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MES is committed to preparing graduate students in a very practical way for their anticipated careers. By the time students have earned degrees from Middle Eastern Studies, they will have acquired a firm grounding in the current theory and practice of their specific discipline and often in one or more national tradition. They will have conducted research in a specific area of Middle Eastern Studies, such as history, film studies, comparative literature, Ancient Near East, Islamic Studies, etc, research that will prepare them to contribute their expertise to non-profit organizations, NGOs, the private sector, government, education, or, in the case of doctoral students, to teach advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in that area at universities and colleges. Furthermore, they will have acquired a thorough knowledge of at least one language that they might teach at the university level or use professionally after graduation. Finally, all MES doctoral students and the majority of MES MA students will have substantial experience teaching, usually in a language course.
When they finish their degrees, Ph.D. graduates will be qualified to seek positions in departments of Middle Eastern Studies or area studies, as specialists in one or possibly more languages and cultures, or, in many cases, in other disciplinary homes, such as History, Media Studies, or Comparative Literature. They will also be well prepared for careers in related fields that require advanced expertise in international humanistic studies.
For our Master's students, placement data demonstrates that our graduates are filling areas of national need in the public and private sectors. After completing the MA degree, Center students work in public service or in the private sector. To increase the number of students who go into placements in areas of national need, we create opportunities for interaction with figures central to areas such as intelligence and diplomacy through lectures and lunchtime talks. We organize events that bring MES alumni to conduct professional development workshops and discussion sessions on topics relevant to national need.