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Middle Eastern Studies at UT, other schools


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Hi everyone,

I applied to mostly Sociology programs for fall '12 because I had this grand vision of myself incorporating Iranian Studies into Sociology (silly me), and now the denials are coming from all sides. Luckily, I applied to Middle Eastern Studies MA programs at a few schools - UT, UWashington, and UChicago. I got accepted to UT but I'm kind of leaning away from it because I did my undergrad there, although it seems I may not have much choice in the matter. Other than waiting and reapplying again for programs that start in the spring (I can't wait another year, my job is burning me out).

I'm just curious as to y'all's opinions on these programs, or what y'all might do in this situation. Also if anyone is currently at UT in this or a similar program, I'd love to hear from you too. Thanks in advance!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been told that U of Chicago has a solid Middle East Studies program, though it focuses mostly on the classical Middle East.

I got accepted into the Middle East Studies MA program at UT Austin. I've been told that it is pretty much first rate for studying the modern Middle East, even superior to most of the Ivy schools for the modern Middle East. Since you went there I was wondering what your sense of it was?

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  • 1 month later...

Oops, forgot to check this thing for quite a while...

The people at Chicago were super cool when I visited them in early '10. Rusty Rook, their CMES director, was a real swell guy (although homeboy could talk for an hour without stopping). However, when I applied two years later, I noticed he'd been fired, which people were saying might mean they were going to shut down the CMES. I don't know in what state it is currently (but I'm sure it's still there). The other guys (John Woods, Franklin Lewis, etc) were also very nice and accessible.

My impression of the grad program at UT as an undergrad was hazy - I avoided talking to MES grad students like the plague as I had this weird idea that they were all snobby and out to keep us from becoming their competition - but from all I've read and heard now, what you've heard is probably mostly true. It's now looking more and more like I may be heading there. Have you decided yet?

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