M.A. in Middle East Studies

Do you want to know more about what’s happening in the Middle East? Are you thinking about a career that requires expertise on the modern Middle East? Do you want to make a difference in the world?

. . . . then consider the Master’s of Arts in Middle East Studies at the University of Washington.

  • Our M.A. program requirements are flexible and administered by a supportive faculty/staff team who want to see you succeed.
  • 95% of our M.A. students finish in two years.
  • Most of our classes are small, seminar-style.
  • Our more than fifty affiliated faculty include experts in a very wide range of disciplines with extensive field experience.
  • We offer US Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships (FLAS) through the UW Middle East Center.
  • We offer outstanding, proficiency-based language instruction in modern Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish.
  • We make it easy for students to simultaneously pursue degrees in other professional programs such as Public Affairs and Law.
  • We offer superb student career counseling and placement services, paired with faculty mentoring and guidance.
  • And, face it: Seattle is a cool place to be.


Career sectors of our M.A. program graduates (past 5 years)
Federal Government 32%
Private Sector, non-profit 18%
Graduate Study (Ph.D., Law) 20%
Higher Ed (faculty, administrator) 10%
Private Sector, for profit 8%


Read what our graduates write about the impact of their M.A. in Middle East Studies on their careers:

“The experience [in the M.A. program] was truly life changing and paved the way for my career in government service. Currently, I work for the Department of Defense as a Syria analyst. Having first-hand experience in Syria, with generous FLAS funding, has been profoundly important for my current work, enriching the quality of my analysis for senior government officials, including the President. Last year I served a rotation with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and used my Arabic skills to track events in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.”


“The Jackson School’s Middle East Studies program gave me the language, research, and analytical tools to work as a Long-Term Observer for the Carter Center during the 2014 elections in Tunisia as well as a researcher for their Syria Mapping project.”


  • 36 credits (for 2 papers option)*
  • 27 credits (for thesis)*
  • 1 Middle East seminar
  • 10 credits of a relevant Middle East language beyond 2nd year
  • Oral examination
  • Either a thesis or two extended research papers
    *20 of these credits in modern Middle East coursework in at least two disciplines


What topics have our recent M.A. graduates researched for their theses or qualifying papers?
  • The UAE and the Green Façade: Renewable Energy Challenges
  • Conspiracy Theory in Egypt and Syria in the Arab Spring
  • Addressing Water Inequality in Israel and Palestine
  • Digital Media: Palestine & Syria
  • The Gulf War and the Role of State Leaders in Alignment Decision-Making
  • The Kurdish Question and Turkey’s Relations with Iraq
  • US Foreign Policy Towards Iran: The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty



See a full list of our faculty, course offerings, events and activities at: http://jsis.washington.edu/mideast/ Facebook: facebook.com/mecuw



FACULTY PROGRAM CHAIR: Prof. Noam Pianko, npianko@uw.edu