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Curriculum and Degree Information

The MA in Middle Eastern Studies promotes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Middle East, bringing together a dynamic cohort of more than thirty affiliated faculty members from throughout the CUNY system. The Program also has a close collaborative relationship with the Graduate Center’s Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC), through which our students have full access to a wide range of further Middle East-related activities and events. These include book conversations, films, music, lectures, dissertation writing seminars, and workshops.
All our students must complete two foundation survey courses: MES 73000: History of the Modern Middle East, encompassing the period since the early nineteenth century, and MES 71000: Approaches to the Study of the Middle East, which explores methodologies across disciplines in a comparative context. The remaining twenty-four credits required to complete the degree are elective, chosen by students from each semester’s wide-ranging selection of courses, supplemented by potential access to Middle East-related courses in other Graduate Center and CUNY graduate programs. The Program culminates in either an MA Thesis or Capstone Project. The thesis option is recommended to students considering further study while the capstone project emphasizes applied professional and creative pursuits. In addition, students may undertake, with the Program’s approval, a one-semester internship in a professional setting related to the Middle East. Finally, each student must demonstrate at least an intermediate-level proficiency in a Middle Eastern language of their choice. For those needing instruction in a language, or undertaking an unpaid internship, supportive resources are available.
The Program welcomes students who pursue full- and part-time learning, with all our courses taught in the evening to accommodate students who work during the day. Full-time students, who typically enroll in two to three courses each term, tend to complete the thirty-credit Program in five semesters.