The Center for Middle Eastern Studies
The Center for Middle Eastern Studies, http://www.cmes.uchicago.edu/, is an interdepartmental and interdivisional unit that serves as a focal point for faculty and students in all academic disciplines concerned with the area from Morocco to Kazakhstan, from the beginning of the Islamic period to the present. The center also administers three master's programs specifically designed for students who wish to use their knowledge of the Middle East in careers other than university teaching and research. These programs feature language and area studies supplemented by study in the professional school or department in which their work is focused.The degree programs are: A.M. in Middle Eastern Studies, A.M. in Middle Eastern Studies/Masters in Business Administration, and A.M. in Middle Eastern Studies/A.M. in Public Policy Studies. Students interested in Middle Eastern or Islamic studies who wish to earn advanced degrees leading to careers in research and college or university teaching should apply for admission to one of the regular departments of the University.
The center fosters research and teaching, ensures the availability of library resources, brings to the University visiting scholars whose work complements that of the regular faculty, holds conferences, symposia, and workshops, and sponsors a variety of Middle East-related extracurricular activities and events.
The essential aim of the center is to provide a sound grounding both in an academic or professional field and in the languages and civilizations of the Middle Eastern area. Accordingly, faculty members of the center have their primary appointments in the departments of the Divisions of the Social Sciences and the Humanities or in the professional schools. With the exception of the special A.M. programs in Middle Eastern studies administered by the center, candidates for advanced degrees are enrolled in the graduate departments. The work of the center is thus closely linked with the programs of other degree-granting bodies of the University and reflects the emphasis on research that prevails in the graduate programs.
Applicants for the Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies are expected to meet the graduate admission requirements of the University and of the division to which they apply. In addition, applicants to the Middle Eastern Studies program must submit an academic writing sample. Students are encouraged to enter the program in the autumn quarter. Although the program is designed for full-time students, applications from those who can attend only on a part-time basis will be considered.
Students may be admitted to the program in either the Division of the Social Sciences or the Humanities and will receive the degree from the division through which they have registered. The joint A.M./M.B.A. and the joint A.M./A.M in Public Policy Studies degree programs are administered through the Division of the Social Sciences.
Students applying to the joint program in Middle Eastern Studies and Business Administration should take the GMAT examination prior to application. Students applying to the other master's programs must take the GRE examination.
For all degrees, only courses taken for a letter grade count toward fulfilling the requirements. No P or R grades will be accepted.
For the master's degree in Middle Eastern Studies the requirements are satisfactory completion of:
For the masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies and the masters degree in Business Administration the requirements are satisfactory completion of:
For the master's degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Public Policy Studies the requirements are satisfactory completion of:
Placement examinations will be given so that entering students may register for courses at the appropriate level of instruction. All or part of the language requirement may be met through the placement examination.
Students who elect to study Arabic will concentrate on either the modern literary language or on one of the colloquial languages. Students who elect to study Persian, Turkish, or Hebrew will concentrate on the modern and contemporary idiom.
Middle Eastern Studies
All students in the A.M. Program are required to take the first half of the two-quarter core colloquium Introduction to the Study of Islamic History (History 580, 581; Near Eastern History 456, 457; Arabic 441, 442). Students must enroll in one of the two following three-quarter sequences: Introduction to Judaic Civilization (Jewish Studies 200, 201, 202/310, 311, 312) or the Islamic Middle East (History 257, 258, 259/357, 358, 359; Near Eastern History 276, 277, 278/386, 387, 388). Those with previous work in Islamic studies will be advised to substitute, where appropriate, more advanced and specialized courses in the field.
In consultation with advisers, students select courses providing instruction in skills related to their future careers. These courses may be in research methodology; statistics; cross-cultural, demographic, or economic analysis; or computer training. They may be selected from the offerings of departments in the graduate divisions, such as the Departments of Economics, Statistics, or Sociology; or of the professional schools, such as the Graduate School of Business, the Law School, the Harris School of Graduate Public Policy Studies or the School of Social Service Administration.
Students are strongly encouraged to consider participating in the University Writing Program ("Little Red Schoolhouse").
Students are required to submit a masters thesis that should deal with a problem relevant to the student's intended career and should give evidence of the specialized disciplinary aspects of his or her training. The student's program adviser and a faculty member with special interest in the subject of the paper will guide the research and writing of the paper and judge whether it exhibits proof of competence in the field.
During the writing of the paper, the student will register for a thesis preparation or reading and research course. The thesis title will be listed on the student's transcript.
Consult in these Announcements and in the quarterly Time Schedules the listings of the Departments of Art History, Anthropology, English Language & Literature, History, Music, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, Political Science, Sociology, South Asian Languages & Civilizations, and the Committee on Geographical Studies.
This text was last revised on 2/27/2003.