offered in conjunction with the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
3 consecutive semesters
See Academic Calendar
January 1 - March 15, 2017 (late applications accepted)
See Apply Here
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Academic Head: Dr. Menachem Merhavy
An intensive integrated program designed for students who wish to study the Middle East: religion, politics, society, history, and culture. The program is offered in conjunction with the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Students have the opportunity to study with some of the leading scholars in the field while living in Jerusalem, one of the most important and dynamic cities of the Middle East. Graduates of the program have assumed positions in government service, relevant NGOs, journalism and other areas.
Course of Study
In the M.A. in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies program, you will gain a breadth of knowledge in the field through courses in history and other fields in the humanities such as Islamic archaeology. Literary Arabic is a strong focus of the program, and your goal will be to become proficient by the end of the academic year.
The M.A. Program in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies consists of required courses (including a historiography seminar), elective courses, and up to 12 hours per week of literary Arabic study (depending on your level) over three consecutive semesters. You also have the option to study additional languages.
The M.A. in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies consists of 36 credits over 3 consecutive semesters.
Provided as an example only and subject to change:
• Seminar in Historiography
• Introduction to the Middle East: Adjustment and Change in Modern Times
• Islam and State
• Departmental Seminar (topic varies; in 2016/2017, the topic is Global Jihad: Ideology and Politics)
Elective Courses from the Following Areas
• History of the Modern Middle East
• Early Islamic History and Cultural Legacy of Islamic Societies
Recent course list:
o Islamic Archaeology of Palestine and Syria
o Selected Problems in Islamic History and Civilization
o Colonialism in the Middle East
o The Palestinian Arabs under the Mandate
o The Maghrib: Politics and Society in Contemporary North Africa
o Social and Cultural History of Modern Egypt
o Turkey’s Regional Foreign Policies: Changing Ties with the Middle East, the EU, and Israel
o The History of Modern Iraq: The Quest for the State and the Search for National Identity
• As a new student, you are required to take an Arabic placement exam in October, prior to the start of the program (place and time of the exam are sent to accepted students).
• Literary Arabic: 12 weekly hours are required for the full duration of the program if you have no prior knowledge of Arabic. If you have an advanced level of Arabic, you can expect to study 2-4 hours per week. (This information is subject to change)
• You must pass the advanced course in Literary Arabic to graduate.
• Completion of Advanced Literary Arabic is a requirement of the degree, but does not count towards the 36 credits.
Colloquial Arabic is not offered at the graduate level.
Students interested taking Colloquial Arabic through the Division of Undergraduate Students must obtain permission from said Division and follow their academic and administrative policies. Availability is limited and priority is given to undergraduate students.
Colloquial Arabic courses do not count towards the degree.
Additional Language Courses
Courses in other Middle Eastern and Islamic languages are available through the Faculty of Humanities, such as:
• Modern Turkish
• Ottoman Turkish
• Relevant European languages (i.e., French or German)
(The language of instruction of these courses is Hebrew)
Although not a requirement of the degree, basic knowledge of Modern Hebrew will enrich your experience in Israel. You have the option to enroll in Modern Hebrew courses offered in the autumn and spring semesters. You may also enroll in the Modern Hebrew Summer Ulpan (intensive Hebrew language training) prior to the start of the academic year for an additional fee. Modern Hebrew courses do not count towards your degree credit requirements.
At least two of the papers you will submit are seminar papers. Seminar papers are required for the degree, but do not count towards the credit requirements.
As a student in the M.A. in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, you are not required to write a thesis.
Optional Extended Thesis Year
If you wish to write a thesis, you may do so by enrolling for an additional year (or more) at Hebrew University as a special research student of the Faculty of Humanities. You must complete all program requirements in the M.A. in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies before the Faculty of Humanities will admit you as special research students.
During your extended year at Hebrew University, you will be required to:
• Complete all levels of Modern Hebrew (through level Vav) and obtain an exemption in Modern Hebrew (p'tor).
• Complete the advanced level of Literary Arabic and obtain an exemption in Literary Arabic (p'tor).
• Participate in the departmental seminar for advanced students.
• Participate in an Arabic texts course.
• Formulate a thesis topic and find a thesis advisor. The thesis topic must be approved by the department chair.
• You may be required to take additional courses in preparation for drafting your thesis during the extended year, as per the policy of the department where you will be hosted.
If you are interested in writing a thesis, please contact the head of the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies department, Prof. Meir Hatina, during your degree program.
As you approach the end of your studies and need information about the admission procedures to extend your stay by one year and become a Special Research Student, please contact Ms. Ellie Baras.
Qualified students with a Bachelor's degree from accredited institutions of higher education are eligible for admission to the program. Admission is competitive and is based on transcripts and letters of recommendation. Students must have:
Knowledge of English: Applicants are required to submit official TOEFL, IELTS, or Amir scores. The minimum TOEFL score is 89 on the internet-based test. The minimum IELTS score is 7. The minimum Amir score is 220.
Applicants who have completed a full degree (a minimum of four years) taught solely in English at a recognized institution of higher education may request to be exempted from the English proficiency exams. Applicants who have completed a B.A. in English Language and Literature may request an exemption provided that they submit documentation from their university stating that the language of instruction is English.
Exemption is not automatic and is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Note: Documents or test results may be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Scanned and emailed documents will be used to process admission, but will not be considered official documents. Official documents must be submitted prior or upon arrival.
For a full list of application documents to submit along with the online application: application check-list