Middle Eastern Studies | College of Liberal Arts
skip to content The University of Texas at Austin

Graduate Studies

College of Liberal Arts

Edit Headline Text

Edit Subhead Text

Fall 2024 Admissions Announcements:

For anyone applying to enter our Ph.D. or M.A. program in Fall 2024, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is optional. You may submit your GRE scores if you believe that they will strengthen your application, but this is not required for you to be considered for admission into the program. Any questions concerning this policy for Ph.D. applicants should be directed to the program’s Graduate Advisor, Dr. Bruce Wells (bruce.wells@austin.utexas.edu). For M.A. applicants, please contact the Graduate Coordinator, Taylor Peterson (taylor.peterson@austin.utexas.edu). 

Learn More
College of Liberal Arts

Check out our Fall 2023 Graduate Seminars.

Fall 2024 applications are due December 15, 2023. Apply here!

The PhD program in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures and the MA program in Middle Eastern Studies encompass a wide variety of critical methodologies and approaches to the Middle East. Guiding students to conceptualize the Middle East regionally instead of limiting them to a narrow scope of nation- and language-based inquiry, our graduate programs encourage comparative study of the cultures, histories, and languages of the Middle East. In keeping with its open and flexible conception of Middle Eastern Studies, the programs nurture the study of more than one Middle Eastern language and familiarity with multiple Middle Eastern cultures. Course offerings are also widely varied, as are the topics of master’s theses/reports and doctoral dissertations. UT's graduate programs embrace an inclusive view of the field, ensuring its continued leadership and visibility in the field. 

Our graduate programs have among the strongest job placement records in the College of Liberal Arts. Our doctoral program in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures placed 93% of their Ph.D. graduates in academic positions, with the college average being 75%. Although graduate programs in Middle Eastern Studies are not ranked officially in national reviews, we are nationally and internationally recognized as an academically excellent program which supports its students during their studies and places them in appropriate positions upon graduation. University reports have also identified that the placement rate of area studies departments, such as MELC, have higher academic placement rates than disciplinary departments in the Social Sciences and Humanities. 

Ph.D. Program in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

Offered through the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, the Ph.D. program in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures aims to educate and mentor scholars and teachers of the languages and cultures of the Middle East with the depth to support a sustained research career and the breadth to teach a range of courses on Middle Eastern topics. Students select a field of study from five tracks; full details of degree requirements for each track are available on the Ph.D. Degree Requirements page. Students are also able to pursue portfolios in other topics that may relate to their research interests. 

Master's Program in Middle Eastern Studies

Offered through the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, our MA program sustains a consistent level of attention to the breadth of the study of the Middle East. Ensuring breadth in the MES graduate curriculum, faculty consistently offer courses in their respective areas of expertise in relation to the Middle East region. Their courses originate in diverse fields, including art history, Asian studies, history, sociology, government, anthropology, and religious studies.

In addition to the MA in Middle Eastern studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies 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. Students are also able to pursue portfolios in other topics that may relate to their research interests.