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Department of History and Archaeology, AUB
PhD in History
The PhD Program in Arab and Middle Eastern History  

The doctoral program in Arab and Middle Eastern History aims to create top-rank professional historians. Students in this program will acquire critical, interpretive, and research skills that will enable them to achieve excellence in their chosen field of specialization.

Learning Outcomes  
Upon receiving their degree, graduates of the program will be equipped with the methodological, language and research skills that will qualify them to serve as academicians or professional researchers in local, regional and international universities or in other advanced centers of higher learning in their fields of specialization or in related cultural and inter-disciplinary studies. Their training will enable them as well  to become eligible for administrative, journalistic, diplomatic and non governmental posts.  
Admission Requirements  
Admission to the doctoral program is competitive and selective, and is dependent upon the recommendation of the department of History and Archaeology and the approval of the University Board of Graduate Studies. Applicants normally hold an MA and have demonstrated outstanding academic ability (minimum average grade of 85 or its equivalent) and the potential to conduct scholarly research. In certain cases, BA holders whose academic performance is superior (minimum average grade of 80 or its equivalent) will be considered for admission to the program. Depending on their point of entry, the completion of the program will extend between 3 to 5 years.  
Financial Assistance

The University will provide tuition, a housing subsidy and a stipend to PhD candidates in the form of graduate assistantship on a merit or need basis. It will also assist in covering the cost of language instruction and research should this be sought abroad as well as participation in scholarly conferences.

Study and Course Requirements  
Twelve credits of graduate level courses are required for MA holders. Thirty credits of graduate level courses are required for BA holders directly admitted to the program. The department may require students to take additional graduate or undergraduate courses if necessary. The language of instruction is English. Arabic, however, can be substitued for English depending on the area of specialization. Additionally, all students are required to attain working knowledge of either French or German and any other language required by their field of specialization. All students must submit a dissertation.  
Admission to Candidacy  

For admission to candidacy, students must :

  • submit a study program approved by the Board of Graduate Studies;
  • complete at least 12 credits of graduate courses in addition to required language courses;
  • attain a cumulative average of at least 85 in all courses taken;
  • pass the comprehensive and language examinations set by the department;
  • submit and defend a dissertation proposal.

Students with an MA must achieve candidacy status not later than 5 semesters after admission to the program. In the case of BA holders directly admitted to the Program, candidacy must be achieved not later than three years.

For further information about admissions, kindly click here to access the admissions office website.  
The deadline for applying for the fall semester is on April 30. The notification date will be by the end of June. No admission is made in the spring semester.  
For an application form please click here .  

The history graduate curriculum is subject to periodic departmental review. Overall it is a flexible and an individually-driven program designed to build up a critical mass of knowledge based on the historical literature relating to the area of specialization. The curriculum adopts a problem-solving approach to historical research and writing, with a view to enabling graduates to think analytically, work independently and align their learning activity with their own educational, academic, and career aspirations.

For details on the full curriculum, kindly click here .
Faculty (Professorial rank and general areas of specialization)
  • A. Abu-Husayn
    Professor, PhD, American University of Beirut
    Ottoman Lebanon and the Syrian Provinces 

  •  N. El-Cheikh
    Professor, PhD, Harvard University
    Byzantine, Early Islamic History and Gender Studies

  • T. Khalidi
    Adjunct Professor, The Shaykh Zayid Bin Sultan Al-Nahayan
    Chair, PhD University of Chicago
    Early Islamic History and Historiography

  • J. Meloy
    Associate Professor, PhD, University of Chicago , Mamluk History

  • P. du Quenoy
    Assistant Professor, PhD, Georgetown University Modern European and Russian History

  • S. Seikaly
    Professor, PhD, School of Oriental and African Studies,Modern Middle East ern History


In addition to computer and other technical facilities provided by AUB, students will have access to the department’s private library as well as to the main University library. Jafet Library holds over half a million printed volumes, many of which relate to the history of the Arabs and the Modern Middle East. The University Library also owns over 1400 manuscripts, overwhelmingly concerned with matters pertaining to Islam and other aspects of Middle Eastern life and history. Its periodical subscriptions include about three thousand periodicals of which 182 are in Arabic. The Library moreover has one of the largest and most complete collections of Arabic newspapers covering the 19th and 20th centuries. To this must be added the vast array of primary and secondary material available on microfilm and microfiche and in a multiplicity of databases which are accessible to all AUB students.

The Department also has an additional Faculty line for Visiting Professors: the Alfred H. Howell Endowed Chair.

 AUB has 6 other PhD programs in several other fields, for more information please click on the links below : 


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