An intensive integrated program designed for students who wish to study the Middle East: religion, politics, society, history, and culture. The program is offered in conjunction with the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Students have the opportunity to study with some of the leading scholars in the field while living in Jerusalem, one of the most important and dynamic cities of the Middle East. Graduates of the program have assumed positions in government service, relevant NGOs, journalism and other areas.
In the M.A. in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies program, you will gain a breadth of knowledge in the field through courses in history and other fields in the humanities such as Islamic archaeology. Literary Arabic is a strong focus of the program, and your goal will be to become proficient by the end of the academic year.
The M.A. Program in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies consists of required courses (including a historiography seminar), elective courses, and up to 12 hours per week of literary Arabic study (depending on your level) over three consecutive semesters. You also have the option to study additional languages.
The M.A. in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies consists of 36 credits over 3 consecutive semesters.
Provided as an example only and subject to change:
• Seminar in Historiography
• Introduction to the Middle East: Adjustment and Change in Modern Times
• Islam and State
• Departmental Seminar (topic varies; in 2016/2017, the topic is Global Jihad: Ideology and Politics)
Elective Courses from the Following Areas
• History of the Modern Middle East
• Early Islamic History and Cultural Legacy of Islamic Societies
Recent course list:
o Islamic Archaeology of Palestine and Syria
o Selected Problems in Islamic History and Civilization
o Colonialism in the Middle East
o The Palestinian Arabs under the Mandate
o The Maghrib: Politics and Society in Contemporary North Africa
o Social and Cultural History of Modern Egypt
o Turkey’s Regional Foreign Policies: Changing Ties with the Middle East, the EU, and Israel
o The History of Modern Iraq: The Quest for the State and the Search for National Identity
• As a new student, you are required to take an Arabic placement exam, prior to the start of the program. The exam will be sent to you upon submission of your application to the program.
• The beginners level will take place prior to the autumn semester as an intensive course called Foundations in Literary Arabic (120 academic hours over the course of 5 weeks).
• The intermediate level is offered for 12 weekly hours during the autumn semester. Successful completion of Foundations in Literary Arabic or results of the placement exam grant entry into the intermediate level.
• The advanced level is offered for 12 weekly hours during the spring semester. Successful completion of the intermediate level or results of the placement exam grant entry into the advanced level.
• If you have an advanced level of Arabic, you can expect to join the spring semester Advanced Literary Arabic course.
• If you place above the advanced course, you can expect to study 2-4 hours per week (autumn and spring semesters) in an advanced reading course of Arabic texts. (This information is subject to change)
• You must pass the advanced course in Literary Arabic to graduate.
• Completion of Advanced Literary Arabic is a requirement of the degree, but does not count towards the 36 credits.
Colloquial Arabic is not offered at the graduate level.
Students interested taking Colloquial Arabic through the Division of Undergraduate Students must obtain permission from said Division and follow their academic and administrative policies. Availability is limited and priority is given to undergraduate students.
Colloquial Arabic courses do not count towards the degree.
Courses in other Middle Eastern and Islamic languages are available through the Faculty of Humanities, such as:
• Modern Turkish
• Ottoman Turkish
• Relevant European languages (i.e., French or German)
(The language of instruction of these courses is Hebrew)
Although not a requirement of the degree, basic knowledge of Modern Hebrew will enrich your experience in Israel. You have the option to enroll in Modern Hebrew courses offered in the autumn and spring semesters. You may also enroll in the Modern Hebrew Summer Ulpan (intensive Hebrew language training) prior to the start of the academic year for an additional fee. Modern Hebrew courses do not count towards your degree credit requirements.
At least two of the papers you will submit are seminar papers. Seminar papers are required for the degree, but do not count towards the credit requirements.
As a student in the M.A. in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, you are not required to write a thesis.
If you wish to write a thesis, you have the option to do so by extending your studies at the Hebrew University for at least an additional year to pursue one of two research-oriented tracks in the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies in the Faculty of Humanities.
Qualified students with a Bachelor's degree from accredited institutions of higher education are eligible for admission to the program. Admission is competitive and is based on transcripts and letters of recommendation. Students must have:
at least a 3.2 ("B") grade-point average or the equivalent
a relevant background in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies
Knowledge of English: Applicants are required to submit official TOEFL, IELTS, or Amir scores. The minimum TOEFL score is 89 on the internet-based test. The minimum IELTS score is 7. The minimum Amir score is 220.
Applicants who have completed a full degree (a minimum of four years) taught solely in English at a recognized institution of higher education may request to be exempted from the English proficiency exams. Applicants who have completed a B.A. in English Language and Literature may request an exemption provided that they submit documentation from their university stating that the language of instruction is English. Exemption is not automatic and is determined on a case-by-case basis.