Middle East Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies

The interdisciplinary MA in Middle East and Islamic studies introduces students to the major methodological and theoretical issues and debates in the study of the Islamic tradition and Middle Eastern societies. Students study classical and contemporary topics from both regional and global perspectives.

The expressed goal of this program is to situate the study of the Middle East and Islam within a globalized world. Accordingly, the curriculum covers topics of recent scholarly significance including the new media, political Islam, the political economy of business-government networks, the relationship between "resource wars" and the "war on terrorism," new diasporas and transnational Muslim communities in the 'West,' and the changed geopolitical environments of Muslim and Middle Eastern countries.

This interdisciplinary graduate degree prepares students for a variety of post-graduate opportunities in academia, government, and an expanding job market for people with this expertise.

An accelerated master's option is available to students in selected bachelor's programs.  See Bachelor's Degree (selected)/Middle East and Islamic Studies, Accelerated MA for specific requirements.

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see the Academic Policies section of the catalog.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements (Catalog Year 2016-2017)

Five core courses (15 credits)

MEIS 500 - Critical Issues and Debates in Middle East and Islamic Studies Credits: 3

HIST 575 - Approaches to Middle East and Islamic History Credits: 3

GOVT 632 - Politics and Societies of the Middle East Credits: 3

RELI 644 - Islamic Texts and Contexts Credits: 3

Methods course chosen from ANTH 650, HIST 610, SOCI 620, GOVT 500, or RELI 630 Credits: 3

Language proficiency

Prior to graduating, students must demonstrate professional competency in one of five major languages of the Middle East and Muslim world: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew, or Urdu.

Five elective courses (15 credits)

Students who choose to complete a research project or write a thesis take 3 or 6 fewer elective credits. 

In addition to the list below, elective courses may include special topics courses when relevant, directed readings and research, study abroad courses, internships, and other courses with the approval of the program director.

ANTH 635 - Regional Ethnography Credits: 3 (when topic is Middle East and North Africa)

ARTH 599 - Special Topics in Art History and the Decorative Arts Credits: 1-6 (when topic is Middle Eastern or Islamic art)

ARTH 699 - Topics in Art History Credits: 3 (when topic is Middle East or Islamic art)

CONF 653 - World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution Credits: 3

CONF 722 - Conflict and Religion Credits: 3

ENGH 665 - Seminar in Global Culture Credits: 3 (when topic is Middle East or Muslim world)

FREN 553 - Topics in North African Francophone Literature and Culture Credits: 3

FRLN 550 - Special Topics Credits: 3 (when topic is a language of the Middle East or Muslim world)

FRLN 551 - Special Topics Credits: 3 (when topic is a language of the Middle East or Muslim world)

GGS 533 - Issues in Regional Geography (when topic is Middle East) Credits: 1-6

GOVT 731 - Advanced Seminar in Comparative Politics Credits: 3 (when topic is the Middle East or a Muslim world region)

GOVT 733 - Islam and Politics Credits: 3

HIST 585 - Problems in Middle Eastern History Credits: 3

MEIS 794 - Graduate Internship in Middle East and Islamic Studies Credits: 3

MEIS 796 - Directed Readings in Middle East and Islamic Studies Credits: 3

RELI 591 - Special Topics in Religious Studies Credits: 3 (when topic is Islam or Muslim communities)

RELI 645 - Muslim Comparative Theologies: Sunni-Shi`i Religious Thought Credits: 3

RELI 646 - Islam and Human Rights Credits: 3

RELI 660 - Islamic Biomedical Ethics Credits: 3

Optional Research Project (3 credits)

Students choosing to complete a research project take one of the following courses, and one less elective course.

GOVT 798 - Political Science Research Project Credits: 3

HIST 798 - Directed Research and Writing in History Credits: 3

SOCI 696 - Independent Study Credits: 1-3

ANTH 796 - Master's Research Project Credits: 1-6

MEIS 798 - Research Project in Middle East and Islamic Studies Credits: 3

Optional Thesis (6 credits)

Students who choose to write a thesis should be aware of the policies governing theses as stated in the Academic Policies section of this catalog. They must follow the thesis enrollment policy of the university and once enrolled in MEIS 799, maintain continuous enrollment.

Students choosing to complete a thesis take 6 fewer credits of elective.

MEIS 799 - Thesis Research and Writing in Middle East and Islamic Studies Credits: 1-6

Total: 30 credits

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