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Middle Eastern History

The Middle Eastern History track provides students with training in the discipline of History, with a geographic focus on the Middle East region, with the primary goal of training Ph.D.s for academic jobs in history programs. Thus, the program of study is designed to be consistent with the training typically provided in history departments.

While students may take some non-history courses, the program is structured so that the coursework, Ph.D. exams, and dissertation are all overseen primarily by historians, both within the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and in other departments, such as History or Religious Studies. While most of these historians will be focused on the Middle East, students are also allowed to work with historians who are not focused specifically on the Middle East. Usually, this will be because of shared theoretical, thematic, and methodological interests, but it could also be because of the desire to develop a secondary area of research or teaching competence. It also is not uncommon for students to include a historian from another university on their Ph.D. committee. 

  • a minimum of 30 hours of MELC courses;
  • 9 hours of language seminars; 
  • at least 3 hours of comprehensive exams;
  • reading knowledge of French or German;
  • mastery in a Middle Eastern language;
  • at least 6 credit hours of dissertation coursework
  1. Students are required to reach Advanced / Superior in the language of their research field.
  2. A secondary research language may be substituted for French or German.
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We encourage prospective students to read our Graduate Admissions FAQ, as many general questions are answered on our website.