MA Degree Requirements

Tracks

Students choose either the professional or thesis track. Both tracks require 33 graduate units.

Professional Track

  • Intermediate proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish
  • MENA 909: Master’s Report

Thesis Track

  • Advanced proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish
  • MENA 910: Thesis

A maximum of 15 units of graduate level language courses can count toward the 33 graduate units. Graduate dialect courses, however, cannot count toward the 33 graduate units.

Core Requirements for Both Tracks

All MA students are required to take 12 units of core courses:

  • MENA 595D: Middle East (3 units),
  • One graduate course in gender or culture in the Middle East (3 units),
  • One graduate course in Islamic Studies (3 units), and
  • One graduate course in Middle Eastern History (3 units).

A list of courses that meet the core course requirements can be found here: MENAS Graduate Courses

Professional Track

The professional track is designed for students seeking to develop the language and analytical skills necessary for advancement in non-academic careers in government, NGOs, and business, as well as a solid understanding of the modern Middle East. It is tailored for students who do not plan on pursuing a PhD after their completion of the MA in Middle Eastern and North African Studies.

Students in the professional track write an MA report that must include research that utilizes primary sources. Subject matter should reflect an issue raised in the secondary literature and can be addressed to non-academics. The MA report should be 35-50 pages. A defense is not necessary for the MA report.

Thesis Track

Students who wish to pursue a PhD should choose the thesis track.

Students in the thesis track write an MA thesis that must include research that utilizes primary sources in a Middle Eastern language. The thesis should address a gap or problem in the scholarly literature, and be aimed at an academic audience. The thesis should be 75-90 pages. An MA thesis defense is required.