Dual PhD MENAS/Anthropology

About the Program

This program builds upon the complementarity and affinity of the two fields, and the University of Arizona's nationally recognized strength in both, to train and certify uniquely qualified scholars for a rapidly globalizing world. Students follow a curriculum of courses in each discipline that provide first-rate qualification in each discipline, while enjoying significant flexibility to develop innovative trans-disciplinary projects on the Middle East and world of Islam using a wide variety of research techniques and analytical approaches including fieldwork, textual analysis, and archival research. Students and faculty frequently participate in other interdisciplinary programs at the University of Arizona including those of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the PhD program in Middle Eastern Histories, the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, and the program in Women's Studies.

Admission to the Dual Degree Program

Students must apply to and be accepted by both MENAS and the School of Anthropology to qualify for the dual degree program. Only students who have completed an MA in Anthropology, MENAS, or a related field prior to enrollment in the MENAS/Anthropology dual degree program will be accepted. See our application page for details on how to apply.

Students need to demonstrate intermediate proficiency in one Middle Eastern language at the time of admission. An interdepartmental committee from MENAS and Anthropology will review and make a recommendation on any student who has been accepted to both departments and who has indicated that they wish to earn the dual degree.

Unit Requirements

The minimum units required to earn dual PhD degrees in Middle Eastern Studies and Anthropology is 105 (27 from MENAS, 27 from Anthropology, 24 units which are shared between the two disciplines, and 27 additional units). 

MENAS Courses (27 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)
  • MENA Elective Courses (3 units)
  • MENA Independent Study (1 unit)
  • 3rd Year Proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish (6-8 units)**

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

**3rd year Arabic MSA is worth 8 credits but 3rd year Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew are only 6 credits. Those pursuing the latter three languages will have to find two more units. Taking an additional 3-unit course will provide those two units and eliminate the need for a one-unit independent study.  

Anthropology Courses (27 units)

  • ANTH 511: Anthropology of Religion (3 units)
  • ANTH 605: Qualitative Research Methods and Proposal Writing (3 units)
  • ANTH 608A: History of Anthropological Theory I (3 units)
  • ANTH 608B: History of Anthropological Theory II (3 units)
  • ANTH 609: Mixed Methods in Applied Anthropology (3 units)
  • ANTH 696B: Islam & Modernity (3 units)
  • MENA 696J: Ethnography of the Middle East: Issues and Methods (3 units)
  • Anthropology Elective Courses (at least one outside student’s anthropological subdiscipline) (6 units)

Additional Courses (27 units)


  • ANTH 524A: Political Ecology (3 units)
  • ANTH 536A: Medical Anthropology (3 units)
  • ANTH 536B: Ethnomedicine (3 units)
  • ANTH 538A: Women's Health in Global Perspective (3 units)
  • ANTH 548: Writing Culture (3 units)
  • ANTH 576: Language in Culture (3 units)
  • ANTH 583: Sociolinguistics (3 units)
  • ANTH 612: Anthropology of Modernity (3 units)
  • ANTH 613: Culture and Power (3 units)
  • ANTH 620: Linguistic Field Techniques* (3 units)
  • ANTH 631: Anthropology and Development (3 units)
  • ANTH 675A: Anthropology and Global Health (3 units)
  • ANTH 680: Foundations in Linguistic Anthropology* (3 units)
  • ANTH 696B: Seminar in Sociocultural Anthropology (topics vary by semester) (3 units)
  • ANTH 696C: Seminar in Anthropological Linguistics (topics vary by semester) (3 units)

 *Required for students specializing in linguistic anthropology.


  • ARB 526: Introduction to Arabic Linguistics (3 units)
  • ARB 584A: Intermediate Levantine Arabic I (3 units)
  • ARB 584B: Intermediate Levantine Arabic II (3 units)
  • ARB 595A: Readings in Modern Arabic Prose (3 units)

Gender and Women's Studies

  • GWS 586: Transnational Feminisms (3 units)


  • HIST 545: Women in Islamic History (3 units)
  • HIST 572: History of Medieval India (3 units)
  • HIST 573: History of Modern India and Pakistan: 1750-Present (3 units)HIST 579: The Ottoman Empire to 1800 (3 units)
  • HIST 595E: Struggle and Survival: Modern Middle East and North Africa, c. 1850 - Present (3 units)
  • HIST 596C: The Literature of Identity in Modern Middle (3 units)
  • HIST 695M: Advanced Studies in Middle Eastern History (3 units)

Judaic Studies

  • JUS 552: Israeli Women (3 units)


  • LING 515: Phonological Phonetics* (3 units)
  • LING 554: Structure of a Middle Eastern Language (3 units)

 *Required for students specializing in linguistic anthropology.

Middle Eastern and North African Studies

  • MENA 503: Art and Architecture of the Islamic World (3 units)
  • MENA 530A: Language and Society in the Middle East (3 units)
  • MENA 544: Islamic Mysticism (3 units)
  • MENA 563: Gender Issues and Women's Literature in the Middle East (3 units)
  • MENA 566: The Middle Eastern City and Islamic Urbanism (3 units)
  • MENA 580: The Middle East in the Twentieth Century (3 units)  
  • MENA 584: History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1800 to Present (3 units)
  • MENA 585A: History of Iranian Plateau, 600-1501 (3 units)
  • MENA 590: Women in Middle Eastern Society (3 units)
  • MENA 596B: Special Topics in Middle Eastern & North African Studies (3 units)
  • MENA 596G: Islamic Law and Society (3 units)
  • MENA 596M: Middle East: Topics in History and Civilization (3 units)
  • MENA 696Y: Nationalism & Islam (3 units)

Language Requirement

Students must achieve third-year proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish.


A total of 24 units of dissertation hours must be taken in addition to the 81 hours of coursework. The dissertation committee will be composed of at least two faculty from Anthropology and two from MENAS and should include content from both fields. A proposal must be approved by the student’s entire doctoral committee within six months of the completion of the Comprehensive Exams.


Students accepted into the program will be eligible for Teaching Assistantships for MENAS language and General Education courses, and research assistantships in the departments of Anthropology and MENAS, as well as FLAS fellowships and research assistantships in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Neither department, however, guarantees funding for students nor is there any obligation to match the funding provided by another department. More information on financial aid can be found on the graduate funding page.