Before graduating, students must achieve upper intermediate proficiency (two years of study at a university accredited in the US, or equivalent) in a Middle Eastern language (such as Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish; other languages will be considered in consultation with a Program advisor). Students may demonstrate the required proficiency by passing a credit bearing fourth semester language course at CUNY or another accredited university, or through a qualifying exam to be arranged by MAMES.
If you have not achieved the required level of proficiency before matriculating, you may do so during your MA studies, though note that in accordance with Graduate Center policy, first and second year language courses do not count towards the 30 required MA credits. CUNY colleges currently offer regular (day-time) courses only in Arabic and Hebrew. Please consult with a Program advisor about other language-study opportunities that may be available in NYC or elsewhere during the academic year or via summer language programs in the US and abroad.
Students who choose to continue their language study beyond the second year (those planning to pursue a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies-related fields are especially encouraged to do so) often opt for MES 76001 and MES 76002 (advanced Arabic courses taught at Hunter College), which do count toward the 30 required MA credits. Other advanced level language courses may also count toward the MA degree, but this must be discussed in advance with a Program advisor.