MA Program in Middle Eastern Studies

The Center administers interdisciplinary Master’s degree programs featuring a core language and area studies curriculum supplemented by coursework from across the University’s divisions and professional schools. The two-year program plan enables students to benefit from the University’s singularly intensive approach to language pedagogy. With substantial scholarship assistance available - over 90% of second year students receive full tuition scholarship awards - the Master’s program in Middle Eastern Studies offers affordability in addition to rigor. The program also offers maximum flexibility for students to specialize in fields of their choice. Students work closely with faculty in a wide range of fields, including anthropology, political science, Islamic studies, literature, public policy, economics and business, history, theology, and philosophy. MA program alumni are successful in many professional fields and in gaining admission to top doctoral programs.

MA Program Degree Options

MA in Middle East Studies

This two-year program is specifically designed for students who wish to obtain a broad knowledge of the Middle East through intensive language study and maximum interdisciplinary flexibility. It allows the student to complete two years of intensive study in Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, or Turkish language or literature as well as languages of the ancient Near East including Ancient Egyptian, Akkadian, and Comparative Semitics. For more information about the M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies program, please see the degree requirements page. 

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.

The dual BA/MA is distinct from the 4+1 (UChicago Advanced Scholars) enrollment option. Students with questions should contact

Program Contacts

Director of the MA Program
Paul Walker (

Director of the Ancient Track MA Program
Brian Muhs (

Mustafa Kaya (

Carl Shook (

Kathryn Bandy (

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.