Middle East and Islamic Studies

Study mode:On campus Study type:Part-time Languages: English
Local:$ 34.1 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 34.1 k / Year(s)  
StudyQA ranking:6308 Duration:3 semestrs

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Today, countries of the Middle East and the Islamic world are powerful, active actors on the international stage. Since 2009, the Middle East and Muslim North Africa have undergone unexpected and dramatic changes with varying consequences. These multidimensional changes are ongoing, placing the Middle East and the Muslim world in a new, urgent, and international context.

The goal of our five programs focused on the Middle East and Islamic World is to train well-grounded, well-versed, and well-informed international citizens. Students learn to understand and analyze the region’s long complex past and rapidly changing present. Our programs seek to rise above stereotypes, remain unimpeded by political correctness (or incorrectness), and offer in-depth knowledge from a variety of perspectives.

Middle East and Islamic studies examines the political, social, religious, and cultural history of the Middle East and Islam—and helps make sense of the present. As the Middle East and Islamic world play such a large role on the international stage today, graduates of our programs find that their skills are incredibly valued in government, international and nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector.

Those with a proficiency in a language of the Middle East—Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, or Persian—find that this is additional skill is highly desirable in today’s climate and can set them apart from other candidates.

Our graduates who combined their studies with international affairs have the added toolkit of international theory and practice under their belt. The ability to understand complex problems and resolve conflict in challenging circumstances cannot be underestimated in our world.

For all our graduates, the analytical and critical thinking skills—as well as their well-informed and open-minded profile—opens the door to many exciting careers.

The one-year Master of Arts program in Middle East and Islamic Studies (MEIS) provides a rigorous generalist degree that fosters an informed understanding of issues related to the Middle East and the Islamic world.

As equally suited—and beneficial—to students coming from a strong background in Middle East, religious, or Islamic studies as it is for students coming from a wide variety of different backgrounds, the MEIS degree trains open-minded, nuanced, and critical thinkers.

Six core courses

Because students need to be knowledgeable about the past in order to properly understand the present, the MA degree requires a rigorous core of six courses for all students:

  • Methodology of Viewing the Middle East and the Islamic World
  • Modern Islamic Revivalist Movements (1700-Present)
  • The History of the Middle East (1800 to Present)
  • State, Society, and Political Economy of the Contemporary Middle East
  • Islam: Religion and Law
  • The History of Islam and Islamic Thought (600-1100)

These courses form the MA's foundation. Students learn to understand, assess, explain, and engage with the Middle East and the Islamic world through this in-depth study.

A choice of an exciting elective

Students also select one four-credit elective to complement their core courses. Electives range from classes on the Arab-Israeli conflict to Gender in the Middle East. From Sufism to Islamic Law, there is sure to be a course that piques your interest.

The research project

MA students in the program are not required to write a thesis. They do, however, write an independent research paper of 10,000 words. This research project in their final semester allows students to pursue particular interests in greater depth.

Coursework Masters

The MA in Middle East Studies and Islamic Studies is a 40 credit Coursework Masters taken over the course of 2.5 semesters; it can be completed in one calendar year. Coursework Masters at AUP open up international horizons, transmit essential knowledge, and enable career-transition through a range of classes blending theory and practice. Students develop precision in their analytic and research skills through a rigorous curriculum and a personalized research project.

Program essay: in approximately 1000 words (two double-spaced pages), discuss the merits of the following statement: “Understanding the Middle East necessitates knowledge of Islam, yet the understanding of Islam does not require knowledge of the Middle East.” The essay should include a clear analytical argument.General requirements for graduate programsA successful application to The American University of Paris requires several supporting documents and sometimes tests. Most can be uploaded directly in your online application. We cannot provide you with a decision until we receive all of your documents.Online application formPersonal statementC.V. or résuméTwo letters of recommendationOfficial transcriptsEnglish Language TestStandardized tests (required for most programs)Program-specific requirements

Financial aid and scholarships

An AUP education is an important investment in your future, and we work hard to make it an affordable one. Our tuition and costs are competitive with those of small, selective universities in the United States, and we offer need- and merit-based grants as well as research assistantships that make a graduate degree at AUP more affordable. Some opportunities vary by program, so please visit individual program pages for complete information.

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