General Degree Requirements
The Master of Arts in Arab Studies program is a demanding, full-time curriculum comprised of a minimum of 36 credit hours (12 three-credit hour classes) of courses other than basic language instruction and remedial preparation. The program is designed for full time students who complete the degree in two years depending on their Arabic language competency.
Upon entry, students must choose to concentrate in one of five significant areas: culture and society, economics (development or business tracks), history, politics, or women and gender. Roughly half of a student's work will be focused on this one discipline or concentration block. These courses should be chosen to build on the student's background in the concentration and enhance the student's ability to meet his/her future career or academic goals and interests. Each concentration area also has one or two required courses: MAAS-564 for economics concentrators, MAAS-518 for culture/society concentrators, HIST 760 Arab Historiography for history concentrators, GOVT-725 and INAF-619 for politics concentrators, and MAAS-532 for women/gender concentrators. Students have considerable flexibility in designing their program in order to meet their academic and professional goals and interests. Although the program structure is very flexible, there are some basic guidelines.
1. Completion of 12 courses
MAAS 501- Introduction to the Study of the Arab World
Roughly six courses in the concentration must be completed
Roughly five courses outside of the concentration must be completed
2. Passage of MAAS Oral and Written Modern Standard Arabic Proficiency Exam
3. Completion of the MAAS Oral Comprehensive Exams or the Thesis Option
Rigorous training in the Arabic language is a core element of the program, which is supported by the largest and oldest Arabic language department in the country. All students are required to attain an advanced level of Arabic in addition to the 36 hours of coursework required for the MAAS degree. All students are required to pass the MAAS Modern Standard Arabic Proficiency Exam which has both a written and oral component. The final requirement for the degree is the successful completion of a comprehensive oral examination or thesis. Upon completion of the course work and the Arabic language proficiency exam, the student will be examined for approximately one hour by a panel of three professors. Students are expected to demonstrate in-depth knowledge in their concentration as well as general competence on the region. They are also expected to display the ability to analyze and synthesize across disciplinary boundaries. Students have the option of writing and defending a thesis in their final semester, in lieu of one concentration course and the oral comprehensive exam. Those choosing the thesis option must formally declare their intention early in the fall semester of their second year. Students in the joint degree programs are encouraged to consult the MAAS student handbook as well as the collaborating degree program for specific requirements.