Graduate Program Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What graduate programs do you offer?
  2. Will you grant me conditional acceptance to one of your programs?
  3. Do you offer Spring Admissions to your Graduate Programs?
  4. Can I complete my degree part-time?
  5. How long will it take me to complete my degree Program?
  6. What level of Arabic proficiency is required for admission to your graduate programs?
  7. How do I apply to one of your graduate programs? What is required for the application? When is the deadline to apply?
  8. What would make me a successful applicant for your program(s)?
  9. What TOEFL score is required for admission to your graduate programs?
  10. I completed my BA or MA from a US institution; do I need to send TOEFL scores?
  11. What GRE score is required for admission to your graduate programs?
  12. My GRE scores will arrive after the deadline; can I still apply?
  13. Do I need to submit official transcripts with my application?
  14. Does the writing sample need to be on a related topic?
  15. I’ve been out of school for a number of years. Can my work supervisor write me a recommendation?
  16. Do you offer scholarships or teaching assistantships to your students? What is the cost of tuition?
  17. Do I need a Master’s degree to be eligible to apply for admission to the PhD program?
  18. My background is not in Arabic and Islamic Studies; can I still apply to a graduate program?
  19. I am non-US citizen; can I still apply to a graduate program?
  20. I am a non-US citizen who has been admitted to a graduate program, what next?
  21. Can I take Arabic courses at Georgetown if I am not a current Georgetown student?
  22. How do I enroll through the DC Consortium of Universities?
  23. How can I arrange to meet with a professor in the department?

What graduate programs do you offer?

Our department offers MA and PhD programs in Arabic & Islamic Studies.

Will you grant me conditional acceptance to one of your programs?

Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with an acceptance letter unless you apply and are accepted into the program. The application deadline for the Fall semester is January 15. For more information on how to apply to the program, please visit the Application Procedures section of our website. 

Do you offer Spring admission to your graduate programs?

Unfortunately, we do not offer Spring admission for our graduate programs. We only accept students to start in the Fall semester which usually begins at the end of August.

Can I complete my degree part-time?

The MA Arabic program does have a part-time option; however, some of the required courses are offered during the day, so please keep that in mind if you are only available during evenings.

How long will it take me to complete my degree program?

The Ph.D. program takes approximately 7 years to complete. Depending on whether you matriculate with or without an MA, coursework will take 2-3 years followed by comprehensive exams and the dissertation process. The Graduate School places a limit of 7 years on a Ph.D., and a limit of 3 years on a MA, but students are able to extend the program if extra time is needed by filling out a request for an extension of time.

What level of Arabic proficiency is required for admission to your graduate programs?

The language requirement to be admitted to this program is fairly strict. We require that students have at least three (3) years of intensive Arabic study.

How do I apply to one of your graduate programs? What is required for the application? When is the deadline to apply?

The application procedures are outlined on our website under Application Procedures. There you will find a list of required application materials. This includes an online application, three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, a statement of purpose and a 10-20 page writing sample. A TOEFL score is also required for non-native English speakers. An advanced knowledge of Arabic is required (typically 3 years of Arabic language instruction) to apply, but a BA in Arabic is not necessary. The deadline to apply for Fall admission is 15 January.

What would make me a successful applicant to your program(s)?

It is difficult to determine what makes an applicant stand out, as the admissions committee looks at every aspect of an application. The department does not have minimum GRE score requirements, and the level of competitiveness varies from year to year depending on the quality of applications. However, please note that our program requires advanced Arabic proficiency, which is usually 3+ years of formal Arabic instruction.

What TOEFL score is required for admission to your graduate programs?

TOEFL is offered as an internet-based exam, computer-based exam, or paper-based exam. It does not matter which exam you take, but the department does have minimum requirements for each: a score of 100 for the internet-based exam (iBT), a score of 260 for the computer-based exam (CBT) and a score of 620 for the paper-based exam (PBT).

We typically require that you have a TOEFL score of at least 620 in order to apply to our program. However, if you feel that this score does not represent your current knowledge of English and you plan on taking the exam again in the near future, you can certainly note that in your application and it will be taken into consideration.

I completed my BA or MA from a US institution; do I need to send TOEFL scores?

No, completion of a degree program from a US institution satisfies the English requirement.

What GRE score is required for admission to your graduate programs?

We do not have a minimum GRE score requirement for admission to our programs as the applicant pool varies annually. Please visit the ETS website for information on how to sign up for this exam.

My GRE scores will arrive after the deadline; can I still apply?

All materials are due no later than the application deadline.

Do I need to submit official transcripts with my application?

Effective with the Fall 2020 admission cycle, the Graduate Admissions Office requires applicants to upload unofficial transcripts to their applications. From the Graduate School Admissions page:

Applicants are required to upload to the application system copies of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. We consider these uploaded transcripts to be “unofficial” as they are submitted by the applicant. Transcripts from both degree and non-degree coursework provide the admissions committee a more complete picture of academic preparation for graduate study. Only transcripts that have been uploaded to the application by the student are required for the application review. Applicants who receive an offer of admission will be required at that time to submit official final transcripts (transcripts that have been submitted directly to Georgetown University by the institution) for verification prior to enrolling. Do not send electronic or paper copies of your official transcripts before receiving an offer of admission.

  • Step 1: Request a copy of your official transcript from your institution.
  • Step 2: Upload the transcript to your application. 

An acceptable transcript is a copy of an official transcript produced by the institution. This includes:

  • Scanned copies of paper transcripts issued by the institution
  • Electronic transcripts issued by the institution (not a download from your institution’s web portal)

We do not accept screen shots or photos, and we do not accept downloads of the “student’s view” from your institution’s website. 

Does the writing sample need to be on a related topic?

From the application page:  This should be a 10-20 page, scholarly essay, in English, preferably on a topic related to the applicant’s field of study.

I’ve been out of school for a number of years.  Can my work supervisor write me a recommendation?

Applicants may submit professional references. We recommend at least two references be academic references.

Do you offer scholarships or teaching assistantships to your students? What is the cost of tuition?

Our department does offer scholarships to qualified Ph.D. applicants. There is no funding available for MA students at this time, but the department may be able to top off or match outside funding. Funding for Ph.D. applicants typically includes full tuition (up to 9 credits) and a monthly stipend in exchange for serving as a teaching assistant. In order to be automatically considered for funding when your application is reviewed, you must check the box on your application that says you would like to be considered for funding. For a list of current tuition and fees, as well as payment information, please visit Student Accounts.

Do I need a Master’s degree to be eligible to apply for admission to the PhD program?

No, applicants to the PhD program are not required to have a Master’s degree.

My background is not in Arabic and Islamic Studies; can I still apply to a graduate program?

Yes, we receive applications from applicants with many different backgrounds.  Formal background in Arabic and/or Islamic Studies might strengthen one’s application, but formal background is not required to apply.

I am non-US citizen; can I still apply to a graduate program?

Yes, we welcome applications from all applicants irrespective of citizenship status. The application requirements are the same for all applicants. 

I am a non-US citizen who has been admitted to a graduate program, what next?

The Office of Global Services administers visa and immigration documents to students.  Please visit their website: https://internationalservices.georgetown.edu/

Can I edit my application once it is submitted?

Yes, once an application is submitted, you are able to edit various aspects by logging back into the application portal.

Can I take Arabic courses at Georgetown if I am not a current Georgetown student?

Our Arabic courses are restricted to Georgetown students or students taking courses through the consortium. Non-degree graduate students cannot take instructional Arabic courses because they are below the 350 level. Additionally, we do not allow outside auditors to sit in on our courses.

How do I enroll through the DC Consortium of Universities?

In order to enroll as a consortium student please first contact your home university Consortium Coordinator to submit an official Consortium request. Once registration begins at Georgetown for the semester, please contact the course’s professor for written permission to join their course. Then, provide that written permission to your home Coordinator with your request and they will forward the form and permission to Georgetown. If the requested course is not full, nor restricted, nor excluded from Consortium, you will be registered.

How can I arrange to meet with a professor in the department?

Our professors are happy to meet with you. However, please email them directly to arrange a time and day that is convenient for their schedules as we generally do not accept walk-ins.