Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Policies for CMES Graduate Students

The following policies apply to students in the M.A. program in Middle Eastern Studies.

 


 

GPA Requirement

All students must maintain a minimum 3.50 GPA in order to remain in good standing.  If a student happens to fall between a 3.00 - 3.50 in a given semester, they will enter probation and have one semester to bring their grades back above a 3.50. Failure to do so could result in dismissal from the program. Students must possess at least a 3.50 in order to graduate from the program.

 

Good Scholastic Standing 

To be in good scholastic standing in CMES and the University of Texas at Austin students are expected to:

  • be in compliance with all applicable university and program policies;
  • maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.50;
  • make satisfactory progress towards the degree;
  • perform at the professional level expected of the program and faculty supervisor;
  • take all courses for a letter grade;
  • remedy any temporary incomplete grades before they convert to a permanent grade*
*Students employed in academic positions are expected to complete incompletes prior to the start of the following semester. Failure to do so will be viewed as making unsatisfactory progress toward the degree.

 


Events

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies sponsors or co-sponsors over 40 events each semester. These events bring various dimensions of the Middle East to our campus, allowing you to expand your knowledge of the region beyond the classroom. As CMES graduate students, you are required to attend 2 academic events/semester and to submit an Events Survey form for each (please note that these events must be academic – not administrative – in nature).

The Center takes this requirement seriously and considers it part of your graduate training; it is one of the factors we consider when assessing your academic performance and making funding decisions. Though most of your time as graduate students revolves around the classroom, events are an integral part of the university experience.

 


Courses

Limits on Conference, 'Bump-Ups', and Upper-Division Courses

Center students may not take more than two total of the following for the MA degree:

  • MES 382: conference course (of the independent study type);
  • MES 382: bumped-up upper-division course;
  • upper-division course (not bumped-up)

The Office of Graduate Studies allows for a maximum of two courses from the above to count toward degree requirements. A graduate conference course (MES 382) may be an independent study with a professor, or of a “bumped-up” upper-division undergraduate course.  The last two digits indicate the rank of the course; if they are 01 through 19, the course is of lower-division rank; if 20 through 79, it is of upper-division rank.

 

Non-MES Courses

A course that is cross-listed with MES may appear on the program of work regardless of the department under which a student registers for the course. For example, HIS 388K may apply to the degree without any special approval, if it is cross-listed with MES 381. A non-language course that is not cross-listed with MES cannot be applied to the MES degree without advance approval. To request this approval, a student must submit a Non-MES Course Credit Petition to the graduate advisor demonstrating that the non-MES course contains at least 30% Middle Eastern studies content.

This content should be represented in all aspects of the class, including lectures, readings, and assignments. This approval must be sought and granted by the 1st class day of the semester in which the non-MES course is taken. Retroactive approvals will not be granted. Courses taken outside of the department that apply neither to the CMES degree nor a dual degree program may be taken with the approval of the Graduate Adviser.

   


Language Courses

Arabic  

First-year (beginner) is lower-division at 6 hours per week. Second-year (intermediate) is upper-division at 6 hours per week. Third-year (advanced) is upper-division and 5 hours per week. All of these undergraduate sections have 3-credit graduate cross-listings that graduate students register for. The intent of these corresponding 3-credit versions is meant to keep tuition down. However, students, in reality, are still taking a 5 or 6 credit course. "Content Courses" come after completion of the advanced level (third-year). These are traditional 3-credit courses that are conducted in the target language. Such courses can be "bumped-up" for graduate credit if the instructor is a tenured or tenure-track professor (not a lecturer or Ph.D. student).

Persian

First-year (beginner) is lower-division at 6 hours per week. A 3-credit graduate cross-listing exists to keep tuition down, however, students still take a 6-credit course in reality. Second year (intermediate) is upper-division at 3 hours per week. "Content Courses" come after completion of the intermediate level. These are traditional 3-credit courses that are conducted in the target language. Such courses can be "bumped-up" for graduate credit if the instructor is a tenured or tenure-track professor (not a lecturer or Ph.D. student).

Modern Hebrew

First-year (beginner) is lower-division at 6 hours per week. A 3-credit graduate cross-listing exists to keep tuition down, however, students still take a 6-credit course in reality. Second-year (intermediate) is upper-division at 3 hours per week. "Content Courses" come after completion of the intermediate level. These are traditional 3-credit courses that are conducted in the target language. Such courses can be "bumped-up" for graduate credit if the instructor is a tenured or tenure-track professor (not a lecturer or Ph.D. student).

Turkish

First-year (beginner) is lower-division at 6 hours per week. A 3-credit graduate cross-listing exists to keep tuition down, however, students still take a 6-credit course in reality. Second-year (intermediate) is upper-division at 3 hours per week. Third-year (advanced) is upper-division at 3 hours per week. 

 


Thesis & Report

Timeline toward completion

The Graduate School is very strict about enforcing the rule requiring the submission of a thesis or report during the semester you graduate. 

Students doing a report sign up for the report course 398R. The assumption is that the report is begun and finished in the same semester, the student’s last term in the program.  Students taking the thesis option will sign up for 698A one semester and 698B the next. The thesis is officially started one semester and finished the following. Thus, these courses must be taken consecutively; they cannot be taken concurrently. You could enroll in the sequence in fall/spring, spring/summer, spring/fall or summer/fall.

 

Distinction between Thesis and Report

No university document distinguishes clearly between a report and a thesis in terms of length or scope, although as a general rule the thesis is a project of greater depth and academic inclination. Most faculty members regard it as an original piece of authorship and contribution to knowledge. By contrast, a report is a project of a smaller scale in which a student often reviews what scholars have written on a particular topic. The lack of established parameters regarding thesis and report requirements makes it exceedingly important that your supervisor’s expectations are clearly defined and coincide with those of the 2nd reader.

 

The Committee  

At least two faculty members must serve as thesis/report readers. It is most common to have a supervisor and a 2nd reader. Two equal co-supervisors may also acceptable but please first check with the Graduate Coordinator. In the first example, the supervisor must be on the Center's Graduate Studies Committee. In the second example, one of the co-supervisors must be on the GSC list.

 


  •   Map
  • Middle Eastern Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    204 W 21st Street Stop F9400
    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712
    +1-512-471-3881