MRel Academic Flow and Delivery Format

The MRel in MENA Studies degree program consists of a total of 90 credits (1 credit is worth 30 hours of time investment). These are broken into:

Students also participate in an online induction module, an online research methods module, and a final project orientation.

MRel Flow 2014-2016a(Click on the image above for a larger, crisper view.)

Delivery Format

Instruction and learning is accomplished through a blended delivery system combining 2-week residencies and the use of distance learning technologies that facilitate discussion and feedback. For more information about Moodle, the interactive online learning platform utilized by IMES, please click here.

An instructional module consists of three parts:

  • Pre-Residency (10 weeks): This is an online component where students complete assigned readings, provide written assignments and participate in virtual discussion groups. Students remains in their home countries during this period. 
  • Residency (2 weeks): This is on-site in Beirut at IMES and is comprised of lectures, discussions, group work, field visits, and conversations and dialogue with key leaders. This is the time during each module when students and faculty are together in the same location for a unique and intensive learning experience.
  • Post-Residency (10 weeks): This is also an online component and consists of a research assignment based on a topic related to the instructional module. The students are also involved in online discussions during this period while back in their home countries.

The MRel is designed to provide prospective students with a certain degree of flexibility. They may choose to enter the program at the beginning of any instructional module and then proceed to complete the remaining modules and the final project. Although no module is a pre-requisite for another, students should keep in mind that each module is taught only once every two years.

For a week before their first module, students participate in an online induction module, which covers the expectations of the Master’s program as well as an introduction to using Moodle. This module is considered a prerequisite for the program and must be successfully completed before starting any other module. In addition, students also participate in a research methods module and final project orientation prior to embarking on their final project.

For more information about the four core modules, elective and language requirements, or the final project, please follow the appropriate links.


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