American University of Beirut

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Media Studies

Chairperson:Atwood, Blake
Director of Media Studies:Burris, Greg
Professor:Hanafi, Sari
Associate Professors:Atwood, Blake; Bou Ali, Nadia; Burris, Greg; Scheid, Kirsten; Wick, Livia
Assistant Professors:Carney, Josh; Farah, May; Kosmatopoulos, Nikolas; Majed, Rima; Mourad, Sara; Perdigon, Sylvain; Saleh, Elizabeth; Tarraf, Zeina
Lecturers:Barakat, Rabie; Fathallah, Zeina; Hamdar, Sarah ; Sukarieh, Rana
Instructors:Azar, George; Ghanem, Samar
Part- Time Instructors:Agha, Dina; Boustany, Nora; Daou, Marc; Khouri, Rami


Requirements for admission into the MA program in Anthropology or Sociology are consistent with those of the Faculty of Arts of Sciences. Admission to the MA in Anthropology is restricted to the fall term. Applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation and a statement of goals/research interests and experiences. Each student may be interviewed upon application to determine her/his background and qualification.

MA in Anthropology

The anthropology MA program offers students general training in sociocultural anthropology. AUB’s program, especially with regard to its faculty’s expertise in creative expression and arts production; mental health and well-being; cultural ethics; refugees; and medical, legal and historical anthropology, is distinguished by offering students the opportunity to develop a strong foundation in classical anthropological paradigms and to relate them to emerging concerns of modern Arab societies. Students will have the opportunity to study the development of the discipline by exploring classical and contemporary theories and by conducting original fieldwork or doing research on secondary sources. The program is designed to sensitize students to their responsibilities as anthropologists, expose them to fieldwork, help them acquire an understanding of anthropological theory and history, and inspire experimentation with the medium and form of ethnographic writing.

MA in Sociology

The MA in Sociology program offers students the opportunity to develop solid training and to acquire the necessary knowledge in the field of sociology. The department’s faculty members cover several areas of research expertise, including contemporary sociological theory, comparative sociology, economic and political sociology, and cultural sociology. Other substantive issues include citizenship and civil society, knowledge production, ethnicity and sectarianism, sociology of religion, transnationalism, migration and refugee studies, sexuality and gender studies, and sociology of war and violence. The program provides students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of key theoretical approaches in sociology in addition to getting a strong grounding in research methodology with training in both qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry. Students are expected to further develop their intellectual skills through the critical examination of contemporary social issues, especially as they pertain to the Arab world. In addition, the program encourages students to critically consider the relationship between theory, research, policy and practice, and to reflect on ethical considerations in doing social research. At the end of the program, students will put their acquired skills and knowledge to conduct original empirical research through a thesis.

Graduate Studies in Anthropology and Sociology

Students pursuing either an MA in Anthropology or Sociology are encouraged to work with faculty from other humanities and social sciences departments, in particular, media studies, political science, and the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies. A master’s degree in either field has a very wide application. Graduates in Anthropology and Sociology will be qualified to pursue doctoral level studies in their field. Alternatively, they will have acquired the research methods, exposure to scholarship and intercultural skills to work effectively in multicultural settings such as non-governmental and governmental organizations, as well as expertise applicable in such domains as business, education, law and public policy.


A candidate for the MA degree in Sociology is required to complete 21 graduate credit hours in addition to a thesis. Sociology students must complete SOAN 300 and SOAN 312, in addition to three courses in sociology. Sociology students choosing a concentration in communication are also required to complete SOAN 313. The remainder of the requirements may be selected from other offerings in the department or in the FAS and other schools and faculties on campus, with the consent of the advisor and according to the interest of the graduate student. A candidate for the MA degree in Anthropology must complete SOAN 304 and SOAN 310, in addition to three courses in anthropology. Students in both programs wishing to learn Arabic for purposes of fieldwork may complete up to 6 credits of Arabic language classes towards their MA degree.

Course Descriptions

MA in Media Studies

Mission Statement

The AUB MA in Media Studies offers students a broad-based multidisciplinary liberal arts curriculum grounded in the social sciences that teaches students media theory and research, and focuses on the role of media in society. The program offers a regional and global scope and stresses a liberal arts approach that emphasizes theory, research and critical skills. In addition to exploring media theories, students learn different research methods and critical inquiry into the nature, processes and consequences of traditional and new media. The program stresses the university’s commitment “to creative and critical thinking and civic responsibility.”


Requirements for admission into the MA program are consistent with those of the Faculty of Arts of Sciences. Admission to the MA in Media Studies is restricted to the fall term. Applicants are required to submit the following: two letters of recommendation, and a statement of goals/research interests and experiences. Each student may be interviewed upon application to determine her/his background and qualification.


The MA in Media Studies follows a liberal curriculum grounded in the social sciences. Its curriculum is intended for returning professionals, and AUB and non-AUB graduates who aim to build fundamental knowledge in the theories, research methods and critical skills of the field.

The MA program offers two tracks. Students may choose either a thesis option or a project option. Both options require 30 credits. Students must decide which track they want to pursue by the time they successfully complete the comprehensive exam, which is normally at the end of the second term for full-time students. Based on their comprehensive exam performance, students will be advised to pursue one track or the other.

  • The thesis option requires seven courses (21 credits), the comprehensive exam (0 credits) and a 9-credit thesis (MCOM 399).
  • The project option requires nine courses (27credits), the comprehensive exam (0 credits) and a 3-credit project (MCOM 398).

All candidates for the MA in Media Studies must complete MCOM 300, MCOM 301, MCOM 302 and MCOM 395 (comprehensive exam), and at least two courses from the list of department electives. The remainder of the courses may be selected from the department electives, the approved general electives or other unlisted graduate courses upon the advisor’s consent.

Core Courses: MCOM 300, MCOM 301 and MCOM 302.

Department Electives:MCOM 313, MCOM 314, MCOM 315, MCOM 316, MCOM 317, MCOM 362, MCOM 363, MCOM 390, MCOM 391, SOAN 310, SOAN 312, SOAN 315.

Course Descriptions

​ ​

Contact Us

For various questions, please try contacting us via social media first!
read more

Privacy Statement

We take data privacy seriously and adhere to all applicable data privacy laws and regulations.
read more

Copyright and Disclaimer

Written permission is needed to copy or disseminate all or part of the materials on the AUB website.
read more

Title IX, Non-Discrimination, and Anti-Discriminatory Harassment

AUB is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment to all members of its community.
read more