MA in MELC
Students must take a minimum of 36 credit hours of graduate courses in Middle Eastern Studies. These courses can be offered by the MELC department or, with the approval of the MELC DGS, courses offered by other departments or schools appropriate to the course of study of the student. Each student’s curriculum must be approved by his/her academic advisor, normally the Director of Graduate Studies.
For Students majoring in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian or Turkish (for Ancient Egyptian, see special requirements below):
- Six credits of the required course work must be fulfilled by courses in two of the following fields: ancient (pre-Islamic), pre-modern (medieval), or modern (1500 CE to present) history of the Middle East, chosen with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
- At least three credit hours of the course work must be fulfilled by a methodology/theory course from a discipline in the student’s personal academic interest, selected with the approval of the DGS.
- At least twelve credit hours of coursework in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish language(s). Students will choose one of the following options:
- “One major language” track: In this option, students are required to complete twelve credits in their chosen Middle Eastern language. Out of these twelve credits, at least six credits must be obtained through language study at the 4th year Advanced Level. In the case of Arabic, this is Advanced Arabic III (3 cr hrs) and Advanced Arabic IV (3 cr hrs), and in the case of other major MELC languages, the equivalent must be completed. Students who begin their MA entering at the 4th year level or above may with the prior approval of the course instructor and the DGS, count non-language courses in which they use their major MELC language towards the twelve credits. These are courses where the student reads primary sources in the chosen language. For Hebrew, language credits can be fulfilled with a combination of Modern and Biblical Hebrew courses. The combination of courses and required levels must be approved by the Director of Hebrew Language Program housed in Borns Jewish Studies Program.
- “Two languages” track: In this option, in addition to a major Middle Eastern language as described above, the student also chooses a second Middle Eastern language and is required to fulfill six credits at the Intermediate (2nd year) level or above.
Students majoring in Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, or Turkish who intend to continue to the Ph.D. program are required to follow the (b) track with two Middle Eastern languages.
MA Qualifying Examinations and Paper
At the conclusion of their coursework, the following additional requirements must be met by students majoring in Arabic, Persian, Hebrew or Turkish:
- For students who are not native speakers of their major language, there will be a two-hour comprehensive exam in their major language, which will (a) test all four language skills (reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking) and (b) include a translation exercise. Students who are native speakers of their major language will normally take a comprehensive language exam in their minor language at the highest level attained, but at least Intermediate II. Students who are native speakers of their major language and who are following the “one major language” (terminal MA) track, and who have not studied a minor language, will take a two-hour written examination in a subject area to be agreed upon with the DGS.
- Take a two-hour comprehensive exam in history covering two of the following three areas: ancient, pre- modern/medieval, and/or modern Middle East.
- Submit a suitable term or seminar paper substantially revised and expanded, which must demonstrate the following:
- A clear understanding of the chosen topic.
- The ability to conceive and carry out an original project of a scholarly nature, including the use of primary and secondary texts in the original language, where appropriate.
- An advanced level of critical or theoretical insight.
- Command of academic English.
- Competence in the proper use of research and bibliographic tools.
The paper must be modeled, both in format and in intellectual substance, on articles that would be acceptable for publication in a scholarly journal of an appropriate sub-discipline of Middle Eastern Studies.