Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

When applying to the doctoral program in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC Degree Code 667800), which is offered through the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, students select an area of study from among the following: linguistics (theoretical linguistics or language pedagogy), literatures/cultures, history, Hebrew Bible/ancient Near East, or Islamic studies. Through the course of their studies, students develop methodological expertise in at least one of the following areas: textual analysis, literary theory, linguistic theory, or cultural theory. 

Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

Ph.D. Requirements

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

Hebrew Bible/Ancient Near East
Courses must include 12 hours of the Bible in Hebrew;
3 hours of Comparative Semitic Grammar;
12 hours in a Minor field;
12 hours of Near Eastern language work. 
Middle Eastern History
Students are required to reach Advanced / Superior in the language of their research field.
A secondary research language may be substituted for French or German.
Islamic Studies 
Coursework must include 3 hours of the following seminars: Trends in Islamic Studies; Theory and Method in Study of Religion; Supervised Teaching.
Students must also take 9 hours in the following fields: "Institutions and Traditions of Islam", "Thematic Approaches to Islam", a chosen Minor Area
Students are required to have four semesters of approved language coursework, two of which must be at an advanced/research level.
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.
Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures
Courses must include 6 hours of literary theory/cultural studies;
Students are strongly encouraged to acquire a second Middle Eastern language. 

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

Please visit the Graduate Student Forms section. 


Graduate Admissions


Intellectual Community

Faculty and Research

  •   Map
  • Middle Eastern Studies

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