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MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies


The interdisciplinary MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences introduces students to the major issues and debates in the study of the Middle East, Islam and Muslim societies. Students study historical and contemporary topics--as well as theory and methodology--from both regional and global perspectives.

The express goal of this program is to situate the study of the Middle East and Islam within a globalized world. Accordingly, the curriculum covers topics of recent scholarly significance including the Arab Uprisings and transitions in the Middle East, new media, political Islam, the political economy of the Middle East, the relationship between “resource wars” and the “war on terrorism,” new diasporas and transnational Muslim communities in the ‘West,’ and the changed geopolitical environments of Muslim and Middle Eastern countries.

This interdisciplinary graduate degree prepares students for a variety of post-graduate opportunities in academia, government, and an expanding job market for people with this expertise.

Interested Prospective Students

Information about how to apply for the program is available here. Any questions about the program can be sent to meis@gmu.edu.

Accelerated Masters Option for Current Mason Students

Mason undergraduate students majoring in Government and International Politics, Global Affairs, History, Religious Studies, Sociology or Anthropology with a minimum GPA of 3.5 and two letters of recommendation from Mason faculty may take up to 6 hours of reserve graduate credit that can be applied towards both their undergraduate requirements as well as the requirements of the MEIS program if they are successful in gaining admission to the latter. This option can allow students to complete their graduate studies more quickly, but requires some advance planning. Students interested in exploring the Accelerated Masters option should contact the MEIS Program Coordinator, Ann Birkelbach (abirkelb@gmu.edu), as early as possible. For more details about how to apply for the Accelerated Masters option, visit http://chss.gmu.edu/accelerated-masters/about as this option follows a separate application process.