Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

M.A. Program in Middle Eastern Studies

Course Requirements

CMES offers a master’s degree with thesis and a master’s degree with report; the course requirements for each are outlined below. The time to degree completion for single majors is set at 21 months (nearly 2 academic years). Exceptions are for those pursuing dual-degrees (3 years, except Law at 4 years) and the Center's dual-language track (3 years). On occasion, the Graduate Adviser or Director may approve an extra summer to complete thesis/report research if there is a justification to do so. All courses on the program of work, i.e., all courses used to fulfill the requirements listed above, must be taken on a letter-grade basis (except thesis/report). There is one required course that must be taken in the first semester, MES 386:  Middle Eastern Studies, An Interdisciplinary Introduction.

MA with thesis (30 hours)

12 credits

MES Graduate courses

6 credits

Upper-division language courses: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or Hebrew. In most cases, graduate students enroll in 381.

6 credits

Concentration courses to be approved by the Graduate Adviser

6 credits

Thesis courses: MES 698A & 698B are taken sequentially on a CR/NC grade basis 


MA with report (33 hours)

15 credits

MES Graduate courses

6 credits

Upper-division language courses: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or Hebrew. In most cases, graduate students enroll in 381.

9 credits

Concentration courses to be approved by Graduate Adviser

3 credits

Report course: MES 398R taken on a CR/NC grade basis 

Policies & Guidelines

Please review the CMES program policies and guidelines and the CMES Graduate Handbook.

Language Requirement

Applicants may enter the program at any level in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian or Turkish. Most applicants will have at minimum one year of college-level instruction if not much more. However, it is possible to gain admission to the Center for Middle Eastern Studies as a novice language learner. In such cases, the first year of language instruction at UT cannot be applied to completion of the MA; only second-year and above (upper-division level or above) may satisfy the language requirement.

While enrolled in the degree program, students must complete two upper-division or graduate-level in-residence courses conducted in one Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or Modern Hebrew). Second and third-year language are upper-division courses (as well as "content" courses, which are regular courses conducted in the target language).

Our Arabic Summer Institute provides one year's worth of language in 10 weeks. Oftentimes, novice language learners find it useful to take first or second year during this period instead of during the academic year. This is especially useful for those pursuing the dual-language track.

Native speakers of a Middle Eastern language may not use their native tongue to complete this requirement. Therefore, they must complete the language requirement by pursuing a non-native Middle Eastern language, potentially from the beginner level the applicant does not already possess a strong background in this second language.


GPA Requirement

All students must maintain a minimum 3.50 GPA in order to remain in good standing. If a student falls 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 may result in dismissal from the program. Students must possess at least a 3.50 in order to graduate from the program.

Program Contacts:


Lisa Parisi, Graduate Coordinator

Kamran Agahie, Graduate Adviser


CMES / MA Graduate Handbook

CMES Graduate Policies

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