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Graduate Students

CMENAS offers several graduate degree options Modern Middle Eastern and North African Studies including the master degree, the certificate of graduate studies, and dual degrees with business, law, and individualized dual degrees with public health, and public policy.

About the MA Program

The Master of Arts in modern Middle Eastern and North African Studies is an interdisciplinary course of study designed to develop advanced competence in the language courses of the region, deeper understanding of the MENA region, and research and writing skills appropriate for a graduate student. 

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours at the graduate level including courses in Middle Eastern history, Middle Eastern and North African Studies Colloquium Series, and advanced language courses of the region—Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish. Students must also fulfill the U-M graduate school's residence, grade and time requirements as stated in the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures.

Frequently Asked Questions:

I understand that CMENAS does not offer a PhD, but is there the opportunity of switching to another U-M department, e.g. History, NES, for the PhD after I get my MA?

Students must apply for admission to a University of Michigan PhD program even if completing a MA degree with CMENAS. We suggest that you contact an advisor in the appropriate department for further information on their program.

I am a prospective MA student who has a particular area of interest, e.g. the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Will I have an opportunity to focus specifically on that?

Yes. Beyond your required core classes, you are able to elect additional classes from an approved list, allowing you flexibility to focus on a specific topic. You can also pursue your interest through a thesis.

What funding is available for students?

Center funding is extremely limited. However, applicants who are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents should apply for the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is contingent upon Center funding being renewed each year. For more info, visit

For prospective MA students, visit the Rackham School of Graduate Studies funding website »

Other funding opportunities to support fellowships and grants for student research abroad, international internships, and the study of less commonly taught languages are offered by: