MAMES students are required to be in residence from mid-October to late-August (approximately 10 months). Degree requirements vary by program track (executive or research). For both degree tracks, three semesters of course work are to be completed in back-to-back fall, spring and summer semesters.
MAMES Executive Track Requirements:
- 3 Required Introductory Seminars
- 5 Elective Seminars
- Final Exam
- Mandatory Extracurricular Activities
*Language studies in Hebrew, Arabic, and Turkish are optional.
MAMES Research Track Requirements:
- 3 Required Seminars
- 4 Elective Seminars
- 1 Middle Eastern Studies Research and Methodologies Seminar
- Arabic/Turkish Language Studies (3 introductory courses)
- Mandatory Extracurricular Activities
*Optional Hebrew study is available.
Foundations for the Advanced Study of Islam and Modern Muslim Societies:
The course will provide a thorough understanding of Islam from its origins to the present. It will examine how the historical evolution of different theological orientations in Islam were accompanied by the development of new ritual practices, religious institutions, community identities, and forms of political organization. The main objective of the course will be to explore how Muslims in various ages and regions of the world have developed diverse interpretations of Islam and its practice. Emphasis will be given to developing students’ capabilities to analyze how the divergent socio-cultural and political contexts in which various Muslims have lived (and do live) influence how Islam comes to be understood. To this end, the course will consider current trends in various Muslim societies which affect the relationship between religion and politics.
Selected Topics in the History of the Modern Middle East:
This course presents a detailed overview of the history of the region in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries up to the end of World War I. It examines the history of contact with the West during the last two centuries, processes of Westernization, and relations between religion and the state in the Middle East up through the early 20th century.
Historical Approaches and Methodological Issues in Middle Eastern Studies:
This course is designed to provide students with the research skills, sources, and tools necessary to conduct research in Middle Eastern Studies. The primary objective is to equip students with the ability to critically evaluate academic work and employ methodological tools throughout their studies. The course will expose students to key historiographical and theoretical debates.
Note: The required seminars are ONLY offered in the fall semester of the program.
Different elective seminars are offered every year in the Spring and Summer Semesters and cover a wide range of topics. The course titles listed below are a guide to the range of seminars which are available to the students. Please note that the MAMES program cannot guarantee that all of the courses listed below will be offered each academic year.
Civil Society, Social Movements, and Contentious Politics in the Middle East
Between Civil Society and Civil War: Communities and Cultures in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon
Demography and Economic Development in the Middle East
The Emergence of Modern States and Political Communities in North Africa
Gender, Age, Sexuality, and Health in the Middle East
Globalization, Media and Civil Society: the Struggle over the Islamic Message
History and Historiography of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
History of Modern Israel: Challenges and Realities
The Inter-Arab System: Unity and Division From World War I to the 'Arab Spring
Iran from the Constitutional Revolution to the Islamic Republic
Iraq in the 20th Century: Sectarianism and the Establishment of a Unified State-System
Islamic Ideology and Militancy: Al-Qaeda and the Taliban
Islam and the West: Meeting of Minds or Clash of Civilizations?
Middle Eastern Studies Research and Methodologies Seminar
Nuclear Proliferation and Arms Control in the Middle East and Beyond
The Sunni-Shi'a Rivalry: Sectarianism, Militancy, and Jihad
Politics and Tribalism in the Modern Middle East
War, Revolution, and Leadership in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula
Workshop on the Contemporary Middle East
Hebrew, Arabic, and Turkish Language Studies
There is no language prerequisite required for acceptance to the MAMES program. However, MAMES research track students are required to complete and pass 3 introductory semesters of Arabic or Turkish. Executive track students are not required to take language courses though they are strongly encouraged to study a regional language.
Arabic: Research track students with no previous exposure to the Arabic language are required to attend introductory Arabic language courses during their three semesters of coursework. Students will begin to learn Spoken Arabic and will also receive the foundations of Modern Standard Arabic.
Research track students who have already completed 3 semesters or more of Arabic study may be exempt from the Arabic requirement by passing a proficiency exam. The MAMES program will make efforts to accommodate students with an advanced level of Arabic by hosting workshops for spoken Arabic and for the study of Arabic texts. Advanced Arabic workshops will be opened according to demand. Advanced Arabic workshops will not be reflected on student transcripts; however, students will receive a letter certifying their participation in the workshop from the MAMES office detailing the curriculum covered. Additionally, students who are able to take courses in Hebrew will be able to take advanced Arabic texts courses taught within the department of Middle Eastern and African History.
Hebrew: Hebrew is not required for the completion of the degree, but it is recommended to take at least one session of intensive Hebrew instruction, called Ulpan. A seven-week Ulpan session is offered in the summer prior to the fall semester (usually from mid-July to early September). Students who are unable to attend the summer Ulpan, may enroll in the four-week ulpan session offered during the winter break, usually in February. As well, students who elect to do so may continue their Hebrew studies in the fall and spring semesters only. Intensive Hebrew Ulpan and Hebrew studies in the fall and spring semesters are not included in the regular program tuition; students must pay an additional fee to attend Hebrew courses.
Turkish: For students who are already proficient in Hebrew, beginning Turkish language classes will be offered in Hebrew through the department of Middle Eastern and African History. Turkish courses in English may be offered based on the number of interested students.
Executive Track Students
Executive track students must enroll in 8 graduate seminars (3 of which are core seminars; 5 of which are electives). For each graduate seminar, a seminar paper must be submitted in order to receive an evaluation. Non-thesis track students are required to submit a total of 3 long papers (7,000 words) and 5 short papers (3,000 words). Seminar papers are due by early-May (1st semester papers); by mid-September (2nd semester papers); and early-December (3rd semester papers). In the case of extenuating circumstances, extensions for papers can be arranged on a case-by-case basis.
At the beginning of the 3rd (summer) semester, executive track students will receive a list of readings upon which they will be examined on the last Friday of the third semester, during a 4-hour in-class exam. Students will receive a reading list and from this list, students must master the material assigned and prepare for the final-written exam. Executive track students will only receive the degree after passing the written examination.
Research Track Students
Students who intend to complete a thesis project must enroll in 8 graduate seminars (3 required seminars, 4 electives and 1 required research and methodologies seminar.) Research track students are required to submit a total of 2 long papers (7,000 words) and 6 short papers (3,000 words). Seminar papers are due by early-May (1st semester papers); by mid-September (2nd semester papers); and early-December (3rd semester papers). In the case of extenuating circumstances, extensions for papers can be arranged on a case-by-case basis. MAMES research track students must also complete 3 introductory courses of Arabic or Turkish.
Students who opt to write a thesis are required to take the Middle East Studies Research and Methodologies Seminar during the 3rd (summer) semester. The course will focus mainly on providing students with a toolkit to proceed with the thesis process.
During a fourth semester, students will work closely with a thesis advisor while completing each aspect of their project. Thesis advisors will generally be a member of TAU's Department of Middle Eastern and African History. In order to complete this process, the student will need to register for an extra semester of independent study. (Tuition Fee: $5,000)
Note: Students, who wish to continue on to doctoral studies at Tel Aviv University must write a thesis, after which they may apply to the Department of Middle Eastern and African History, under whose auspices this program is held.
For thesis guidelines, click here.
Mandatory Extracurricular Activities
Throughout the program, lecture and film series will be provided to the MAMES students.
Students are required to attend 3 extracurricular lectures per semester (for a total of 9). Students are required to attend 3 extracurricular film screenings per semester (for a total of 9).
Attendance will be taken at these events.
Israel is home to innumerable NGOs, think tanks, policy research centers, and community centers. Students are encouraged to pursue an internship as part of the MAMES Program experience. Previous participants have utilized semester breaks or have extended their stay in order to complete an internship. For a comprehensive list of leads and contacts, click here for organizations in Jerusalem and here for organizations in Tel Aviv.