Our program focuses on the contemporary political economy and cultures of the region and the historical processes that have shaped the present. Courses cover modern history and politics, as well as specialized topics that reflect areas of faculty research. These areas currently include: questions of economic and political rights, law and society, gender politics, Arabic fiction writing, Iranian literary culture, the anthropology of Arab cities, Ottoman and Arab state formation, Egyptian social history, and modern Iran and Central Asia. Courses are also available on pre-modern Islamic history, literature, and philosophy, and on the ancient Near east.
We pay special attention to language training, with state-of-the-art instruction in Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, and Turkish, as well as Hindi/Urdu and ancient Near Eastern languages. Many students also take intensive summer language programs in the U.S. or abroad.
Our M.A. program is designed for:
- Those thinking of entering a Ph.D. program but wanting first to explore different disciplines or advance their knowledge of the region and its languages
- Those planning a career in fields such as journalism, public service, cultural organizations, human rights, or political advocacy and seeking to understand the region's politics and history and to engage with questions of culture, social transformation, and economic justice.
We look for evidence of outstanding academic achievement and an interest in the Middle East demonstrated through education, life or work experience.
Applicants from all undergraduate majors are eligible to apply to the program. We value, but do not require, a background or undergraduate training in a Middle Eastern language or in politics, history and cultures of the region. Please note the following applications requirements.