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Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES)
 

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the application requirements for the CAMES MA in Islamic Studies?
Students are required to submit a complete graduate application online. Students should have a GPA of at least 80 or 3.0 and good recommendations to be considered for admission into the CAMES MA program. Since spaces in the program are limited, the admissions process to CAMES is competitive.

A complete application includes the following:

  • Application form
  • Two academic letters of recommendation speaking to your ability to pursue the program
    of study in Islamic Studies. (You are not required to submit a letter from a language professor. You may in addition include a letter of reference from an employer)
  • Statement of purpose explaining your intellectual background and what you wish to study and with whom at AUB.
  • Official copies of all post-secondary transcripts
  • GRE and TOEFL scores
  • Application fee
  • Photocopy of the passport
  • One passport photograph
  • Updated curriculum vitae [recommended]
  • Arabic Writing sample
  • Writing sample [optional]

Native English speakers and graduates of universities in which the language of instruction is English may be exempt from the TOEFL

What are the course requirements for the thesis track MA in Islamic Studies at CAMES?
Students following the thesis option are required to complete a minimum of 24 credit hours in courses numbered 300 and above, in addition to a six-credit thesis. They are also required to take the core courses, ISLM 301 (Sources and Methods) and ISLM 302 (Islamic Civilizations). Students may take their remaining courses at CAMES or in topics related to Islamic Studies at departments other than CAMES. For the course work, the program requires at least 6 credits in classical, 6 credits in modern, and at least 3 credits in classes based on texts, and 3 credits based on social science methodology. Non-native speakers of Arabic are required to take intensive Arabic language classes, and these are not counted as part of the degree credits. The program recommends the study of a second European language other than English, and for native speakers of Arabic to also develop a reading proficiency in a second language central to literature in Islamic civilizations and cultures, or a second Semitic language, depending on the field of specialization.

What are the course requirements for the project track MA in Islamic Studies at CAMES?
Students following the project option are required to complete a minimum of 27 credit hours in courses numbered 300 and above, in addition to a three-credit project. They are also required to take the core course, ISLM 301 (Sources and Methods) and ISLM 302 (Islamic Civilizations). Students may take their remaining courses at CAMES or in topics related to Islamic Studies at departments other than CAMES. For the course work, the program requires at least 6 credits in classical, 6 credits in modern, and at least 3 credits in classes based on texts, and 3 credits based on social science methodology. Non-native speakers of Arabic are required to take intensive Arabic language classes, and these are not counted as part of the degree credits. The program recommends the study of a second European language other than English, and for native speakers of Arabic to also develop a reading proficiency in a second language central to literature in Islamic civilizations and cultures, or a second Semitic language, depending on the field of specialization.

How are the courses structured for the MA in Islamic Studies?
The total number of credits is 30: 24-credits for courses, plus 6-credits Thesis, Or for the non-thesis option: 27-credits for courses, plus 3-credits Project. For the course work, the program requires that at least 6-credits be in the classical, 6-credits in the modern, at least 3-credits in classes based on texts, and at least 3-credits in classes based on social science methodology:

  • Core Courses (“Sources and Methods” and “The Islamic Civilizations”) 6 cr.
  • Islamic Studies Elective Courses (Qur’anic studies, Islamic thought, etc.) 9 cr.
  • Contextual Elective Courses (cross listed with various depts. related to Islam) 9 cr.
  • Thesis / OR / Project + Islamic Studies Elective Course 6 cr.
  • Comprehensive exam prior to thesis or project defense

What type of courses are available at the graduate level for students pursuing the MA in Islamic Studies?
Students may select any graduate course offered at AUB that is related to Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. CAMES students take courses in Philosophy, History, Arabic, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, and Urban Planning. CAMES students may also take up to two tutorial courses as part of their coursework. For these tutorials, they may arrange for an individualized program of study with a particular professor.

Is it possible to take CAMES courses without applying to the MA program?
It is possible to apply to AUB's Faculty of Arts and Sciences (but not directly to CAMES) as a non-degree or visiting student in order to take courses at AUB. Students at the graduate level may take all CAMES courses except ISLM 301 and 302, and MEST 301, which are reserved for CAMES MA students. Please check this link for information on how to apply as a non-degree student.

What level of English is required for the CAMES MA program?
Since the language of instruction at AUB is English, CAMES requires of all its students a high level of proficiency in English. Non-native speakers of English who are graduates of universities where the language of instruction is not English will be required to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or its equivalent.

Are applicants to the  MA program in Islamic Studies required to have a previous knowledge of Arabic?
An intermediate level of Arabic is required of applicants to the MA program. Students must pass a written and oral advanced proficiency examination at the end of the first year. An overall grade of 80 or higher is required to pass the exam. Intensive instruction of Arabic will be given, including the availability of summer sessions, in addition to reading groups. The Standard Arabic language instruction sessions will cover various sequential levels of proficiency, such as: High Intermediate, Advanced, Superior, and High Superior. These will run across two to three semesters, or in an intensive seven-week (30 hour per week) structure via the established CAMES Summer Arabic Program.

What are the fees for the MA program?
The tuition fees for course registration and thesis registration are listed here. The cost of the MA thesis is paid once and covers a student's thesis registration for four semesters. Project registration will cost as much as a three-credit graduate course. Students will also incur further administrative fees during their registration.

What form of financial aid is available through CAMES?
CAMES offers graduate assistantships which cover tuition fees for thesis registration only. No funding is available for coursework through CAMES, so graduate assistantships are not offered for first-year students. A limited number of graduate assistantships are available each semester. Students employed as graduate assistants at CAMES perform a number of administrative tasks at the Center in return for a waiver of their tuition fees. For more information on financial aid, please check the Office of Financial Aid website.

Is it possible to contact some current or former CAMES students?
Please contact CAMES if you would like to get in touch with current or former students.

How can I obtain additional information about the CAMES MA programs?
Please contact CAMES with any additional questions or concerns you may have and the CAMES staff will try to answer all of your questions.

 

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