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Thesis Requirements

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After having completed the Research and Methodologies Seminar during the summer semester of the MAMES Program, a student may submit a master's thesis proposal to an advisor of the student's choice. Students must achieve a grade point average of at least 85 in their first semester courses order to be admitted to the thesis track.

Students who choose to complete a master's thesis will be required to enroll in a fourth semester. The cost of this semester is $5,000, and includes: library access, meetings and supervision under your adviser.


Students must make a formal request in writing to the MAMES administration indicating the thesis advisor he/she would like to work with. The MAMES administration will communicate with the advisor and return formal approval within 2 weeks of the receipt of the written request. Students may obtain informal permission from advisors beforehand, however, the student and advisor should not begin working together until formal approval has been granted.

Advisors may be selected from any of MAMES instructors or from any of the staff in the faculty's Department of Middle Eastern History. Requests for advisors outside of the MAMES program/Department of Middle Eastern History, including professors in other departments or doctorate candidates, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the program head.
A research proposal is required before the thesis project commences. The research proposal must be submitted to MAMES Administration for approval by your thesis advisor.

Research proposals should not exeed 6 pages of text and 3 pages of bibliography. Proposals must be submitted on regular letter paper with margins of 2.5 cm on each side. The proposal must be divided into the sections specified below.

Required Sections:
  • Cover Page – Including student's name, advisor name and date.
  • Introduction (1 page) – introduce your research question and define how it will be researched. Define the time and location of your study. If you are writing a historical thesis, you should define a span of time.
  • Scholarly Discourse (2 pages) – recount the main scholarly discussions of the subject. What research approaches have been used to discuss the subject thus far, and who are the main contributors to these discussions? What are the limitations and strong points of the existing discourse on the subject and why?  Identify the gaps in the current discourse, and why have they not been treated thus far. Explain any theoretical or interpretive approaches relevant to your study.
  • Research Questions and Assumptions (1 page) – Present 2-4 research questions (formulated with question marks at the end). After each question, you should explain the importance of the question to the thesis, address any assumptions that stem forth from the premise you've asserted, and describe how answering this question will contribute to the overall discourse on the subject.
  •  Hypothesis (1 page) – Write answers to the research questions posed in the previous section based upon the research you've conducted thus far.
  • References (1 page) – Briefly summarize major works that will be used in your thesis. Any special issues regarding source material should be discussed here. 
  • Bibliography (3 pages)

Theses must be between 20,000-30,000 words (approximately between 80-120 pages), including bibliography.  Theses should be typed, double-spaced and printed on regular letterhead paper with 2.5 cm margins.

Thesis format is as follows:
  • Title Page - includes the title of the work, name of author, date of submission (month and year), and the name of the advisor. It should also have the following statement: “Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Middle East and African History, Tel Aviv University.”
  • Abstract - 250 word maximum, stating the major thesis of the work, its goals and the methodology employed.
  • Table of contents - includes page references to all parts of the thesis, including bibliography.
  • Components of the Thesis - several chapters, including an introduction and conclusion. The chapters should preferably be divided into sub sections as well, although this is left to the discretion of the author in consultation with her/his advisor. Sub-sections need not be listed in the table of contents.
  • Notes - every work must include the appropriate scholarly references and bibliography. Notes may be placed either at the bottom of the page (footnotes) or at the end of the work (endnotes). They are to be numbered continuously throughout each chapter.
  • Citations – use one standard format for citations. You may choose either Chicago Manual of Style, or Modern Language Association (MLA), or Turabian. Be consistent.
  • Bibliography - should be formulated according to the same style chosen for notes.
Other considerations
  • Proofreading - you are responsible for proofreading the final copy of your work.
  • Foreign terminology - clearly mark (underline or italicize) all foreign terms employed in your thesis. 
  • Transliteration - use one system of transliteration for terms in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Ottoman-Turkish, Turkish or any other non-Latin language. You should refer to the system defined on the inside back-cover of the International Journal of Middle East Studies.

Three hard-copies of the MA thesis must be submitted to the MAMES office in Gilman 415 on the specified due date.


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. The Head of the Department and the Graduate Studies Committee of the School of History will make the final decision as to acceptance for doctoral study.

Acceptance will be based upon the level of excellence which you attain both in your thesis and in your studies in the M.A. program as a whole, as well as your overall aptitude for doctoral work.
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