Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies


For those interested in the study of language, MELC offers a track in linguistics within the Semitic and/or Middle Eastern contexts. Students receive an in-depth training in one or more of the following fields: comparative Semitics, historical linguistics, the autochthonous Arabic linguistic tradition, language contact, dialectology, and syntax. Students are encouraged to explore other areas as well by taking courses in the Linguistics Department in relevant subdisciplines.
What distinguishes MELC from a degree in linguistics is that MELC students are expected to attain a high degree of language proficiency as well as cultural proficiency in their area. Entering students are expected to have advanced proficiency in one Middle Eastern Language and all students are encouraged to study an additional language or languages. Graduates of the linguistics track are competitively positioned for the job market in Middle Eastern Studies, Linguistics, and Area Studies. 


Ph.D. Requirements 2018-2020

Core Degree

• a minimum of 30 hours of MELC courses;
• 9 hours of language seminars; 
• at least 3 hours of comprehensive exams;
• reading knowledge of French or German;
• mastery in a Middle Eastern language;
• at least 6 credit hours of dissertation coursework


Track Specifications and Requirements

Students are required to choose a major field in either
1) literature/culture or
2) language/linguistics;
Students are required to choose two minor fields, as well.



** Degrees are disciplinary-oriented, not language-oriented. 

We encourage prospective students to read our Graduate Admissions FAQ, as many general questions are answered on our website.


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