Islamic Civilization and Societies

The graduate program in Middle Eastern Studies offers an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary curriculum designed for students who wish to acquire a broad background in Middle Eastern history, cultures, and politics. The program seeks to prepare candidates for a variety of post-graduate opportunities in diplomacy, human rights, government and public service, business, media, non-governmental organizations, and cultural institutions in the United States and abroad. Master’s students contribute to the intellectual life of the Boston College community and are encouraged to participate in colloquia and conversations across the University.

The master's program in Middle Eastern Studies (MES) offers two areas of focus: (1) Politics and International Relations and (2) Religion, Culture, and Society. Students have considerable flexibility in designing their programs of study and have access to the resources of all relevant departments, such as Art, Art History, and Film, Music, History, Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, Political Science, Theology, and other departments of the University. In addition to the wide range of courses offered within the MES program, students have the opportunity to utilize the resources of the outstanding network of scholars in the Boston area, including those of our Boston Area Consortium partners at Boston University, Tufts University, and Brandeis University.

This is a two-year program. Students are required to take ten courses (30 credits), three courses per semester. No more than two language courses may be taken without the approval of the director of graduate studies. A written comprehensive exam or a thesis project completes the program. If a student chooses to write a thesis, eight courses are required, and the comprehensive exam is waived. Students who choose to take written comprehensive exams must clear up all “Incompletes” and file an approved copy of their Program of Study. A candidate who fails the Master’s Comprehensive Examination may take it only one more time.

Master’s students’ performance will be reviewed by the graduate committee during the second semester of their first year. To remain in good standing, M.A. students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0.