What PhD programs does the department offer?
The Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies has two programs, the PhD in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, and the Joint MEIS-History PhD program.
a. What Academic Tracks/Concentrations are there?
i. The PhD in the Joint MEIS-History PhD program focuses on Middle Eastern History;
ii. The PhD in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies breaks down into three Academic Tracks: Culture & Representation, Islamic Studies, and Literature. For more information on these Tracks, please follow the link, here.
Are all PhD students fully funded?
All graduate students admitted to MEIS are awarded MacCracken Fellowships, which provide for five years of tuition and stipend. Teaching is not a condition of this fellowship. However, students are strongly encouraged to serve as teaching assistants in departmental courses or in the College of Arts and Science’s College Core Curriculum, and to sole-teach summer courses. Compensation for all of these assignments is in addition to the MacCracken. The department sees teaching as an essential part of graduate training: apart from the intrinsic joys of teaching, it prepares you for the job market and an academic career. Beyond the five years of the MacCracken, most of our students receive additional fellowships from MEIS, NYU, or outside NYU to support the research and writing of their dissertations. There are summer language fellowships available, including two offered by MEIS. The department has historically been able to offer some general summer funding to students who do not have other sources of funding over the summer. Some of our students also work as research assistants for faculty members.
Can I study part-time?
PhD students cannot study part-time.
What are the requirements to apply?
Please see the FAS website for MEIS PhD Admissions which includes all requirements (link here).
What is the foreign language requirement? Do I need to enter the program with proficiency in a foreign language?
For doctoral students, proficiency in two foreign research languages, including at least one Middle Eastern language, must be demonstrated before students reach PhD candidacy, usually by the end of their fourth year.
There is no language requirement for entering the program, but it is rare for a student to be admitted without at least two years’ study in the main Middle Eastern language relevant to their research.
Students who require additional language training to support their research may be eligible for tuition remission to cover the cost of undergraduate language courses offered by the College of Arts and Science. The department offers advanced graduate-level courses in Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Urdu. Students can also take language courses at other universities in the region through the PhD student consortium.
Do you require the GRE?
The GRE is not required. Starting in the 2023/24 application year, the admissions committee will not look at GRE scores, so there is no reason to submit them. Next year we will stop accepting them in the application system.
Do you require TOFEL?
Applicants must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores unless they:
1) Are a native English speaker; OR
2) Are a US citizen or permanent resident; OR
3) Have completed (or will complete) a baccalaureate or master's degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English.
What is the deadline?
Monday, 18 December 2023, no later than 5:00 PM (EST)
When can I expect to hear back?
Applicants hear back no earlier than February.