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The UNC Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies and the Duke University Middle East Studies Center jointly offer the Duke-UNC Graduate Certificate in Middle East Studies. This graduate certificate is sponsored by the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke and the Department of Religious Studies at UNC. Graduate students in all departments and schools at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill are eligible to enroll in the program.

The Duke-UNC Graduate Certificate in Middle East Studies trains students for interdisciplinary research in Middle East studies, in conjunction with the disciplinary training in their home departments. It involves five components:

  1. A core course in Middle East studies, to be co-taught each fall by faculty from Duke (AMES 620) and UNC (RELI 785).
  2. Three additional courses, one of which must be outside the student’s home department or school. One of these courses may be an advanced class in a Middle East language. One of these courses may be double-counted toward the student’s primary degree requirements.
  3. A biweekly workshop, to be co-led each spring by faculty from Duke (AMES 720) and UNC (SOCI 950), in which students will develop and present their proposals for masters or doctoral research.
  4. A thesis, dissertation chapter, or equivalent research paper, on a topic in Middle East studies. Theses written for the student’s primary degree requirements are welcome.
  5. Relevant language skills, international experience, or training. Language competence in a Middle Eastern language may be demonstrated by taking an advanced language class or by using primary language texts in the major research project. International experience and training should include extended research, fieldwork, or study in a Middle Eastern country.

To apply for admission to the graduate certificate program, please submit the following materials  to the associate director of the Center at your university:

  1. A complete application form.
  2. A curriculum vitae.
  3. A brief letter of endorsement from your primary faculty adviser.
  4. A plan for the completion of each of the certificate requirements, generated in consultation with a Middle East studies faculty member at Duke or UNC.

***When all requirements have been met, materials should be submitted by March 1 of each year to receive the certificate. Please contact UNC at or Griffin Orlando (Duke) at