skip to content
UT Austin
photo
Grad Catalog 03-05

CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1
Graduate Study

CHAPTER 2
Admission and
Registration

CHAPTER 3
Degree
Requirements

CHAPTER 4
Fields
of Study

CHAPTER 5
Members of
Graduate Studies
Committees

APPENDIX
Course
Abbreviations

 

    

Middle Eastern Studies

Degrees Offered

Master of Arts (in Middle Eastern Studies)
Master of Arts (in Arabic Studies, Hebrew Studies, or Persian Studies)
Doctor of Philosophy (in Arabic Studies, Hebrew Studies, or Persian Studies)

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies administers the master's degree in Middle Eastern studies. The Department of Middle Eastern Studies administers the master's and doctoral degree programs in Arabic studies, Hebrew studies, and Persian studies.

Facilities for Graduate Work

University library holdings on the Middle East form one of the leading collections in North America. These include 145,000 volumes and 1,230 serial titles in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and Azerbaijani, and more than 160,000 volumes in Western languages. This collection includes a comprehensive set of English-language reference works, general texts, basic monographs, and essential journals on the Middle East. Among the special collections are strong holdings on Shi'ism, Islamic jurisprudence, and Arabic and Persian literature; a set of Arabic manuscripts on the Yezidis of Yemen; a virtually complete set of Turkish and Azerbaijani periodicals that forms a unique national resource; and over 2,000 volumes of census records on Middle Eastern countries. Electronic material supporting Middle Eastern studies is also extensive and includes the Index Islamicus; the Encyclopedia of Islam; and Records on Islam, Primary Documents, 1873-1926. The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center holds writers' personal papers, including those of T.E.Lawrence, Paul Bowles, Freya Stark, Richard Burton, and others with a special Middle Eastern connection. Another unique collection is the Development Communication Archive, donated by the federal Agency for International Development, which includes 350 boxes of original records on issues ranging from agriculture and the environment to health and community development; about a quarter of the documents cover Middle Eastern projects.

The Middle East Resource Center houses a collection of approximately four thousand English-language books and reference works, some twenty thousand slides, and hundreds of films, musical recordings, and periodicals. Another important resource is UT-MENIC, the University of Texas Middle East Network Information Center, which provides a comprehensive directory of on-line information and links to hundreds of databases. The service, developed by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, forms a major source of information now used widely throughout the world.

Areas of Study

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies offers the Master of Arts with a major in Middle Eastern studies, an interdisciplinary professional degree with a regional concentration on the Middle East. The degree is intended primarily for those preparing for a career in business, communication, government, information studies, law, the military, or junior college teaching. There is a good deal of flexibility in meeting degree requirements; each student, in consultation with the graduate adviser, designs an individual program within the framework of the requirements described in the section "Degree Requirements" below.

Students interested in a master's degree in a single discipline with a concentration on the Middle East should contact the graduate adviser for that discipline; for example, the student might major in anthropology, art history, business, classics, comparative literature, economics, geography, government, history, linguistics, or sociology.

The Department of Middle Eastern Studies administers the degree programs in Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian. The master's degree is offered in language, linguistics, and literature and in cultural studies in the student's area of concentration. The doctoral degree is offered in Arabic language, linguistics, and literature; in Hebrew language, linguistics, and literature (biblical, rabbinic, and modern), biblical history and archaeology, Jewish thought, and the culture of ancient and modern Israel; and in Persian language and literature.

With the approval of the graduate adviser and the graduate dean, students may design special programs that include courses from outside the department that are related to their major area of study.

Graduate courses are offered in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish languages and literatures and in the cultures of the Middle East. The study of these languages, literatures, and cultures may also be included in programs leading to master's or doctoral degrees in other departments.

Graduate Studies Committees

The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committees in the spring semester 2002-2003.

Middle Eastern Studies

Peter F. Abboud
Kamran S. Aghaie
Kamran Asdar Ali
Samer Ali
Aaron Bar-Adon
Karl W. Butzer
Mounira Charrad
Diana Davis
John D. H. Downing
David J. Eaton
Yildiray Erdener
W. Parker Frisbie
Mohammad Ghanoonparvar
Kate Gillespie
Barbara Jane Harlow
Geraldine Heng
Clement M. Henry
Michael C. Hillmann
Akel I. Kahera
Deborah Kapchan
     Harold Alter Liebowitz
W. Roger Louis
Ian R. Manners
Abraham Marcus
Khaled A. Mattawa
Gail Minault
Mohammad A. Mohammad
James A. Neely
William R. Nethercut
Adam Zachary Newton
Esther L. Raizen
Denise Schmandt-Besserat
Faegheh Shirazi
Mark Southern
Denise A. Spellberg
Keith Walters
Karin Wilkins
Seth L. Wolitz
Avraham Zilkha

Arabic Studies, Hebrew Studies, and Persian Studies

Peter F. Abboud
Kamran S. Aghaie
Samer Ali
Aaron Bar-Adon
Yildiray Erdener
Mohammad Ghanoonparvar
Michael C. Hillmann
     Akel I. Kahera
Harold Alter Liebowitz
Mohammad A. Mohammad
Esther L. Raizen
Faegheh Shirazi
Avraham Zilkha

Admission Requirements

Master of Arts

Middle Eastern studies. The entering student must have a bachelor's degree. While the center admits students holding a variety of undergraduate degrees, previous academic work on the region and some proficiency in one of its languages is recommended.

Arabic studies. Participation in the program assumes a Bachelor of Arts in Arabic language and literature, or the equivalent. It requires a level of competence in modern Fusha Arabic that enables students to participate fully in courses conducted exclusively in Arabic: that is, proficiency of advanced or better in at least three of the four skills on a nationally recognized scale. Courses taken to make up undergraduate deficiencies may not be counted toward the degree.

Hebrew studies. Entering students should have a Bachelor of Arts in Hebrew language and literature, or the equivalent. Those who do not must take Hebrew 321, Hebrew Grammar, Hebrew 322, Introduction to Hebrew Literature, and Hebrew 325, Advanced Conversation and Composition, before taking graduate Hebrew courses. These courses may not be counted toward the degree.

Persian studies. Participation assumes practical mastery of the modern Persian language. One year of Arabic is also required. Credit for that coursework and for any coursework in Persian that the student needs to develop reading competence may not be counted toward the degree.

Doctor of Philosophy

Participation in the doctoral degree program requires a master's degree or the equivalent in the relevant area and language.

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts

Middle Eastern studies. This program consists of at least thirty semester hours, including a six-semester-hour thesis; or at least thirty-three semester hours, including a three-semester-hour report. Under either option, all courses, including Middle Eastern Studies 698 or 398R, must have Middle Eastern content. The student must complete six semester hours in each of the following three areas: history, social sciences, and humanities.

In addition, the student must complete four semesters of formal instruction, or the equivalent, in a Middle Eastern language; equivalent knowledge must be demonstrated by satisfactory performance on an examination. In either case, no credit toward the degree is earned by fulfillment of the language requirement, since this language competence is a necessary tool for graduate Middle Eastern studies rather than a graduate-level subject of study. Students who are native speakers of a Middle Eastern language must demonstrate proficiency in a second Middle Eastern language.

Arabic studies. This program offers graduate training in Arabic language (modern Fusha and the classical language), linguistics, and literature; provides training in linguistic analysis, literary and cultural history, and literary criticism; and introduces research methods leading to independent investigation.

The Master of Arts with thesis requires thirty semester hours of coursework: eighteen hours of linguistics, literature, and Islamic studies; six hours of electives chosen in consultation with a faculty adviser; and six hours in the thesis course. No more than nine hours may be in upper-division courses. The thesis is normally written in English; under certain circumstances and with written consent of the graduate dean, it may be written in Arabic.

The Master of Arts with report requires thirty-three semester hours of coursework: twenty-one hours of linguistics, literature, and Islamic studies; nine hours of electives chosen in consultation with a faculty adviser; and three hours in the report course. No more than nine hours may be in upper-division courses. With special permission, the report may be written in Arabic.

Hebrew studies. This program offers graduate training in Hebrew language, linguistics, and literature (biblical, rabbinic, modern); Jewish thought; the culture of ancient and modern Israel; and biblical archaeology. The program trains students in research methods leading to independent investigation. To earn a master's degree, students are expected to demonstrate a level of competence in Modern Hebrew of intermediate high or better on a nationally accepted proficiency scale. For students specializing in ancient Hebrew culture or biblical archaeology, the language requirement is determined by the Hebrew faculty and the graduate adviser. At least thirty semester hours of coursework are required, including a six-semester-hour thesis course. The thesis is normally written in English; under certain circumstances and with written consent of the graduate dean, it may be written in Hebrew.

Persian studies. This program offers graduate training in Persian language and literature. It provides exposure to major literary texts and genres and introduces research methods leading to independent work.

The Master of Arts with thesis requires thirty semester hours of coursework: Persian 384C (Topic 1: Ferdowsi's Shahnameh), 384C (Topic 2: Sa'di's Golestan), 384C (Topic 3: Hafez and Classical Persian Lyric Poetry), 388, a survey course in twentieth-century Persian literature, a course in literary criticism, an elective in Persian literature, and the six-semester-hour thesis course. The requirements for the Master of Arts with report are the same, except that a relevant course with Iranian or Islamic studies content and the three-semester-hour report course replace the thesis course.

Doctor of Philosophy

The program is designed to increase the breadth and depth of the student's knowledge and to develop his or her capacity for independent scholarly research. The courses required are determined by the student's interests. For research purposes, reading knowledge in one or two languages is required in addition to the student's language of concentration; another Middle Eastern language of relevance to the student's research is expected. A period of study and research is recommended in a country where the language of concentration is used. To be admitted to candidacy for the degree, the student must pass a qualifying examination at a time approved by the graduate adviser.

An examination committee oversees the student's progress and eventually administers a comprehensive examination. After passing this examination, the candidate sets up a dissertation committee with the help of the graduate adviser. This committee approves the dissertation proposal, guides the student in writing the dissertation, and administers the final oral defense. The dissertation is normally written in English; under certain circumstances and with the written consent of the graduate dean, it may be written in the language of concentration.

Arabic studies and Hebrew studies. Students choose between a specialization in literature and culture with supporting work in language and linguistics and a specialization in language and linguistics with supporting work in literature and culture. They normally take relevant courses in such fields as Islamic studies or Jewish studies, language pedagogy, and history and anthropology of the Middle East. Students who specialize in literature must take two courses in literary criticism; the culture track does not require these courses. Students who specialize in language and linguistics must take Linguistics 380K and 380L or their equivalents. Arabic studies students must have sufficient competence in Fusha to participate fully in courses conducted exclusively in Arabic and must pass a test to demonstrate the advanced proficiency needed to use scholarly publications and participate in scholarly activities in Arabic. Hebrew studies students must demonstrate the ability to read Hebrew scholarly publications and to participate in scholarly activities in Hebrew.

Persian studies. Students must take at least two years of Arabic and two courses in literary criticism, as well as relevant courses in such fields as history, Islamic studies, and political science.

Dual Degree Programs

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies offers the following dual degree programs in cooperation with other divisions of the University. Each program allows the student to earn the Master of Arts with a major in Middle Eastern studies and a second master's degree simultaneously. Degrees are awarded when the student has completed the required work in both areas.

Students seeking admission to any dual degree program must apply to both programs through the Graduate and International Admissions Center and must be accepted by each individual program in order to be admitted to the dual program. Like all other graduate applicants, the student is responsible for submitting any additional information required by the Graduate Studies Committee for each program.

Students in each dual degree program are expected to demonstrate proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish equivalent to that shown by completion of two years of coursework. This requirement may be met either by coursework or by examination. Students who are native speakers of a Middle Eastern language must demonstrate proficiency in a second Middle Eastern language.

Master of Arts/Doctor of Jurisprudence

This dual degree program is offered by the School of Law and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies to combine the study of law with interdisciplinary area studies and language. It is one of the few programs in the United States designed to meet the need in both the public and the private sector for legal specialists with a thorough understanding of the economics, geography, history, politics, and culture of the Middle East and North Africa.

Students must complete 119 semester hours of coursework in law and Middle Eastern studies, including a three-hour report course 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. During the first year, students must complete the normal first year of coursework at the School of Law. This must be done before they take any language courses or other courses on the Middle East. After the first year, students should arrange their schedules so that they complete the requirements of both degrees in the same semester. Generally, a student with the requisite language background can obtain both degrees in eight semesters. Students with no previous knowledge of a Middle Eastern language are advised to enroll in intensive language courses during the summer before they begin the dual degree program.

Master of Arts/Master of Arts with a Major in Journalism

The School of Journalism and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies offer a dual program that combines advanced communication studies with interdisciplinary area studies and language. It responds to a need in both the public and the private sector for communication specialists with a thorough understanding of the culture, economics, geography, history, and politics of the Middle East and North Africa.

The dual degree program is structured so that students can earn the two master's degrees simultaneously in approximately three academic years. Students must complete sixty-three semester hours of work in the School of Journalism and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, including a thesis based on original research and co-supervised by a journalism and a Middle Eastern studies faculty member.

Students are encouraged to achieve the required level of language proficiency as early as possible. Those with no previous knowledge of a Middle Eastern language are advised to enroll in intensive language courses during the summer before they begin the dual degree program.

Master of Arts/Master of Arts with a Major in Radio-Television-Film

The Department of Radio-Television-Film and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies offer a dual program that combines advanced communication studies with interdisciplinary area studies and language. It responds to a need in both the public and the private sector for communication specialists with a thorough understanding of the culture, economics, geography, history, and politics of the Middle East and North Africa.

The dual degree program is structured so that students can earn the two master's degrees simultaneously in approximately three academic years. Students must complete sixty-three semester hours of work in the Department of Radio-Television-Film and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, including a thesis based on original research and co-supervised by a radio-television-film and a Middle Eastern studies faculty member.

Students are encouraged to achieve the required level of language proficiency as early as possible. Those with no previous knowledge of a Middle Eastern language are advised to enroll in intensive language courses during the summer before they begin the dual degree program.

Master of Arts/Master of Business Administration

This dual degree program is offered with the McCombs School of Business. It is designed to provide students with the skills and perspective necessary to work effectively in business, particularly in its application to the contemporary Middle East.

Upon admission to this dual degree program, the student must pay a nonrefundable enrollment deposit to indicate that he or she accepts the offer of admission. The deposit serves to confirm the student's intention of enrolling in both programs and is applied to the payment of fees when the student enrolls. Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for assistance to cover the deposit.

The dual degree program is structured so that students can earn the two master's degrees simultaneously in approximately three academic years. The student must complete sixty-nine hours of coursework in the McCombs School of Business and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, including a professional report. Students are urged to complete the language requirement outlined above in the first two years of the program.

Master of Arts/Master of Public Affairs

This dual degree program is offered with the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. It combines advanced policy studies with interdisciplinary area studies, responding to a need in both the public and the private sector for policy specialists with a thorough understanding of Middle Eastern politics and cultures. The dual degree program is structured so that students can earn both master's degrees simultaneously in three academic years. Some students, particularly those who enter the program with a language deficiency, may need to enroll for an additional semester or summer session to complete all the requirements of the program. Students must complete at least sixty-nine semester hours in public affairs and Middle Eastern studies, including a master's report and summer internship. Although the program is flexible, students generally take courses in both public affairs and Middle Eastern studies every semester and take the internship in the summer between the second and third years. Students are urged to complete the language requirement in the first two years of the program.

The curriculum includes twenty-one semester hours of required public affairs core courses, including Public Affairs 383C, 384C, 391, and 693; Public Affairs 882; three hours of elective coursework in public affairs; eighteen hours of required coursework in Middle Eastern studies, equally distributed among history, arts/humanities, and social sciences; six hours of elective coursework in Middle Eastern studies; six hours of general electives; a summer internship in or related to the Middle East; and a master's report on a Middle Eastern/public affairs topic.

Master of Arts/Master of Science in Information Studies

This program, offered in cooperation with the School of Information, combines study of the cultures and societies of the Middle East and North Africa with training in information studies.

The dual degree program is structured so that students can earn the two master's degrees simultaneously in approximately three academic years. Students must complete sixty-nine semester hours of coursework, including a professional report co-supervised by a faculty member from the School of Information and a faculty member from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

For More Information

Middle Eastern Studies

Campus address: West Mall Office Building (WMB) 6.102, phone (512) 471-3881, fax (512) 471-7834; campus mail code: F9400

Mailing address: The University of Texas at Austin, Graduate Program, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, 1 University Station F9400, Austin TX 78712-0527

E-mail: cmes@menic.utexas.edu

URL: http://menic.utexas.edu/menic/cmes/

Arabic Studies, Hebrew Studies, and Persian Studies

Campus address:W est Mall Office Building (WMB) 5.120, phone (512) 471-1365 or (512) 471-4690, fax (512) 471-4197; campus mail code: F1500

Mailing address: The University of Texas at Austin, Graduate Program, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, 1 University Station F1500, Austin TX 78712-0482

E-mail: azilkha@mail.utexas.edu

URL: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/melc/html/

 


Top of File     

Arabic Courses: ARA
Hebrew Courses: HEB
Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures Courses: MEL
Middle Eastern Studies Courses: MES
Persian Courses: PRS
Turkish Courses: TUR

      

 

Graduate Catalog
Contents
Chapter 1 - Graduate Study
Chapter 2 - Admission and Registration
Chapter 3 - Degree Requirements
Chapter 4 - Fields of Study
Chapter 5 - Members of Graduate Studies Committees
Appendix - Course Abbreviations

Related Information
Catalogs
Course Schedules
Academic Calendars
Office of Admissions


Office of the Registrar
University of Texas at Austin

12 August 2003. Office of the Registrar

Send comments to Official Publications