M.A. Degree Requirements

Tracks

You will choose either the thesis or professional track.

Thesis Track

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

Professional Track

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

Transfer Credit

Non-University of Arizona Courses

No more than 6 graduate units from institutions other than the University of Arizona can be transferred and used toward the M.A. degree. They must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

University of Arizona Courses

No more than 12 units taken at the University of Arizona prior to starting the M.A. program can be applied toward the M.A. degree.

No more than 6 400-level undergraduate units taken at the University of Arizona can be applied toward the M.A. degree. Those units can only be applied toward the M.A. degree if they were not applied to satisfy the requirements of the B.A. degree.

No more than 12 500-level graduate units taken while an undergraduate at the University of Arizona can be applied toward the M.A. degree. Those units can only be applied toward the M.A. degree if they were not applied to satisfy the requirements of the B.A. degree.

No more than 12 units taken in graduate non-degree status at the University of Arizona can be applied toward the M.A. degree.

Core Requirements for Both Tracks

All M.A. students are required to take the following 12 units:

  • 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)
  • One graduate course in Middle Eastern History (3 units)

Independent Study

You may apply 3 units of Independent Study (ARB/MENA/PRS/TURK 599 or 699) to your degree requirements. All Independent Study units must be approved in advance by the Director of Graduate Studies. In exceptional circumstances, the Director of Graduate Studies may approve an additional three units of Independent Study. Courses not cross-listed with MENA may be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies on a case-by-case basis.

Thesis Track

Students who wish to continue graduate work in a Ph.D. program should choose the thesis track.

You must achieve advanced proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish. Only graduate level language courses can count toward the required 33 units. A maximum of 15 units of graduate level language courses can count toward the required 33 units. Graduate dialect courses, however, cannot be counted toward the required 33 units.

By the end of the second semester of enrollment, you must assemble a thesis committee of three faculty members, one of whom serves as the thesis advisor. At least two members of this committee must be tenure-track professors in MENAS, and the committee must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

You will enroll in 3 units of MENA 910: Thesis in your third and/or fourth semester.

Your thesis advisor will approve the appropriate subject matter of your thesis. The thesis must include research that utilizes primary sources in a Middle Eastern language. Primary sources can include historical works, media outlets, internet sources, survey data and/or interviews. The thesis should address a gap or problem in the scholarly literature, and be aimed at an academic audience. An appropriate thesis length is 75-90 pages. You are responsible for scheduling an oral defense of your thesis and coursework with your committee. 

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 Ph.D. after their completion of the M.A. in Middle Eastern and North African Studies.

You must achieve intermediate proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish. Only graduate level language courses can count toward the required 33 units. A maximum of 15 units of graduate level language courses can count toward the required 33 units. Graduate dialect courses, however, cannot be counted toward the required 33 units.

By the end of the second semester of enrollment, you must assemble a departmental paper committee of three faculty members, one of whom serves as the departmental paper advisor. At least two members of this committee must be tenure-track professors in MENAS, and the committee must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

You will enroll in 3 units of MENA 909: Master's Report in your third and/or fourth semester.

Your departmental paper advisor will approve the appropriate subject matter of your paper. The paper must include research that utilizes primary sources, these sources can be in a western language. Subject matter should reflect an issue raised in the secondary literature and can be addressed to educated non-specialists. An appropriate departmental paper length is 35-50 pages. Committee Members read the paper and grade it as Pass, High Pass or Fail. A defense of the paper is not required.