Arabic Studies: MA

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Students may choose one from the following areas of specializations:

  • For over fifty years, the Islamic Art and Architecture program has been engaging students in the material culture of Islamic civilizations through a range of art-his­torical and theoretical perspectives. Our breadth of course offerings and access to the monuments we teach is unique among English-language programs in the field. The program strongly benefits from the univer­sity’s location as students often connect their research with physical sites in Cairo or elsewhere in the MENA region.

  • The program offers classes on both classical (500-1850) and modern (1850 to present) Arabic literature including seminars on topics as diverse as the development of prose, the tradition of classical Arabic poetry, the Arabic rhetorical and literary-critical tradition, modern Arabic novels, Arabic drama, Arab cinema, issues in literary and cultural translation and colloquial and folk Arabic literature.

  • The program offers classes and seminars on the history of the Arab Middle East and greater Islamic world from the rise of Islam to the modern period. Topics covered include: the rise of Islam and Arab conquests, Islamic political theory, economic, social and cultural history of the Mamluk and Ottoman empires, International and Red Sea trade networks, war and diplomacy, literacy and book culture, protest and dissent in Middle Eastern history, and colonialism and nation-building in the modern Middle East.

  • The program offers lectures and seminars on topics such as Qur’anic Studies, Hadith, theology, Islamic jurisprudence, legal reform, Sufism, and Islamic philosophy. The specialization covers both the canonical works in Islamic theology as well as recent scholarship and debates.

A thesis, written in English, is required in all specializations of the master of arts in Arabic studies.

Click here for ARIC theses/dissertations.  


 To be eligible for the master of arts degree in Arabic  Studies the student must reach an acceptable level of proficiency in Arabic. Many students continue to develop their Arabic language skills while studying for the Master’s degree.


In addition to the general fellowships and scholarship opportunities that are managed by the Dean of Graduate Studies, some funding opportunities are particularly relevant to students in the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations. Here is a selection:

  • Nadia Niazi Mostafa Endowed Fellow­ship in Islamic Art and Architecture
  • The Giulio Regeni Memorial Fellowship in Humanities and Social Sciences
  • International Graduate Fellowships
  • Ryoichi Sasakawa Endowed Young Leaders Fellowships Fund (SYLFF) Program
  • Writing Center Graduate Fellowships
  • The University Fellowships
  • MAL/MUN Fellowships
  • George T. Scanlon Graduate Student Award in Arab and Islamic Civilizations Awarded for the best MA thesis
  • The Magda Al-Nowaihi Graduate Student Award, recognizes AUC graduate student theses that focus on gender issues in any discipline

Most students can expect to be awarded some financial assistance to cover part of their tuition.

Students can apply for both financial aid and fellowships. Click here for the fellowship listings.


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