Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Dual MA/MGPS Degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Global Policy Studies

CMES and the LBJ School of Public Affairs offer a dual degree program leading to two graduate degrees, the Master of Global Policy Studies (MGPS) degree and the Master of Arts (MA) in Middle Eastern Studies. The dual-degree combines advanced studies of globalization with a focus on the politics, history, economy, and cultures of the Middle East. Graduates should eventually possess substantial career flexibility and attractiveness to prospective employers in government, private industry, and the non-profit sector.

Program Structure

The joint program is structured so that students can earn both master's degrees simultaneously in three academic years. Some students, particularly those who enter the program with a language deficiency, may find it necessary to enroll for an additional semester or summer session in order to complete all the requirements of the MES program. Degrees are awarded when the required course work in both areas is completed.

A student must achieve intermediate-high or advanced-low proficiency in a Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian or Turkish). The language requirement is fulfilled through formal study of the language. Native speakers of a Middle Eastern language will have to achieve proficiency in a different Middle Eastern language.

In addition to the standard MES coursework requirements, students in the dual-degree program take the following courses at the LBJ School, which total 70 credit hours of work: 

Global Policy Studies:

  • The Global Policy Studies core courses (22 hours): Policymaking in a Global Age, Microeconomics, The Nature of the International System, Analytical Methods for Global Policy Studies, International Economics, Policy Research Project, and Crisis Management.
  • An MGPS specialization (15 hours) chosen from Security, Law, and Diplomacy; International Trade and Finance; Development; Global Governance and International Law; International Energy, Environment, and Technology; Regional International Policy; or a student-initiated specialization. Specialization courses should be selected based on their relationship to the overall dual-degree program, as agreed with the Graduate Adviser.
  • Summer internship in an office where the activity is related to the GPS program.

Middle Eastern Studies:

MA with thesis (30 hours)

  • 4 courses (12 credits):  MES graduate courses
  • 2 courses (6 credits): Upper-division language courses: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or Hebrew. 
  • 2 courses (6 credits):  Concentration courses to be approved by Graduate Adviser.* 
  • 2 courses (6 credits):  Thesis courses:  MES 698A & 698B. Taken on the CR/NC grade basis. Thesis courses are sequential and contrary to their numbering are 3 credit hours each.

MA with report (33 hours)

  • 5 courses (15 credits): MES graduate courses
  • 2 courses (6 credits): Upper-division language courses: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or Hebrew.
  • 3 courses (9 credits): Concentration courses to be approved by Graduate Adviser.* 
  • 1 course (3 credits):  Report course:  MES 398R. Taken on the CR/NC grade basis.

All courses on the program of work must be taken on a letter-grade basis. 
Language Requirement
Students must complete two upper-division or graduate-level in-residence courses conducted in one Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Tajiki, or Turkish) while enrolled in the degree program. *Students who wish to earn a language concentration may use their concentration credits to pursue additional language study, including a second Middle Eastern language at the first-year level. 


It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the appropriate materials are submitted to the respective departments via Apply Texas. An applicant must be accepted into each individual program in order to be admitted to the dual-degree. Please review the Center's FAQ of this website for more information.

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    The University of Texas at Austin
    204 W 21st Street Stop F9400
    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712