Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Visiting Scholars Program

Please note: we are not currently able to host visiting scholars for the spring 2017 or 2017-18 academic years. The information provided below is for informational purposes only.

Due to the outstanding Middle Eastern Studies library collection at the University of Texas at Austin as well as our distinguished Middle Eastern faculty, many scholars choose to spend sabbatical or other research leave at the University of Texas at Austin.

Who can be a Visiting Scholar?

The status of Visiting Scholar is granted to individuals coming to Middle Eastern Studies to pursue their own independent research. A minimum of a Bachelors degree is required to apply for Visiting Scholar affiliation.

Appointments are made for a minimum of one month and a maximum of one year.

Do you offer fellowships?

Visiting scholars are expected to have their own financial support. They do not receive payment or financial support from the University of Texas, nor is tenure or continuation at UT Austin implied. Visiting scholars should not expect to be able to supplement their stipends by teaching courses at the university.

Can I do my post-doc at MES?

We do not currently offer a post-doc program.


Privileges granted with acceptance into the Visiting Scholar program include:

  • a University of Texas identification card
  • free access to public transportation (bus service) with indentification card for the duration of your affiliation
  • the ability to check out books from any university library
  • access to online databases
  • the ability to purchase a recreational sports membership
  • the ability to purchase an on-campus parking permit

Please note: working space on campus is limited and we are unable to offer office space to visiting scholars. Shared space may be available in the General Libraries.

There are two classifications of Visiting Scholars: Visiting Researchers, and Visiting International Scholars.

Visiting Researchers

Scholars are eligible to be Visiting Researchers if they are:

  • American citizens;
  • United States permanent residents (green card holders);
  • Citizens of a country with a visa free travel agreement (Canada, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, or British Overseas Citizens of Bermuda, the Turks and Caicos, or the Cayman Islands);
  • Holders of a valid U.S. visa that allows them to remain in the U.S. for the duration of their research period;
  • or those who require no visa assistance.
  • Citizens of Visa Waiver Program Countries who plan to travel on a visa waiver are also eligible to be Visiting Researchers if their appointment will be less than the 90 days allowed for waiver travel.

Visiting scholars may choose to work with a specific member of the faculty, or may work independently under the nominal supervision of the Center Director, while pursuing independent research.

Visiting International Scholars

Visiting International Scholars are those individuals who require visa assistance from the University of Texas.

Due to the cost and time required to process visa paperwork, we can only accept a very limited number of visiting international scholars each year. Prority is given to international scholars working on joint projects with members of our faculty.  

Do I need a visa?
Foreign individuals seeking affiliation for more than a total of 90 days will need to apply for a J-1 visa. The application process for a J-1 visa takes 12-16 weeks. Individuals applying under the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program will be sponsored by MES. We strongly encourage individuals to apply early. 

For additional information, please visit J-1 Visa Exchange Program.

Faculty Mentor
All Visiting International Scholars must have a faculty mentor who has agreed to supervise their research during their time here. Please note that not all members of the faculty are currently accepting students or scholars for supervision. You may find a list of faculty and their contact information here.

Visiting international scholars are required to submit a final report on their research to us before we can issue any sort of cover documentation verifying their presence on campus during their research leave.

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    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712