Middle Eastern Studies

Master of Arts

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies administers the master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies. 

For More Information

Campus address: Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528, phone (512) 471-3881, fax (512) 471-7834; campus mail code: F9400

Mailing address: The University of Texas at Austin, Graduate Program, Middle Eastern Studies, 204 W 21st Street Stop F9400, Austin TX 78712

URL: https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/mes/index.php

Facilities for Graduate Work

University library holdings on the Middle East form one of the leading collections in North America. These include 150,000 volumes and 1,230 serial titles in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, Tajiki, and Azerbaijani, and more than 160,500 volumes in Western languages. This collection includes a comprehensive set of English-language reference works, general texts, basic monographs, and essential journals on the Middle East. Among the special collections are strong holdings on Shi’ism, Islamic jurisprudence, and Arabic and Persian literature; a set of Arabic manuscripts on the Yezidis of Yemen; a virtually complete set of Turkish and Azerbaijani periodicals that forms a unique national resource; and more than 2,000 volumes of census records on Middle Eastern countries. The University Libraries has the largest collection of South African Jewish materials in the United States, both in belles lettres and in periodicals. Electronic material supporting Middle Eastern studies is also extensive and includes electronic databases such as JSTOR and ATLA; the Perry-Castañeda digitized map collection; the Encyclopedia of Islam; Records on Islam: Primary Documents; The Encyclopaedia Judaica; and the Judaic Classics Library. The department has also donated to the main library a collection of approximately four thousand English-language books and reference works, some 10,000 digitized slides, and hundreds of films and periodicals. The Harry Ransom Center holds writers’ personal papers, including those of T. E. Lawrence, Paul Bowles, Freya Stark, Richard Burton, and others with a special Middle Eastern connection. The Ransom Center has significant holdings relating to Judaica, including the Isaac Bashevis Singer Archive, the Leon Uris Archive, and a portion of the literary archive of Bernard Malamud. The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History holds the Development Communication Archive, donated by the federal Agency for International Development, which consists of more than 350 linear feet of original records on issues ranging from agriculture and the environment to health and community development; about a quarter of the documents cover Middle Eastern projects. University faculty members and students also have access to vast centralized resources such as the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago and the Yale University-sponsored OACIS project.

Areas of Study

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies offers the Master of Arts with a major in Middle Eastern studies, an interdisciplinary degree with a regional concentration on the Middle East. Many students in this program enter careers in academia, business, communication, government, global policy studies, public affairs, information studies, law, and the military. There is a good deal of flexibility in meeting degree requirements; each student, in consultation with the graduate advisor, designs an individual program within the framework of the requirements described in Degree Requirements

Graduate Studies Committee

The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) in the spring 2021 semester.

Ari Adut
Kamran S Aghaie
Mahmoud M Al-Batal
Olla N Al-Shalchi
Kamran Ali
Germine Gigi Awad
Samy Ayoub
Hina Azam
Zoltan D Barany
Benjamin Claude Brower
Jason M Brownlee
Kristen Elizabeth Brustad
Mounira M Charrad
Rasha Diab
David J Eaton
Karen Grumberg
Geraldine Heng
Syed A Hyder
Jonathan Kaplan
Mikiya Koyagi
William R Louis
Mohammad A Mohammad
A Azfar Moin
Stephennie Mulder
Mary C Neuburger
Avigail Noy
Jeannette Okur
Thomas G Palaima
Athanasio Papalexandrou
Na'ama Pat-El
Esther L Raizen
Sonia T Seeman
Faegheh S Shirazi
Denise A Spellberg
Jeremi Suri
Alexander Ariel Weinreb
Bruce Wells

Admission Requirements

Master of Arts

Offered by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), the Master of Arts (MA) in Middle Eastern studies (MES) is an interdisciplinary academic degree designed to broaden and deepen the student’s knowledge of the Middle East and its languages. The MES MA degree is a terminal MA degree. It may be undertaken in the context of one of seven dual degree programs that allow graduate students to simultaneously earn an MA in MES and a second degree from one of UT’s professional schools. Students seeking admission to a Dual Degree program must apply to both CMES and the second academic unit for admission, and undergo admissions evaluations by both units. Dual degree students typically spend a third year at CMES (or a fourth, in the case of the dual degree in Law). MA degree requirements are the same for all MES MA students, whether or not they pursue a dual degree. The entering student must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.