Orient- und Islamwissenschaft

M.A. Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (English track)

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

The two-year program of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (M.A.) is designed for students who wish to gain in-depth knowledge of the history, religions, and cultures of the Islamicate world and its languages. Students interested in classical and post-classical Islamicate intellectual history and the history and civilisations of the Middle East will find this program to be especially appealing. Modern debates in the Islamicate world, as well as current cultural and political trends feature heavily and are analysed within a broader historical and intellectual framework.

The languages and cultural traditions of the Islamicate world, both past and present, constitute the core of the degree program. It therefore offers a wide range of possibilities for the study of the region's cultural and literary traditions in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Ottoman Turkish. The degree program allows students to combine a solid philological and theoretical foundation. Courses are designed to equip students with advanced scientific and methodological tools and strengthen their ability to approach and analyse various textual traditions that are drawn from a broad spectrum of genres, ranging from medieval manuscript traditions to today's written and social media.

Academic staff members perform their research in fields such as classical Arabic literature, philosophy in Arabic language, Islamic theology, sufism, natural and occult sciences, Hadith studies, Islamic law, and the tools and methods of the digital humanities.

Applications from students with an interest in and basic knowledge of classical and post-classical Islamic or Middle Eastern Studies are welcome. The curriculum is designed to offer a focused program as well as the flexibility to allow for the pursuit of particular interests. The department offers an excellent study environment, research and library facilities, as well as opportunities to work in close contact with the faculty. The multicultural atmosphere forms the perfect environment for the establishment of international contacts.

The M.A. program is also offered in German (for more information, see the German track).

Qualification and Prospects

The department of Oriental and Islamic Studies in Tübingen offers its students three specialisations in tandem with the research expertise of the tenured professorships: Islamicate intellectual history, history and civilisations of the Middle East, and the digital humanities. The M.A. program is characterised by thorough language training in at least two languages of the Islamicate world, allowing students access to primary sources and research papers in original language. Reminiscent of other area studies, the program facilitates interdisciplinary perspectives and a wide variety of methods according to students' academic interests.

Graduates of the M.A. program in Tübingen will be well-equipped to work with primary sources closely, to integrate their specialist knowledge within its transregional and historical context, to approach the work of academic peers with an informed and critical eye and to communicate their findings to a variety of audiences.

Graduates are qualified to pursue a career in academic teaching and research. However, a large range of non-academic professions are available in the field, such as:

  • Work in educational institutions and foundations, international organisations, museums, special libraries
  • Translation and cultural mediation
  • Diplomatic or consulting services, work in think tanks
  • Journalism, communication media, publishing
  • Tourism


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