Certificate in Middle East Studies

Duke's Asian & Middle East Studies Department (AMES) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Department of Religious Studies have launched a joint graduate certificate in Middle East studies. Working in coordination with the Duke University Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC) and the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Societies, this program is the country's first fully integrated, cross-campus graduate program in Middle East studies. It allows Duke and UNC-CH graduate students to develop expertise in Middle East studies in the context of an organized program of study that would complement their home degree program.

Contact: Professor Ellen McLarney (ellenmc@duke.edu)


4 Courses

  • All must be graduate courses on a topic related to the Middle East
  • 1 required course: AMES 620S—Critical Genealogies of Middle East Studies, an in-depth investigation into the many different theoretical traditions that inform interdisciplinary Middle East studies; specific foci include literary and cultural theory, Islamic feminism, postcolonial theory, visual studies, deconstruction, etc.
  • Of the 3 remaining courses, 1 may be an advanced Middle East language (Third year and above in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, or Urdu)
  • For all other courses, students must demonstrate to the Certificate program director that any comparative and theoretical courses to be counted toward the certificate contain at least 50% Middle East content.

Participation in Bi-weekly Workshop

This workshop, organized each spring by the Consortium in Middle East Studies, is tailored to the interests of enrolled students who suggest readings for discussion and present their own work. There is no grade or credit associated with this workshop. To enroll, submit an application form to the Consortium in Middle East Studies prior to the beginning of the spring workshop.

Research Paper

Submit to the Consortium in Middle East Studies a thesis, or dissertation, or chapter of a dissertation--or a major seminar paper--on a topic related to Middle East studies. It may be selected for posting online. Students will meet this requirement through the completion of one of the requirements for the student’s primary degree (usually a master’s thesis, Ph.D. dissertation, or Ph.D. dissertation chapter). Students who are in programs that do not require a master’s thesis must submit an equivalent research project (usually a major seminar paper) that is appropriate to their discipline. A member of the Faculty Steering Committee will read the written research work to judge whether it is suitable to complete the research requirement of the certificate, or, if appropriate, request that a Duke or UNC faculty member who specializes in the research area covered by the work make this judgment.

Language Skills

Demonstrate relevant language skills, or international experience, or training. Language competency in a Middle Eastern language (Arabic, modern Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, or Urdu) may be demonstrated by taking a placement test or an advanced language class or by using primary language texts in the major research project. International experience and training should include research, fieldwork, or study in a Middle Eastern country.