Why Washington University in St. Louis?
Testimonials by Recent Graduates
Aamir Bashir, MA ’14; Ph.D. Student, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago:
"I did an M.A. in Islamic and Near Eastern Studies at Washington University from 2012-2014. This M.A. was my first foray into academic Islamic studies. Coming from a background in Engineering and traditional Islamic studies, my goal was to gain exposure to not just academic Islamic studies but also humanities and social sciences in general. The flexibility provided by the JINELC M.A. program as well as the wide variety of faculty research interests within JINELC and departments of History and Anthropology as well as the Religious Studies Program allowed me to pursue these goals with great success. Furthermore, the mentoring I received from my professors helped me to develop my own scholarship and to get into a great Ph.D. program (Islamic Thought) at NELC, University of Chicago. Last, but not least, the small size of the program afforded us MA students the opportunity to form a closely connected group that further enhanced our intellectual and social experience. I would definitely recommend this program for all those interested in getting excellent preparation for a future PhD in Islamic and/or Jewish studies."
Lizzy Berk, MA ’14; Ph.D. student, Anthropology, Yale University:
“I am extremely thankful for the time I spent as an M.A. student in Washington University’s Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures department! As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, I studied Political Science, Gender and Health, and after graduation, I worked for five years as a fundraiser and non-profit professional before deciding to attend graduate school. After two years of coursework, including classes such as The Middle East in the 20th Century, Egypt and the Arab Spring, and Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Medieval Iberia, as well as intensive study of Arabic language, I have expertise in the history and cultures of the Middle East with a specialization in Islamic Studies! My professors helped me tailor my program of study to my specific interests, become a better teacher, find summer opportunities, and with my future plans. They also provided me vital guidance in writing my master’s thesis on infertility in Palestine. As a result of the skills and mentoring I received in JINELC’s M.A. program, I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in anthropology at Yale University, with a concentration on Middle Eastern Studies!”
Daniella Farah, MA ’13; Ph.D. student, History, Stanford University:
“I benefited greatly from the MA program in Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. A Master’s degree in JINELC at Washington University in St. Louis enabled me to take a number of courses that were directly relevant to my interest in the history of Jews in the Middle East, in gender issues in the Middle East, and in the history of the modern Middle East. For example, for a course on Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Medieval Iberia with Prof. Martin Jacobs, I wrote a paper that complicates the binary that has persistently rendered Jewish experience in Medieval Spain in the dichotomy of tolerance versus persecution. In Prof. Nancy Reynolds’s course Egypt and the Arab Spring: Middle Eastern Revolution in Historical Perspective, I compared the participation of women in Iran’s Green Revolution with the participation of women in Egypt’s Arab Spring. My M.A. degree in Islamic and Near Eastern Studies, which combined rigorous language study and the honing of my analytical and written skills, helped prepare me to pursue a Ph.D. at Stanford in the history of Jewish communities in modern Turkey and Iran.”