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Master in Middle Eastern Studies (MIMES)

Course Description

The Master in Middle Eastern Studies (MIMES) is specifically tailored for graduates of various disciplines and backgrounds, who are interested in obtaining a better knowledge of the Middle East region, taking into account its social-historical complexity and cultural plurality. The program aims to offer solid historical, political and institutional perspectives of the current domestic, regional and international dynamics affecting the stability of the region, as well as a critical outlook on current debates over the Middle East.

Learning objectives

MIMES aims to guide students across this diverse and fascinating region, which, since decades, is at the center of the geostrategic interest of the international system. The program mainly focuses on the contemporary period, through a multi-disciplinary approach ranging over international relations, geopolitics, conflicts and security, economy and energy. Nonetheless, specific sections are devoted to the analysis of the historical and religious foundations of the modern Middle East, from the birth of Islam to the evolution of Islamic thought, law and economy. A dedicated course will offer a linguistic analysis of the political and juridical terminology and a glossary in Arabic. MIMES analyses in details infra-regions and inter-regions peculiarities and relations, from Maghreb to Central-Southern Asia, encouraging a comparative and holistic area studies approach.

Career opportunities & professional recognition

MIMES provides graduate students with a detailed, comprehensive knowledge of the wider Middle East, beneficial to under-take a number of different careers, consistently with their previous training and experience, within international institutions, private companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), research centers and area studies, media networks, etc.


The Master in Middle Eastern Studies is articulated in five complementary levels, fostering multidimensional training and cross-fertilization, integrating scientific methodologies and operative competences.

1st level - Propaedeutic Phase: history, power and institution. The conceptual foundation of the Middle East
● Methodological introduction: debates on the Middle East
● History of the Middle East
● Religion, society and thought in the Islamic Middle East
● Islamic law and economy
● Study of political and juridical terminology - glossary in Arabic
● Middle East within the 20th century international order

2nd level - In-depth Analytical Phase: sub-regional contexts
● Maghreb
● Mashreq
● Sub-Saharan Africa
● South-West Asia and the Gulf
● Central-Southern Asia

3rd level - Thematic and Contemporary Issues
● Politics in contemporary Middle East and the current International Relations context
● Global security: jihadism, violent activism, conflicts and nuclear proliferation
● Post-conflict institution-building and human security
● Gender, ethno-religious diversity and pluralism in the Middle East
● Energy and geopolitics of resources
● Contemporary economic trends

4th level - Project Work
Students are required to develop a personal research project on a topic related to Middle Eastern affairs, under the supervision of a MIMES professor and/or a professional from a partner institution. The project work will often be connected to the internship experience.

5th level - Internship
The Master is completed with an internship in Italy or abroad within an institution whose mission and activities are consistent with the Master’s program. This gives students the invaluable opportunity to test and strengthen the competencies acquired during the Master and it usually lasts three months. As an alternative, students who do not carry out an internship may choose to attend an Arabic language course. Students will receive support and tutoring for their internship research.

Faculty & teaching staff

The Master in Middle Eastern Studies offers high quality training to students from all over the world. They will take part in team projects with the guidance of important scholars and leading professionals from the Middle East as well as from Europe and the U.S.

● Prof. Riccardo Redaelli - MIMES Director
● Prof. Paolo Branca - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
● Dr. Marina Calculli - American University, Beirut
● Prof. Massimo Campanini - Università degli Studi di Trento
● Prof. Martino Diez - Fondazione OASIS and Università Cattoli- ca del Sacro Cuore
● Prof. Wael Faruq - American University, Cairo
● Prof. Ersilia Francesca - Università degli Studi di Napoli l’Orientale
● Prof. Elisa Giunchi - Università degli Studi di Milano
● Prof. Mehran Kamrava - Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service
● Prof. Bahgat Korany - American University, Cairo
● Prof. Marco Lombardi - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
● Prof. Maurizio Martellini - Landau Network Centro Volta and Insubria Center on International Security
● Prof. Massimo Papa - Università di Roma Tor Vergata
● Prof. Vittorio Emanuele Parsi - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
● Prof. Paola Rivetti - Dublin City University
● Prof. Mahmood Sariolghalam - Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran
● Prof. Oktay Tanrisever - Middle East Technical University
● Amb. Roberto Toscano - Barcelona Center for International Affairs
● Mr. Franco Zallio - consultant

ASERI - a center of excellence

This Master has been created thanks to the experience of ASERI in the field of graduate education and training. Università Cattolica’s Graduate School of Economics and International Relations combines quality courses with strong connections to the business world. Courses are taught by academic professors, professionals and leaders from all over the world. The high quality of this training is ensured by the presence of an international faculty composed by renowned professors and experts, coming from both Middle East and US/EU universities and research centers.

Theory & practice

The strong theoretical basis is combined with a solid knowledge of the contemporary issues, in order to provide students’ with a specific understanding of one of the most important region in the international scenario and help them to convert their knowledge in professional skills.

A multidisciplinary approach

Thanks to the expertise of its faculty, this innovative program combines several perspectives on the Middle East: international relations, history, economics, law, geopolitics, security and energy. The analysis of the current dynamics, debates and most important topics regarding the role of the Middle East at a regional and international level, as well as dedicated modules on its sub-regions and their peculiarities, are strengthened by the theoretical basis provided during the first part of the program.

Visit the Master in Middle Eastern Studies (MIMES) page on the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Merit-based partial scholarships on 1 year Masters (EU and non EU) - 20+ Awards

Scholarship amounts vary according to program; please check individual page tuition fees & costs. They all consist of tuition fee reduction and are open to EU and NON EU students alike.

Value of Scholarship(s)

varies according to program


Students that have submitted their application form within the first three deadlines, and meet the course program requirements.

Application Procedure

Simply click "yes" on the relevant section of the online application form. Submit the application form within the first 3 deadlines of the program. No separate application or documents are needed; however, there may be a Skype interview for shortlisted candidates. Successful candidates will learn of the outcome via email.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Entry requirements include completion of an undergraduate degree, obtained after a minimum of 3 years of study (180 ECTS). The undergraduate degree must be obtained before the start of the program. Candidates best suited for the program have a background in Political Science, Economics, Law, Humanities, Education, Foreign Languages, Psychology, Social Science, Engineering, Nursing Science, Agronomy, Environmental Science. This Master is however also open to all graduates from other faculties.

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