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Master of Arts

The MA in Middle East studies is a two-year (maximum four-year) course intended for students from all social science and humanities backgrounds.

The course provides training in Arabic, research methods and a broad range of topics relevant to the study of the Middle East. The course includes extracurricular activities and an option to study abroad. In order to graduate, students must pass the AUC Arabic language test at the intermediate (2.5) level.

To obtain the MA each candidate must demonstrate, in addition to the normal university requirements in English, proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic up to the completion of ALNG 1101-1102-1103.

Course units given below are subject to change and are the latest example of curriculum available in this course of study.


Ten courses are required for the MA degree with a comprehensive examination (administered by an interdisciplinary examining board). An oral examination will be given following the written test.

Eight courses are required for the MA degree with a thesis.

Obligatory Courses (Thesis/Comprehensive Tracks)

MEST 5201 A Critical Introduction to Middle East Studies 
MEST 5202 Interdisciplinary Seminar in Middle East Studies 

Obligatory Courses (Thesis Track)

MEST 5298 Research Methods
MEST 5299 Thesis (first and second registration 3 cr, additional registration 1 cr.)

Obligatory Course (Comprehensive Track)

MEST 5289
Comprehensive Exam (1 cr., or 0 cr. if taken with another course in the same semester)

Core Courses (Thesis/Comprehensive Tracks) (Choose Three Courses)

An approved 400 or 500 level course in modern Arabic literature.

ARIC 5133 Islamic Institutions
ARIC 5135 Selected Topics in Middle Eastern History, 600-1800 AD: "History from Below"
ARIC 5137
International Trade 1000 - 1700: Egypt and the Mediterranean - Red Sea Trade
ARIC 5231 \ HIST 5222 Seminar on the Nineteenth-Century Middle East
ARIC 5232 \ HIST 5223
Seminar on the Twentieth-Century Middle East
ECON 5252 Economic Development in Middle East Countries
MEST 4301 Special Topics in Middle East Studies
GWST 5101 \ ECLT 5101 Visual, Literary, and Critical Approaches to Gender in MENA
LAW 5205 Islamic Law Reform 
POLS 5235 Middle East Politics 
SOC/ANTH 5290 Middle Eastern Societies and Cultures
PPAD 5151
Issues in International Security

Elective Courses Offered in Spring 2020

ARIC 5101 Selected Topics in the History of Islamic Thought and Institutions: "Major Works in Islamic Studies"
ARIC 5102 Cairo in the Cultural Imaginary
ARIC 5113 Sira and Hadith
ECON 4051 Seminar on Economic Development and Policy in the Middle East
ECON 4094 Economics of Egypt
ECLT 5109 Modern Literary Criticism: Interpretation and Culture
HIST 4188 Selected Topics in World History: Family in History
HIST 4215
The Marriage Crisis and the Middle East
HIST 4288-01 Selected Topics in the History of the Modern Middle East: Women and Gender
HIST 4288-02
Selected Topics in the History of the Modern Middle East: Arabs in America
HIST 4288-03 Selected Topics in the History of the Modern Middle East: Modern Lebanon
HIST 4290 Selected Topics in Modern Egyptian History: Egypt under Nasser: Regime, Class, and Society
LAW 5214 Human Rights in the Middle East
POLS 4422 Contemporary Egypt
POLS 4605
International Politics in the Middle East
POLS 5225
International Political Economy
POLS 5230 Regime Change and Democratization

Financial Aid

The University offers graduate students a wide range of fellowships and assistantships. Visit AUC's financial support page for more information.

Program FAQs

If you have any questions, read the frequently asked questions or email


The center offers several facilities that all students are encouraged to use at any time. more information can be found here

     MA program established 1980

     Duration: Two Years

    Fees 2019/2020

     Minimum Undergraduate GPA: 3.0

     Application Deadline

     Contact us

     Phone: +20.2.2615.1757


     Office of Admissions:

     Phone: +20.2.2615.4040