courses):  At least 5 MES courses and at least 2 language courses (upper-division or graduate level).
  • 9 credits (3 courses):  non-MES coursework. Continued MES coursework may substitute for non-MES coursework.
  • 3 credits (1 course):  Report course, MES 398R. Taken on CR/NC grade basis.

The following thesis & report options are set to expire at the end of the summer 2015 semester. However, continuing students who entered the program prior to fall 2015 may elect to pursue this option if they wish.

Course Requirements

MA with thesis (30 hours)

  • 6 hours of social science - MES 384 series
  • 6 hours of history - MES 385 series
  • 6 hours of arts/humanities - MES 386 series and language courses
  • 6 hours of concentration courses
  • 6 hours of thesis coursework (MES 698A & MES 698B) - taken on CR/NC grade basis

MA with report (33 hours)

  • 6 hours of social science - MES 384 series
  • 6 hours of history - MES 385 series
  • 6 hours of arts/humanities - MES 386 series and language courses
  • 12 hours of concentration courses
  • 3 hours of report coursework (MES 398R) - taken on CR/NC grade basis
  • 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.

Students have the option of doing 1 social science or 1 history course. Doing so increases the concentration course requirement by 1 course.

Policies & Guidelines

Review the CMES program policies and guidelines and frequently asked questions.

Language Requirement

While enrolled in the degree program, students must complete two upper-division or graduate-level in-residence courses conducted in one Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or Modern Hebrew). These courses may fulfill other degree requirements in the arts/humanities. 2nd and 3rd year language are upper-division courses (as well as "content" courses, which are regular courses conducted in the target language).

1st year language courses are lower-division and, as such, cannot be used to meet the language requirement. Students with little or no language background may be admitted to the program and start taking 1st year language in their first year, provided that they continue to 2nd year language in the following year in order to satisfy the language requirement.

Middle Eastern Studies' Summer Language Institutes in Arabic and Persian provide one year's worth of language in 10 weeks. Oftentimes, novice language learners find it useful to take 1st or 2nd year during this period instead of during the academic year. This is especially useful for those pursuing the dual-language track.

Native speakers of a Middle Eastern language may not use their native tongue to complete this requirement. Therefore, they must complete the language requiement by pursuing a non-native Middle Eastern language, potentially from the beginner level the applicant does not already possess a strong background in this second language.

GPA Requirement

All students must maintain a minimum 3.50 GPA in order to remain in good standing. If a student falls between a 3.00 - 3.50 in a given semester, he/she will enter probation and have one semester to bring their grades back above a 3.50. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the program. Students must possess at least a 3.50 in order to graduate from the program.




 Program Contacts:

David Justh Graduate Coordinator
(512) 471-3217

Dr. Karin Wilkins Director

Dr. Yoav Di-Capua Graduate Adviser

Dr. Blake Atwood Asst. Graduate Adviser

Program Resources:

CMES Policies

CMES Forms

CMES FAQ

Student Responsibility

Getting Involved

Graduate Studies in CoLA

Graduate School Newsletters


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    The University of Texas at Austin
    204 W 21st Street Stop F9400
    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712
    +1-512-471-3881