The Middle East Studies Graduate Program aims to offer an interdisciplinary study of the Middle East and North Africa. The basic objective of the program is to educate the graduate students in issues regarding the Arab World, Turkey, Iran, Israel and North Africa, to train the researchers and area experts for both public and private sectors, universities, research centers, and archives and libraries, to conduct academic and scientific research, to organize conferences and to publish about the history and contemporary affairs of the region. The program also aims at increasing the academic cooperation between research centers in the Middle East and METU, and developing the national and international dialogue among the scholars working in the field of study.


The Middle East Studies Program is a competitive program open to students with an undergraduate degree in any field of study owing to the interdisciplinary nature of the program. The applicants from humanities, social sciences and sciences have the same possibility of admission. The Search Committee, however, has the authority to ask accepted students to attend ‘scientific preparation’ courses up to 18 credit hours to build up their knowledge in the field. The graduates of history, sociology, international relations and political sciences may not be required to take preparatory courses.


The program has 3 must courses ranging from different aspects on history, sociology, politics and international relations of the Middle East in a comparative framework. There is also a set of elective courses offered by the program. Students can also take relevant elective courses offered by other departments’ graduate programs. The Master’s Degree in Middle East Studies contains thesis and non-thesis options. The thesis program requires the students to complete seven credit-courses (three required courses, four elective courses ) and the non-credit course, Seminar in Middle East Studies, in addition to writing a Master’s Thesis. The non-thesis program requires the students to take ten credit-courses (three required courses, seven elective courses) and to complete a term-project. Both thesis and non-thesis programs requires the students to take a language course (Arabic, Persian and Hebrew). Upon the successful completion of the requirements of either program, the Master’s Degree in Middle East Studies will be awarded.


Required Courses


MES        501          History of the Modern Middle East

MES        502          Contemporary Affairs in the Middle East

MES        512          Society in the Modern Middle East

MES        550          Seminar in Middle East Studies

MES        589          Term Project (for non-thesis)

MES        599          Master’s Thesis


Elective Courses


MES        503         Political Economy of the Middle East

MES        504         US Foreign Policy and the Middle East

MES        505         Geopolitical Readings on the Middle East

MES        506         Culture and Cinema in the Middle East

MES        507         Revolutions in the Middle East

MES        508         Modern Iran: Politics in 20th Century

MES        509         Religious Developments in the Middle East

MES        510         War and Peace in the Middle East

MES        511         Israeli Politics and Society

MES        513         Persian Language and Culture

MES        514         Persian Language and Culture 2

MES        515         Comparative Politics of the Middle East

MES        520         Political Economy of Water in the Middle East

MES        528         Politics of Language and Identity in Middle East

MES        529         United Nations and the Middle East

MES        711         Special Topics: Persian Language and Culture 3