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Course Information and Policies

Grade Grievances

The Department of Middle East Studies follows the LSA Grade Grievance policy. If you have questions regarding this policy, please contact

Independent Studies

Independent Studies in MES are available in either culture (MIDEAST 499) or language (ARABIC 499; HEBREW 499; ARMENIAN 499; PERSIAN 499; TURKISH 499; MELANG 499). They can be taken for variable credit (1-4) depending on the size and scope of the student's proposed plan. All of these independent study numbers qualify for graduate and undergraduate credit.

Independent study courses are intended for students who:

  •  have exhausted course offerings in the field at UM;
  • are interested in specialized topics not regularly offered as part of the department's curriculum.

Independent studies may be requested from MES tenured/tenure track faculty; students should not be supervised by graduate students or lecturers

In addition, faculty on leave should not normally supervise independent studies, nor should faculty supervise students on subjects that fall well outside of their areas of specialization, or on subjects covered by regular course offerings in the department or other programs/units.

Eligibility for an Independent Study

In order to be considered for an independent study, a student has usually:

  • identified a faculty member who has agreed to supervise and evaluate the student's work;
  • completed prerequisite coursework or research needed to appropriately embark on the independent study;
  • reached sophomore standing or higher;
  • proposed study in an area that is not accommodated elsewhere in the curriculum (at least within the student's current remaining time at U-M);
  • drafted a detailed syllabus with the identified independent study supervisor, which includes all readings, texts, assignments, and expectations/goals of the study.

Minimum Requirements for an Independent Study

Specific requirements for an independent study will be set up by the supervising faculty member but, in general, students registering for an independent study may be expected to:

  • work a minimum of three (3) hours per week per credit hour;
  • read thirty (30) pages/1-2 articles or book chapters per week per credit hour;
  • produce a final substantial project that summarizes the value of information obtained through the independent study;
  • over the course of the term, meet one-on-one (in person or virtually) with the faculty supervisor for a minimum of three (3) hours per credit hour total

An independent study proposal form can be found here. Questions regarding the independent study policies or proposal process can be directed to the MES Student Services Assistant ( The form and syllabus should also be submitted to the Student Services Assistant via email.

Proposal forms are due no later than the second week of classes in the term in which the student wishes to enroll. The Student Services Assistant will then send the proposal to the Curriculum Committee chair for approval. Approval generally takes 2-4 business days. Once approval is granted, the student will be notified via email and issued an override to enroll.


For most courses, Wolverine Access is set up to automatically issue an override (class permission) to the first student on the waitlist when a seat becomes available.

Override requests should go to the course instructor first for approval. Then, the course instructor will contact the department's Curriculum Assistant ( to process the override.

Students will receive an automated email notifying them about the override. Receiving an override does not mean automatic registration. Students will still need to drop from the waitlist and register before the override expires.

  • When classes are in session, overrides expire within one day of issuance.
  • When classes are not in session, overrides expire within seven days of issuance.
  • Once an override expires, the seat is given to the next student on the waitlist.