UW Graduate School

NME Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements and Measures of Satisfactory Progress

Specific coursework and areas of concentration will be determined by the student’s interests within the framework of the degree and satisfactory progress listed below.

  1. Within 18 months of admission, demonstration of a general knowledge of history and culture in one of the following general fields: Islamic Civilization; Arabic, Hebrew, Persian (or Tajik or Dari), Turkish, or Central Asian Turkic languages and literature; the modern Middle East; or comparative religion either through previous degree work or through examination administered by the Program.
  2. Within three years of admission, completion of two advanced courses in the humanities, one of which must be in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization (NELC); and two advanced courses in the social sciences, one of which must be in the Department of History. These courses are in addition to work the student may have done at the B.A. and M.A. levels.
  3. Within three years of admission, completion of a graduate seminar, or two if none was taken at the M.A. level.
  4. A student will be expected to have studied three languages, two of which should be regional languages and one of which must be a Western European language other than English, such as French, German, Italian, Russian, or Spanish. The student’s Supervisory Committee will decide whether a fourth language will be required, and whether the fourth required language will be European or regional. Students pursuing language related work may anticipate a fourth required language, while those pursuing social science related studies may not. Before the oral exam listed below may be taken, the student must complete the language requirements including the second year level in a regional language different from the regional language offered at the time of admission.
  5. Disciplinary Method and Theory Requirements. All students conducting field work or working with documents, whether social science or humanities-focused, and all social science-oriented students, are strongly encouraged to take the following courses: (a) ANTH 550, Field Techniques of Anthropology, and (b) POL S 491, Political Research Design and Analysis, or ANTH 551, Research Design (as appropriate); or (c) students should take those courses’ equivalents in appropriate disciplines. For those students doing humanities-oriented research and not conducting field work, two method and theory courses in the appropriate discipline or disciplines (e.g., Comparative Literature, Philosophy, etc.) are required.
  6. Disciplinary Core Courses. Each student is required to take two disciplinary core courses in the appropriate fields. Core courses (or field courses) survey the literature, methods, and theoretical issues involved in a broad field of inquiry, as opposed to elective topical courses, which cover a much smaller area. Core courses should be chosen according to the anticipated research interests and fields for preliminary examination of each student. For example, these core disciplinary courses might focus on Comparative Politics, Comparative Religion, Feminist Theory, Ethnicity and Nationalism, Analysis of Linguistic Structures, Seminar in Cognitive Anthropology, Comparative Legal Institutions, or International Political Economy. Courses on a narrow field of inquiry (such as Arab-Israeli conflict) do not constitute field or core courses, though they may contribute to a student’s general field.

Annual Review

A subcommittee of the Near and Middle Eastern Studies Program faculty will meet each spring to review the progress of all students in the Ph.D. program. Either the chair of the student’s committee, the program’s graduate advisor, or the program’s director will communicate to each student the results of this annual review.

Ph.D. Exams and Dissertation

The student will be expected to take the following examinations (see exam guidelines):

  1. preliminary exams consisting of three written exams and an oral exam;
  2. General Examination, consisting of a dissertation proposal and an oral part; and
  3. Final Examination, which is the dissertation defense.

Students must meet the general University requirements concerning admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the dissertation, and final examination, including an oral examination.

A student’s Ph.D.Supervisory Committee shall consist of no less than three members of the University of Washington’s Graduate School faculty as well as a representative of the Graduate School (GSR). The chair of the committee must be an active member of the Graduate School faculty. At least two members of the committee must be members of the Near and Middle Eastern Studies faculty group. Additional members may be asked to join the committee.

Students will write a dissertation as the final requirement for the Ph.D. degree and complete a minimum of 27 dissertation credits over a period of at least three quarters. The topic of the dissertation will be set in consultation with the Ph.D. candidate’s supervisory committee.