NMC: Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations PhD

Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate MA or 2) direct entry following completion of a bachelor’s degree.


Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Admission via one of two routes:

    1. MA degree in a relevant program from a recognized university with at least an A– average or equivalent in courses taken for the MA program.

    2. Direct entry from a bachelor's degree for exceptionally qualified applicants, at the discretion of the department.
  • Ability to conduct independent research.

  • Competence in primary source language(s) relevant to the applicant's research.

  • Two letters of reference.

  • Statement of academic intent.

  • Writing sample of no more than 12 double-spaced pages including footnotes.

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)/resumé up to three pages in length.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English, are required to successfully complete one of the English tests listed on the department's website.

Program Requirements

  • The program of study is determined in consultation with the department and includes written and oral general examinations.

  • Each year of the PhD program, students are obligated to consult with their advisor and Graduate Coordinator to see that appropriate coursework is done and that the language requirements are completed on schedule.

  • The minimum course requirement will normally be 6.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • Year 1: 3.0 FCEs

    • Year 2: 3.0 FCEs

  • Students who have completed a two-year MA in the department may apply for a course reduction that will be granted at the discretion of the department. The reduction should normally be 1.0 FCE, but may be up to 3.0 FCEs in cases of students who also have an exceptional preparation in their area of study at the BA level. Coursework and all language requirements are to be completed by the end of Year 2

  • In consultation with the supervisor, examining committee, and supervisory committee (if it has already been established), students will prepare a short draft proposal of two to four pages with bibliography by May of Year 2. The short draft proposal will direct some of the preparation for the comprehensive examinations which will take place by the end of the first session of Year 3. A final proposal of at least 10 pages plus bibliography is to be approved by the supervisory committee within one to two months of the completion of the comprehensive exams.

  • Students are required to demonstrate reading comprehension in two languages of modern scholarship (typically French and German), the first by the end of Year 1 in residence, and the second by the end of Year 2 of residence. A language other than French or German may be substituted with approval of the Academic Advisor and the Graduate Coordinator. In some cases, the department may require competence in another language relevant to the student's program. The choice of language(s) must be approved by the department.

  • Residence. Students are required to be registered on campus for the period during which coursework requirements are being fulfilled, and in no case for less than two academic years.

  • Thesis. The thesis must embody the results of original investigation and constitute a significant contribution to knowledge in the field. It must be based on research conducted while registered in the PhD program. The thesis must be successfully defended at a Final Oral Examination.

Program Length

4 years full-time; 5 years direct-entry

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years direct-entry