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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
ARIC 5231 Seminar on the Nineteenth Century Middle East or (HIST 5222)
ARIC 5232
Seminar on the Twentieth-Century Middle East or (HIST 5223)
ECON 5252 Economic Development in Middle East Countries 
GWST 5101 Approaches to the Middle East/North Africa Gender and Women's Studies OR ECLT 5256
LAW 5205 Islamic Law Reform 
POLS 5235 Middle East Politics 
SOC/ANTH 5290 Middle Eastern Societies and Cultures 

Elective Courses Offered in Fall 2019 (Choose two courses)

ARIC 5102 Cairo in the Cultural Imaginary
ARIC 5137 International Trade 1000-1700: Egypt and the Mediterranean-Red Sea Trade
ARIC 5244
Death in Islamic Law and Islamic Theology
ECON 4094 Economics of Egypt
HIST 4215
The Marriage Crisis and the Middle East
HIST 4288-01 Selected Topics in the History of the Modern Middle East: Women & Gender
HIST 4288-02
Selected Topics in the History of the Modern Middle East: Arabs in America
HIST 4588 Selected Topics in the History of the United States: America in the Middle East
HIST 5222 Seminar on the Nineteenth-Century Middle East
MRS 5102 Migration & Refugee Movements in the Middle East and North Africa
POLS 4030 Special Top in Pols: Media Depictions of Contemporary Egyptian Politics
POLS 4375
Introduction to Egyptian and Islamic Law
POLS 4420
Issues in Middle East Politics
POLS 4502 Political Economy of Egypt and the Middle East
POLS 4605
International Politics in the Middle East
POLS 5258
Comparative Politics and the Middle East
PPAD 5154 Contemporary Security Issues in the Middle East
PPAD 5199 Special Topics in Public Policy and Administration: Role of UN and LAS in ME conflicts

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

     In Academic Year 2017, 75 percent of       MA Middle East Students receive             scholarships in addition to the                   Teaching Assistant as allowance.

     Application Deadline

     Fall 2020 Deadline is Feb 1, 2020

     Contact us

     Phone: +20.2.2615.1757


     Office of Admissions:

     Phone: +20.2.2615.4040