The interdisciplinary MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences introduces students to the major issues and debates in the study of the Middle East, Islam and Muslim societies. Students study historical and contemporary topics--as well as theory and methodology--from both regional and global perspectives.
The express goal of this program is to situate the study of the Middle East and Islam within a globalized world. Accordingly, the curriculum covers topics of recent scholarly significance including the Arab Uprisings and transitions in the Middle East, new media, political Islam, the political economy of the Middle East, the relationship between “resource wars” and the “war on terrorism,” new diasporas and transnational Muslim communities in the ‘West,’ and the changed geopolitical environments of Muslim and Middle Eastern countries.
This interdisciplinary graduate degree prepares students for a variety of post-graduate opportunities in academia, government, and an expanding job market for people with this expertise.
Mason undergraduate students majoring in Government and International Politics, Global Affairs, History, Religious Studies, Sociology or Anthropology with a minimum GPA of 3.5 and two letters of recommendation from Mason faculty may take up to 6 hours of reserve graduate credit that can be applied towards both their undergraduate requirements as well as the requirements of the MEIS program if they are successful in gaining admission to the latter. This option can allow students to complete their graduate studies more quickly, but requires some advance planning. Students interested in exploring the Accelerated Masters option should contact the Graduate Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org as early as possible. For more details about how to apply for the Accelerated Masters option, please click here.
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers a minor in Islamic Studies designed for students interested in the societies, cultures, history, and politics of the Islamic world. It offers students the opportunity to study the many societies that have significant Muslim populations. These societies are not just in the Middle East. They stretch from North Africa to Southeast Asia and beyond. They include Europe as well as North America.
Students in Islamic studies are strongly encouraged to study abroad in one of the many programs offered by George Mason's Center for Global Education. The exposure and interactions of such experiences greatly enhance the learning in the classroom. Study abroad courses are as short as a week or as long as a semester. Mason offers programs in several Muslim-majority countries, including Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey.
The interdisciplinary Middle East Studies Program at George Mason provides students with a firm grounding in the history, politics, and culture of this important region. At George Mason University's Middle East Studies Program, students develop an understanding of the diverse dynamics and complex forces that shape modern Middle East realities. Going beyond security concerns, the program emphasizes the need for an understanding of the region’s history as a foundation for further in-depth inquiry.
Students have the opportunity to examine new Middle East diasporas and transnational communities in the West. They learn about the role of the Middle East in a changing geopolitical environment marked by the rise of China, India, and the re-emergence of Russia.