Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Graduate Program in Middle Eastern Studies

The MA in Middle Eastern Studies is an interdisciplinary academic degree designed to broaden and deepen the student’s knowledge of the languages and cultures of the Middle East. The program develops a strong knowledge base, preparing students for leadership positions as professionals in areas such as government, NGOs, business, consulting, foreign policy, international law, journalism, and translation. Approximately 30% of graduates continue to doctoral studies in their chosen academic discipline.



The Center degree is interdisciplinary in nature. The degree program is quite flexible, but students who are interested in the single discipline at the exclusion of others are encouraged to apply to other programs. If, for example, you are interested in Turkey’s political system, you will be able to take Turkish language courses and courses in history, social sciences, and arts/humanities that pertain to Turkey, but you must also expect to take courses that are of a general regional nature, or that pertain to other countries and political/cultural/religious systems in the Middle East.



Please review the Center's coursework requirements and program policies. The program provides an intensive but flexible course of study built largely around individual interests. In addition to completing the prescribed coursework, students must demonstrate proficiency in a Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish) through the completion of intermediate to advanced coursework conducted in the language. The degree culminates in the completion of a thesis or report on a topic that is agreed upon with the student's supervisor, who is identified by the beginning of the final year (thesis) or final semester (report). While the Center does not offer a Ph.D., doctoral programs in a variety of academic disciplines at UT Austin enable students to focus on the Middle East in their coursework and research.


Single-Degree Students  

For these students, the MA degree must be completed within two academic years (typically 21 months). An exception to this is the Dual-Language Track, where an additional year is permitted. The majority of courses do not need to be taken in any particular order, but the thesis or report must be completed during the semester in which the student graduates.

Dual-Degree Students 

In addition to the MA in Middle Eastern studies, the Center 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:  Law, Business, Information, Public Affairs (Global Policy Studies or Public Affairs), and Communications (Journalism or Radio-TV-Film).


Before starting the application process, we encourage all applicants to read our website and the Graduate Handbooks in their entirety as well as be familiar with the Graduate School's Admissions site. Please refer to the FAQ for more commonly asked questions.

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