Master of Arts in the Field of Middle East Studies

The Master of Arts in Middle East studies degree program combines a rigorous academic foundation with a strong professional orientation. Bridging the theory and practice of international affairs, the program prepares students for careers in government, the private sector, and international and nongovernmental organizations.

The curriculum includes a range of courses covering the history, politics, economics, international relations, and cultures of the societies and nations of the Middle East. In consultation with the program director, each student will develop a program of study that, through a set of core courses, combines a broad overview of the region along with a more specialized field based on the student's specific academic and career interests. In addition, completion of the program requires demonstrated oral and reading proficiency in a language of the Middle East region.

Specific admission requirements are shown on the Graduate Program Finder.

Visit the program website for additional program information.

Specific admission requirements are shown on the Graduate Program Finder.

Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree in a related field with at least two years of study of an appropriate language of the region

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

Cornerstone (1 credit):
IAFF 6361Middle East Studies Cornerstone
Core Courses (12 credits):
Choose four of the following:
HIST 6801Topics in Middle Eastern History
IAFF 6378Special Topics in Middle East Studies
PSC 6377Comparative Politics of the Middle East
PSC 6478International Relations of the Middle East
IAFF 6364Religion and Society in the Modern Middle East
ANTH 6707Issues in Middle East Anthropology
GEOG 6262Geographical Perspectives on the Middle East
Professional specialization field (12 credits):
Available fields include:
Conflict and Conflict Resolution
Global Health
International Affairs and Development
International Business
International Economic Affairs
International Law and Organizations
International Security Studies
Technology Policy and International Affairs
U.S. Foreign Policy
Middle East electives (9 credits):
Three courses related to the Middle East, selected in consultation with the program director. At least three (3) credits must have a language or humanities aspect. May include only three (3) credits of language study, which must be an advanced, content-based course.
Capstone (3 credits):
IAFF 6379Middle East Studies Capstone
Skills courses (3 credits):
IAFF 6502Professional Skills I
or IAFF 6503 Professional Skills II

Foreign Language Proficiency

Students must pass a proficiency examination in a major modern Middle Eastern language (listed below) at a level of Advanced or higher on the ACTFL scale.

  • Arabic [Modern Standard Arabic] (taught at GW)
  • Persian
  • Hebrew (taught at GW)
  • Kurdish, or
  • Turkish

For more information on professional specializations, Middle East electives, or foreign language proficiency visit the program website