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The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) offers a program of study leading to the M.A. degree.

The Arab Studies program was established in 1978 to help meet the need for men and women highly trained and deeply knowledgeable about the language, history, culture, politics and economics of the contemporary Arab world. The program provides a focus that sets it apart from other, more broadly constructed Middle East Studies programs in the United States.

Within that Arab world focus, students construct interdisciplinary curricula that prepare them for a wide variety of careers involving the Arab world in diplomacy, government, development, business and finance, teaching, higher education, journalism, public relations and cultural affairs. The program’s demanding Arabic language requirement is a distinguishing feature regularly cited by applicants and alumni alike as a major draw and strength.

An attractive feature of the MAAS program is the option for students to enroll concurrently in graduate certificate programs in International Business Diplomacy (IBD) or Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies (RHE). The certificates allow students additional and concentrated training while gaining regional expertise.

MAAS students may also choose to pursue joint degrees programs along with the Ph.D. program in history or the JD program at the GU Law Center. In addition, Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute and Business School provide a range of specialized coursework, training and practical experience.

Degrees offered


Joint programs
M.A./Ph.D. (Government)
M.A./Ph.D. (History)
M.A./B.S. (Foreign Service)
M.A./J.D. (Law)

Application Deadlines

Fall 2022

January 15, 2022 (scholarship)

April 1, 2022 (final)

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Degree Requirements Anchor

Degree Requirements

The M.A. in Arab Studies (MAAS) degree requires completion of a minimum of 36 semester hours (12 three-credit hour classes) in addition to basic Arabic language courses. Those who choose the thesis option must complete 33 hours plus the thesis.

  • 6 Concentration Courses
  • MAAS-501
  • 5 Electives
  • Arabic oral and written competence, demonstrated by passing proficiency exam offered three times per year.
  • Oral comprehensive exam or thesis

The full-time student will usually complete requirements for the degree in four regular semesters and the intervening summer session, depending on his or her Arabic language competence. Part-time enrollment is not encouraged and is only possible once a student has completed the Arabic language requirement.

In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School, students in the MAAS program are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in both the concentration and supporting blocks of courses.

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Application Requirements Anchor

Application Requirements

Please be sure to review the Graduate School Admissions How to Apply page.


Please see the Arab Studies website for a checklist of required application materials, including the supplemental information and required scholarly essay. Arab Studies only admits students for the fall semester.

Application Materials required:

  • Application Form
  • Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Transcripts – Applicants are required to upload to the application system copies of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Visit our How to Apply page for additional details and FAQs.
  • Official Recommendations (3)
  • Resume/CV
  • GRE scores are not required
  • TOEFL/IELTS  (please see below)
  • Supplemental Essay
  • Arab Studies Supplemental Information (form included in the online application)

The M.A. in Arab Studies program welcomes applicants who have some background in the region and in their proposed concentration. Though not required, prior knowledge of Arabic and appropriate work or life experience in the region are helpful. Successful MAAS candidates have strong analytic capabilities, an excellent academic record, and a commitment to a future career related to the region. It is also helpful if applicants, especially those proposing to concentrate in economics or politics, have already completed basic courses in macro- and microeconomics.


All applicants are required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the English language sufficient to meet the admission requirement of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Proficiency can be demonstrated by the receipt of a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (please note that applicants receiving degrees at universities in U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, are required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS unless the primary language of instruction at the institution is English).

All other applicants must achieve at least a minimum score on either the TOEFL or IELTS test. Test scores must be received by the application deadline date. Applicants should allow six to eight weeks from the test date for the reporting of scores to the institution. Applications will not be considered without TOEFL/IELTS scores.

TOEFL: A minimum score of 100 (iBT test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  Georgetown University’s reporting code is 5244. TOEFL information:

IELTS: A minimum score of 7.5 from the International English Language Testing System. IELTS Information:

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