MA Program in Middle Eastern Studies

The Center administers three Masters' degree programs featuring language and area studies supplemented by study in one of the professional schools or departments in which the student’s work is focused.

MA Program Degree Options

M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies

This two-year program is specifically designed for students who wish to obtain a broad knowledge of the Middle East. It allows the student to structure his or her own course of study in such areas as contemporary Middle Eastern studies, Middle Eastern history, Islamic studies, Islamic art and archaeology, Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, or Turkish language or literature as well as ancient Near Eastern Studies including Egyptology, Assyriology, Comparative Semitics, Archaeology of the ancient Near East. The interdisciplinary nature of the overall program allows for students to enroll through either the Division of the Social Sciences or the Division of the Humanities. For more information about the M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies program, please see the degree requirements page. To start your application for the Social Sciences Division, please click here. To start your application for the Humanities Division, please click here.

Joint Program in Business Administration and Middle Eastern Studies

Benefiting from the combined strengths of the Center and the Graduate School of Business -- one of the finest business schools in the country -- this three-year program helps students gain a firm grasp of the languages, history, and social institutions of the Middle East while acquiring the basic skills for careers in international business. To apply for the joint M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies/Masters in Business Administration, please click here.

Joint Program in Public Policy and Middle Eastern Studies

This dual degree program addresses the needs of students wishing to acquire a solid background in modern Middle Eastern languages, history, and civilization while developing their abilities in policy analysis in preparation for professional careers in scholarly, educational, governmental, non-governmental, and business environments in the United States and abroad. This program requires approximately five quarters of study in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and four quarters of study in the Harris School of Public Policy. Applicants for the joint program must apply to both the Harris School and the Division of the Social Sciences separately.

Dual BA and MA Degree Program for University of Chicago Students

Students in the College may pursue the Master of Arts degree in Middle Eastern Studies leading to the award of a four-year undergraduate degree and a two-year graduate degree after five (5) years of studies at the University of Chicago. Undergraduate students who wish to complete concurrently the Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Arts degree in Middle Eastern Studies in five years should begin by discussing this option with the College BA/MA Adviser and with the BA Adviser in their major, followed by a conversation with the Deputy Director for Academic Programs of the Middle Eastern Studies program and the Dean of Students representative of the Division of the Social Sciences or Humanities, depending on the student’s undergraduate major.

Director of the MA Program

Paul Walker  (


Austin O'Malley (
Shiraz Hajiani (

For further information on the Center’s M.A. programs, see the Degree Requirements page or contact the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Pick Hall 201, 5828 S. University Ave., Chicago, IL 60637; telephone: 773.702.8297.