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Overview

Middle Eastern Studies is a comparative and interdisciplinary major that focuses on the culture, geography, law, history, and religion of the vast, diverse, and politically pivotal region of the world that extends generally from North Africa to Central Asia and from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean. If you choose to major in Middle Eastern Studies, you'll learn about the ancient history of this area and, especially, about the emergence of Islam and what has happened since. You'll study and compare the texts of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and you'll see how they are very different yet closely intertwined with one another. You'll also be required to undertake an intensive study of one of the many regional languages of the Middle East, usually Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hindi/Urdu, and ancient Egyptian.

Middle Eastern Studies is an interdisciplinary field. Translation: if it's your major, you are likely to end up taking courses in a variety of disciplines including (but certainly not limited to) art, philosophy, literature, and history.

What can you do with a major in Middle Eastern Studies? You can be in the Foreign Service, of course. Just like with any liberal arts major, though, you can do virtually anything. A major in Middle Eastern Studies will mold you into a cultural critic, and it will enhance your abilities to think, write, speak, and do research - which will take you far.

SAMPLE CURRICULUM

  • Ancient Israel

  • Architecture of the Mosque

  • Culture of the Modern Arab World

  • Elementary Arabic I-II

  • History of Islam

  • History of the Arab World

  • History of the Ottoman Empire

  • Intermediate Arabic I-II

  • Islamic Law

  • Islamic Philosophy and Theology

  • Middle East: 1800 to Present

  • Modern Arabic Literature

  • Religion and Politics in Islamic Culture

  • The Qu'ran


GRADUATE PROGRAMS & CAREERS