Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies

Curriculum Requirements

Students must complete a combined total of 104 (MES thesis option) or 107 (MES report option) credit hours in both programs. The thesis/report written for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), is based on original research, is supervised by a CMES faculty member, and co-supervised by a Law faculty member.

86 credit hours are normally required for the JD, and the combined total used to be 119 credits until the 2015 year. But a 2015 agreement reduced this number to 74, with the stipulation being that these excused 12 credits (4 courses) are represented in the MES coursework plan as being relevant to law/policy/government. Therefore, on the MES coursework side, students will want to pursue coursework in areas such as, for example, Islamic law and ethics, authoritarianism, political economy, and the military in politics. Each student’s coursework may vary and will be individually assessed.

The required 74 law credit hours must include all courses listed as ‘Required First-Year Courses’ and ‘Required Advanced Courses’ on the Degree Requirements page.

Information about the curriculum and degree requirements for Middle Eastern Studies is available on the MES website.

As a general rule, no courses taken to satisfy the MA degree requirements, other than offerings in the School of Law itself, may be credited toward the JD degree. MES and language courses (or other course work beyond the normal first-year curriculum of the JD program) may not be taken in the first year of Law School.

Concentration courses must relate to the student’s thesis or report topic.

All courses on the program of work, i.e., all courses used to fulfill the requirements listed above, must be taken on a letter-grade basis.

Language Requirement

Students must complete two upper-division or graduate-level in-residence courses conducted in one Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish) while enrolled in the degree program. These courses may fulfill other degree requirements in the arts/humanities.

Native speakers of a Middle Eastern language must complete these courses in a second Middle Eastern language.

How to Apply

Prospective dual degree students must apply separately to both programs and fulfill the distinct application requirements and deadlines of each. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the appropriate materials are sent to the respective departments. An applicant must be accepted to each individual program in order to be admitted to the dual program.

Admission to the School of Law is highly competitive. Typically, only one out of three Texas applicants and one out of four non-resident applicants is admitted. Application requirements differ significantly from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Applicants should review their dual-degree page and carefully review the requirements and procedures outlined in Texas Law admissions.


Samy Ayoub, Assistant Professor of Law and Middle Eastern Studies