Foundation Courses

Foundation Courses

After admission decisions are made, the admissions committee will evaluate each candidate’s academic record to determine which, if any, undergraduate foundation courses the student will take. The procedures for seeking exemptions to assigned foundation courses are explained in the SHSS Graduate Student Handbook.

Course Code

Course Name

FAS 2201

Graduate Academic Skills

SSC 5401

Social Statistics

HIS 2302

North Africa and the Middle East in the 20th Century

Other courses may be added to the foundation course list as needed and as determined by the faculty in specific cases.

Language Component 9 SCH

Students in the NAMES program must satisfy the 9 credits of language requirement at the graduate level. However, native speakers of Arabic must not take any Arabic language course or any content course delivered in Arabic; rather they must satisfy their language requirement by taking 9 SCH of content classes in English.

Non-native speakers of Arabic shall have completed at least one year of college-level Arabic language study prior to registration in the NAMES program. Students who have not completed this requirement before arriving at AUI (based on the AUI administered placement test) can enroll in the intensive Beginning Arabic (ARA 1311, ARA 1312) during the AUI summer program preceding the beginning of the NAMES program, the successful completion of which will bring them to the required level of language proficiency. Those credits will not count towards the required 9 language credits.

Non-native students are expected to start intensive Intermediate I Arabic in the first semester and intensive Intermediate II Arabic in the following semester. The level of proficiency expected by the end of the Arabic language requirement is Intermediate Arabic II.

Non-native speakers of Arabic may choose these content courses from the Optional Courses list or may take content courses in Arabic from the following list of approved courses (or a mix from both lists):

Course Code

Course Name

ARB 2304

Introduction to Arabic literature

ARB 2305

Introduction to World Literature in Arabic

HUM 2302

Introduction to the Study of Islamic Civilization

HUM 2304

Introduction to Islamic Art and Architecture

HIS 1302

History of the Arab World

Required courses 15 SCH

Course Code

Course Name

INS 5391

Thesis Seminar

INS 5361

Political Economy of North Africa and the Middle East

INS 5362

Graduate Seminar

PSC 5370

North African Government and Politics

SSC 5302

Research Methods

Optional Courses 12 SCH

Course Code

Course Name

HIS 5312

Modern Algeria

HIS 5325


Colonization and Decolonization in North Africa and

the Middle East

HIS 5361

History of North Africa

HUM 5312

Popular Culture in North Africa

HUM 5323

Society and Politics in North Africa Literature and Film

HUM 5360

Issues in Contemporary Islam

HUM 5310

Amazigh History and Culture

HUM 5412

Moroccan Cultural Heritage

INS 5304

Moroccan Foreign Policy

INS 5317

EU-North Africa Relations

INS 5322

United States Policy in the Middle East

INS 5326

United States-Maghreb Relations

INS 5354

Regional Topics in Moroccan Foreign Politics

INS 5361

Political Economy of North Africa and the Middle East

INS 5399

Special Topics in NAMES Studies

PHI 5387

Islamic Philosophy and the West

PSC 5315

Water in International and Domestic Politics

PSC 5350

Middle Eastern Politics

PSC 5360

Foreign Policy and Security of the Middle East States

PSC 5362

Islam and Democracy

SSC 5304

North African Migration and Immigrant Communities

SSC 5306

Issues in Contemporary North-Africa

SSC 5321

Economic Development in MENA

SSC 5351

North African Cities

SSC 5364

North African Societies

SSC 5364

North African Societies

SSC 5362

Global Islam in Contemporary World

SSC 5361

Social Science Approaches to Religion

Qualifying Exam

Students must pass a written qualifying exam during the last semester of regular course work. This is a prerequisite for taking the Thesis Seminar and writing the thesis. Students are allowed to take the qualifying exam twice.

The Dean may grant a student a third and final attempt. Qualifying exam consists of two written parts. The first part will test students’ general knowledge and will be based on INS 5361 (Political Economy of North Africa and the Middle East) and PSC 5370 (North African Government and Politics). The second part will test students’ knowledge of courses they have taken from the optional courses list.


The student writing a thesis must produce an academic level paper on some aspect of North African and Middle Eastern Studies. The thesis must be prepared under the guidance and close supervision of a faculty adviser and the support of a designated committee. In drafting the thesis, students follow the guidelines specified in the SHSS Graduate Student Handbook.

The thesis must be defended before a committee that includes an external examiner.

Total SCH requirement for the MA in NAMES at least 36 SCH