The program emphasizes the interdisciplinary role of sociology and anthropology in theoretical and applied research on issues of development and social change in the Middle East and Africa. The program concentrates on gender and religion, social organization, symbolism, theory and methodology, and Arab world studies.
The applicant for this program should be a graduate of high standing from an undergraduate program in the humanities or social sciences (refers to fields in the Faculties of Arts) with an overall grade of gayyid giddan or a grade point average of 3.0 or above. Those who lack this background but who are exceptionally well qualified in other respects may be admitted provisionally. In such cases the department may prescribe a noncredit program of work in theory or method for one or two semesters to correct deficiencies. The department reserves the right to assess applicants’ English proficiency and/or social science abilities in person as a condition of acceptance into the program. Students are normally admitted to the program in the fall only.
The candidate for the degree must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English. The language exam is normally taken in Arabic and, in the case of native speakers, is intended to ensure that the student can work as a professional in that language. In certain cases the student may take the exam in a field and/or scholarly language other than Arabic.
Eight courses (24 credits) are required. All students must take: SOC/ANTH 500 Classical Social Thought, SOC/ANTH 501 Contemporary Social Thought, and SOC/ANTH 598 Advanced Research Design and Proposal Writing, and either SOC/ANTH 505 Ethnographic Fieldwork or SOC/ANTH 506 Survey Research. The remaining four courses should be chosen from the list of electives, each of which is offered in principle at least once in a two-year period. A maximum of six hours of 400-level courses in sociology and anthropology or of 500-level courses in other disciplines (including SOC-ANTH-POLS 507 and 576 when taught by faculty outside the SOC-ANTH program) may be taken with departmental approval.
All students must complete a research thesis in accordance with university regulations. Before commencing work on the thesis, the student must write and defend a thesis proposal following strict departmental guidelines that is approved by three faculty members.
Students should familiarize themselves with procedures and deadlines regarding writing the thesis proposal, committee selection, writing of the thesis and presentation to the supervisor and readers. Complying with the procedural requirements by the appropriate deadlines is the responsibility of the student.