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MA in Middle Eastern Studies (2-year): Texas (Austin) vs. Chicago


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Hello everyone,


so after I heard back from all schools, I now basically have two choices for my masters program.

I was accepted into University of Texas at Austin for Middle Eastern Studies, and for the same program at University of Chicago.


While Chicago generally ranks higher than UT, I have the feeling that UT has a highly specialized department for MES.


There is pratically no information I have other than the public things on the official websites. Being from Europe, this makes the whole thing quite difficult. While I may have the opportunity to visit both campuses for a day before deciding, I know that despite the feeling you will get whether you like the campus better than the other, there is an academic question also.


So I would be incredibly thankful for anyone who has attended one of these programs, or maybe even finds himself in the same position as me, if that person could contribute to my decision process in any way.


My present feeling is that Chicago wins on prestige, Texas might be "cooler" considering student life and with the specialized department (even though Chicago's MES department may be just as good, I just don't have enough information...)


The primary goal for me is Arabic language acquisition, secondly learning more about the Middle East in general, and thirdly networking and having a good time at grad school.


I don't know if anyone can help on the issue, if you can, please do give me ANY information you have! :)


Thank you so much in advance!

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I myself am not an MES person, but a friend of mine also had to decide between the MA in MES at Chicago and UT. She ended up turning down Harvard, NYU (with a ridiculous fellowship), Chicago, and several other prestigious schools to go to UT, where she was offered a TAship. From what I understand, UT is hands down the best for MES. I guess another factor is whether either or both are offering you funding? Good luck!

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