PhD Programs


PhD Programs at CUNY with Middle East Focus


Major and Minor in Middle East History

The Ph.D. Program in History at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, offers a major and a minor on the Middle East. Historians form a strong nucleus of the over seventy faculty with an interest in the Middle East who are affiliated with the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center at the GC. Five are on the History doctoral faculty, among them the Distinguished Professor Ervand Abrahamian (Baruch College and Graduate Center). Together these historians cover a broad range of geographical terrain (including Iran, Iraq, Egypt, the Gulf, North Africa, Ottoman Empire, Islamic Spain, and Central Asia) and historical topics (gender, imperialism, nationalism, revolution, religion, modernity, minorities, social welfare, etc.).

The Ph.D. Program in History emphasizes research projects at an early stage of doctoral study. New York City and the surrounding region provide rich resources for studying the Middle East that students are encouraged to explore. Students are required to take two five-credit courses on the modern Middle East, “Historical Literature of the Middle East, 1790-1923” and “Historical Literature of the Middle East, 1923-2001,” as well as research and topics courses and must fulfill the remaining requirements spelled out in the History Handbook. Students can also take advantage of Middle East history courses at Columbia University and New York University through the Interuniversity Doctoral Consortium.

The Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center also offers research and work opportunities to students. Through its lectures, workshops, and events, it provides a stimulating and supportive setting for studying the Middle East and its Diasporas.

For more information on the Ph.D. Programs in History please contact:

– Marilyn Weber in History: 212-817-8430 /
– Professor Beth Baron: or
– Professor Samira Haj:

Other Programs

Ph.D. candidates at the Graduate Center can also specialize in the Middle East and its diaspora in a variety of disciplines under the guidance of more than 70 CUNY faculty members with wide-ranging areas of expertise within the region. Students can pursue doctoral studies, for instance, in Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology, Theater, or Women’s Studies while focusing their dissertation research on the Middle East.

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