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PhD Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission: The Department of Near Eastern Studies only admits at the Ph.D. level (with the exception of the Arabic Studies MA program). Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree.

The Department may consider granting a terminal MA degree to students in the Ph.D. program whose performance falls below the Department's standard for the Ph.D. or who decide to pursue a different career after meeting the MA requirements.

The application procedure includes a complete Rackham Graduate School Application, submission of a statement of purpose and a specification of the sub-field, topical specialty, and geographic area in which the student will specialize. Three letters of recommendation, CV, academic transcripts, and a writing sample must also be included with the application for admissions. Applicants whose native language is not English, must submit one of the following test scores: Michigan English Proficiency Test (minimum score of 85) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (minimum score of 560 for written exam, 220 for computerized exam or 84 for internet exam).

For full instructions on how to apply, see our description of application procedures

Specific Course Requirements: Students are required to achieve proficiency in a Near Eastern language sufficient to enable them to do advanced research in that language. A second-year proficiency in a second or third Near Eastern language may also be required, depending on the language or area of specialization. In addition, candidates are required to gain an adequate knowledge of Near Eastern history and the methods of historical research; and to prepare themselves in such other special subjects as may be necessary for work on their proposed dissertation topics.

Foreign Language Requirement: Advanced reading ability in French and German.

Preliminary Examination: The preliminary examination committee determines when the student is ready to take the exams. They are administered by the end of the sixth semester of graduate study. There are four examinations for each subfield 1) two major exams in the field of the student's specialization, at least one of which is a language exam in which the student must read, translate, and critically discuss advanced texts. 2) Two minor exams in a secondary field or discipline.

Candidate Status: Candidacy requirements are described in the Doctoral Degrees section of the Rackham Graduate School Academic Policies.

Dissertation Prospectus: A prospectus outlining plans for the student's dissertation must be submitted within three months after passing the prelim exams.

For information on the dissertation committee, final oral examination, and publication of dissertation, see the Rackham Graduate School Academic Policies and the Dissertation Handbook (pdf).