Language Requirement
Other Coursework Requirements
Final Degree Requirements
Thesis Option
2-Papers Option

Familiarize yourself with both the Middle East Studies Program Requirements for a Master of Arts in International Studies and the General Graduate School Requirements for a Master’s Degree. The program requirements are designed to meet Graduate School requirements, but it is important to note that you must satisfy both sets of requirements to graduate.

Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC)
Professor Philip Schuyler is the chair and the graduate program coordinator (GPC) of the Middle East Studies program. In this latter role he serves as your faculty adviser. You should meet with him at least once a year. As you review the program requirements and guidelines, you will find that some actions on your part need formal approval from the GPC. This approval should be in writing and placed in your file in the JSIS Student Services Office.

Language Requirement:
The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization offers the language courses appropriate for the Middle East Studies program. First- and second-year language classes usually are available in Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian. First- and second-year Turkish are offered in alternating years. All students must complete three 3-credit or two 5-credit courses beyond the second-year level in one Middle East Language. Native speakers of a language may satisfy this requirement through advanced literature or independent study. Advanced courses in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish are normally available every quarter. Independent Study may also be an option for Arabic, Hebrew, Persian or Turkish.

Other Coursework Requirements:
An MA in the Jackson School requires a minimum of 36 credits at the 400 level or above, at least 18 of which must be graded. Thesis option: Students must take at least 27 credits of coursework, plus 9 credits of JSIS 700. Two-paper option: Students choosing this option must take at least 36 credits of coursework (18 at the 500+ level), which may include 6 credits of independent study to prepare their papers. Graded courses include 400- and 500-level courses (except 499, 600, 700), for which you receive a grade. For those doing a thesis, a minimum of 9 credits are required at the 500 level or above (as they will have to take 9 thesis credits at the 700 level), It may be necessary to do some Graduate Independent Study* at the 600 level in order to obtain sufficient credits at the 500 level or above.

In completing these requirements, distribute your course work to ensure that the following separate components are met. Basic language training classes (first- through third-year) cannot be counted to fulfill any of these requirements.

20 credits on the Modern Middle East
In order to promote an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the modern Middle East, you are encouraged to take a variety of courses in the social sciences or the humanities.  These courses must be from at least two different disciplines, such as history, political science, international studies, literature or religion.
One approved Jackson School course
This course does not have to be on the Middle East. Courses prefixed JSIS will be automatically approved.  Courses prefixed JSIS A, JSIS B, etc., must be approved on a case-by-case basis.
Two courses in one discipline or profession
Again, it is not necessary for these courses to be focused on the Middle East. The purpose of this requirement is to give you the opportunity to develop some expertise in the theory and methodology of an academic discipline or profession. This is particularly useful for students planning to go on for a PhD or undertaking a concurrent degree.
You may take 300-level courses not prefixed JSIS to meet these requirements, but only with written approval from the GPC; they will not count toward the JSIS and Graduate School requirement of 36 total credits at the 400-level or above. A preferable option would be to take the 300-level course as Graduate Independent Study at the 600 level, making a contract with the instructor to do the work required for the class along with some extra work to meet graduate standards. 

Final Degree Requirements:
For guidance in completing your final degree requirements, you must form a Supervisory Committee with at least two members, including at least one member of the Middle East program faculty. This committee must be established and a signed Supervisory Committee Form (available from the GPA in THO 116) filed with the GPA by the 6th Friday of your 4th quarter in the program. You will need to determine the Chair of your committee and to set up a schedule for submitting drafts of your thesis or final papers. Additional faculty from outside of the Middle East program can be included in your committee if appropriate for review of your paper(s). The chair and at least one other member of Supervisory Committee must be members of the University’s graduate faculty. Be sure to check with each member to ensure that they will be available for your Oral Exam when you need them. You have two options for completing your final requirements in the program. Submit a signed Committee form to the GPA by the 6th Friday of the quarter.


Thesis Option
This option requires a thesis and an oral exam. If you choose this option, you should work closely with your Supervisory Committee throughout the entire process. Be sure that all members of your committee support your topic before you become too heavily committed to it. Use your committee to help you find appropriate sources. Give your committee members as much opportunity as they desire to read portions or initial drafts of what you have written as early as possible.
You must register for at least 9 thesis credits (JSIS 700). You do not have to register for all of them in one quarter and there is no limit on how many thesis credits you can take. (Only 9 of them, however, will count toward your requirement of 36 credits.) In order to register for thesis credits, you must complete an Application for Independent Study/Thesis Credits form each quarter and obtain a signature from the chair of your Supervisory Committee. Submit this form to JSIS Student Services to get the instructor ID number you will need to register.
Though you must register for thesis credits, work on your thesis can begin in one of your other graduate courses. The thesis could be an expanded version of a seminar paper or an Independent Study project. Papers normally range from 60 to 150 pages. If you wish to examine theses accepted in the past, copies are available in the Middle East Studies Program Office.
The oral exam will deal with work presented for your degree.

Two-Papers Option
This option requires you to write two seminar papers and take an oral exam.
At least one paper must relate to the Middle East, and the subject of both papers must be approved by the Supervisory Committee. The second paper must have some relevance to your overall program and career objectives. In most cases, these papers are revised and expanded versions of work written to meet a course requirement. As both papers must be approved by your Supervisory Committee, it is important to have your committee review them early. It may be necessary to rewrite one or both of them.
Prior to your exam, you should meet with your committee members to discuss areas of study that would be appropriate for your exam and what you can do in preparation.
Whichever option you choose, you should submit final drafts of your thesis or two papers to your committee at least a month before the end of the quarter in which you plan to graduate. Your committee needs time to read your work. If you are late in giving them your final draft(s), you may find that instead of graduating in the quarter you planned, you have to register for another.

To graduate, you must submit a degree application through the Graduate School Web site: The application period commences the first day of the quarter of graduation. The Middle East Studies program requires that you apply to graduate by 5:00 on the 7th Friday of the quarter (fifth Friday for Summer quarter).
The Graduate School will send you an email confirmation of your application for a Master’s Degree and inform you of Graduate School requirements that must be met by the end of the quarter in which you graduate. The Graduate Program Adviser (Paula Milligan) will be notified of your application for the degree and will enter information detailing departmental requirements that must be met. This will generate an email from the Graduate School to you informing you of departmental requirements.
If you do not finish in the quarter you applied to graduate, you will have to apply again. You must be registered for at least two credits in the quarter you graduate. In some special circumstances, you may graduate without being registered in the following quarter by paying a tuition waiver fee of $250. If you think you need to avail yourself of this opportunity, check with Paula Milligan about the circumstances that might make that an option.
It is important for you to maintain your status as a student until you graduate. To do this, you must be registered for every quarter except Summer Quarter, or be formally on leave.

Whichever option you select, your oral examination will take place only after your final paper(s) have been approved for defense by all members of your Supervisory Committee. As you are approaching the completion of your paper(s), you will need to schedule your oral exam with your Supervisory Committee. Once the date and time are set, complete an Exam Scheduling Form and obtain the GPC’s signature. Then give this form to Paula Milligan, who will reserve a room for your oral exam, if necessary, and notify everyone involved.
Prior to your exam, the GPA will do a final review of your file. Be sure to make an appointment with her in the quarter before you plan to graduate to make sure that there are no surprises, and to review the procedures for finishing.

Once you have successfully completed both your paper(s) and your oral exam, your committee members will sign an Exam Completion and Approval of Graduation form and your Warrant for Master’s Degree, which will remain in your file and signify to the GPA that the Graduate School is requested to award you a Master of Arts degree. Any required course work for which you have yet to receive a grade will be listed as a contingency. This course work must be completed before the end of the quarter in which you are planning to graduate. Your graduation will be finalized only after grades are received for these courses and the other departmental requirements (see page 10) are met.
Should you finish all required course work and need only to complete your thesis or final papers, you may want to consider going on leave until you are done (requires GPC’s approval). In the quarter you return, you can register for at least two credits of either JSIS 700/Thesis Credits or JSIS A 600/Graduate Independent Study with a member of your committee and reapply to graduate.


The Oral Exam
Prior to your oral exam, the GPA will prepare your file for the exam and provide it to the chair of your committee. In addition to providing a record of the work you have completed in the program, your file will contain your Exam Completion Form and your Warrant for Master’s Degree. The Warrant is generated by the Graduate School as a result of your application for the degree. Upon the successful completion of your oral exam, your committee members will sign these documents, which will remain in your file. 
For Two-Paper Option
Your final papers are papers you have done in a seminar class, and possibly refined and revised further, under the supervision of one or both of your committee members, by registering for 6 credits of JSIS  600. 
Drafts of the research papers should be submitted to your Supervisory Committee members no later than the 6th Wednesday of your final quarter. (4th Wednesday in Summer quarter.) Once your papers are approved by your committee, you may schedule the oral exam. The oral exam is based on these papers but ranges broadly across the field of Middle East studies and your other studies while in the Middle East Studies graduate program. 
For Thesis Option
In order to graduate in the quarter you applied, you must submit a copy of your signed Thesis Signature Page to the GPA, and a bound copy of your thesis to the Middle East Center (Tho. 225), both by 4:00 on the last Thursday of the quarter in which you are graduating.
See for information about the Graduate School requirements for your thesis submission.
Be sure to print the Master’s Supervisory Committee Approval Form and take it to your Oral Exam. 
When your thesis is complete, deposit one tape– or spiral-bound signed copy at the Middle East Center office (Thomson 225) or deliver to the GPA. You should be sure to have a copy signed for yourself as well. Members of your committee also may want a copy of your thesis.
Deliver a copy of the signed signature page to the GPA in Thomson 116 so that your graduation will not be delayed. When a copy of your thesis signature page has been submitted to the GPA and the other finishing requirements are met, the Graduate School will be authorized to graduate you.
Students choosing the two-paper option must also pass an oral exam on their work, but do not need to deposit a copy of their papers to the Graduate School, or to the Middle East Center.




ADIL AIT HAMD, Lecturer, International Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
WALTER ANDREW, Lecturer, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
IERE L. BACHARACH, Professor Emeritus, History
GAD BARZLAI, Professor, International Studies
SUSAN BENSON, Lecturer, International Studies
RENE BRAVMANN, Professor, Art History
DANIEL CHIROT, Professor, International Studies
IISE D. CIRTAUTAS, Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
ANGELA CLOSE, Professor, Anthropology
TERRI DeYOUNG, Associate Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
HUSSEIN ELKHAFAIFI, Associate Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
ELLIS GOLDBERG, Professor, Political Science
NICHOLAS HEER, Professor Emeritus, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
MARTIN JAFFEE, Professor, International Studies, adjunct Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
ELLEN KAISSE, Professor, Linguistics
RESAT KASABA, Director and Professor, International Studies, adjunct Sociology
KHODADAD KAVIANI, Lecturer, College of Education
ELIZABETH KIER Associate Professor, Political Science
SELIM SIRRI KURU, Associate Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
CLARK B. LOMBARDI, Associate Professor, Law
SHAUN LOPEZ, Assistant Professor, History
FREDERICK (RICK) LORENZ, Senior Lecturer, International Studies
BRIAN McLAREN, Associate Professor, Architecture
JOEL S. MIGDAL, Robert F. Philip Professor of International Studies
JAMES MURRAY, Professor, Oceanography
KARIN NAHON, Assistant Professor, Information School
SCOTT NOEGEL, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization and History
ARZOO OSANLOO, Associate Professor, Law, Society and Justice Program and Anthropology
CABEIRI de BERGH ROBINSON, Assistant Professor, International Studies
FIROOZEH PAPAN-MATIN, Assistant Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
NOAM PIANKO, Assistant Professor, International Studies
TOVI ROMANO, Lecturer; Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
HAIDEH SALEHI-ESFAHANI, Senior Lecturer, Economics
PHILIP SCHUYLER, Associate Professor, Ethnomusicology
SHAHRZAD SHAMS, Lecturer, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization;
NAOMI SOKOLOFF, Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
JOEL WALKER, Associate Professor, History
JAMES WELLMAN, Associate Professor, International Studies
MICHAEL WILLIAMS, Professor, International Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
FARHAT ZIADEH, Professor Emeritus, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
CRAIG ZUMBRUNNEN, Professor, Geography


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