Middle Eastern Studies

Interdisciplinary Program

Middle East Studies is a minor program for students to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of the cultures and societies of the Middle East, including diasporic and displaced communities, in regional and global contexts. The Middle East has functioned as one of the most important geographical and cultural crossroads in history. In the Middle East Studies Program, students can explore the region from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including history, politics, literature, and religion. This interdisciplinary focus helps students develop a complex and nuanced understanding of the Middle East and the role that the region continues to play in the world today.

In addition to a better understanding of the region, the Middle East Studies Program enables students to better recognize problematic and dangerous misrepresentations of the region and equip students with the tools to interrogate xenophobic and discriminatory practices that impact communities within/from the Middle East. The minor is particularly appropriate for students planning to work in areas of law, government, or public policy, as well as students planning to attend graduate school in fields such as literature, history, or anthropology. It can be combined with any of Centre’s major programs.

The Middle East Studies minor requires seven courses. The curriculum provides a solid background in the history and politics of the region while allowing flexibility in tailoring the program to student interests. The sole course required for the minor is IST 344: Politics of the Middle East. Students also need to complete a year of college-level coursework in a Middle Eastern language, typically Arabic. The remaining four courses can be selected from a range of classes in other disciplines. Although enrollment in Arabic is recommended as soon as possible, courses can be taken in any order.


Matthew Pierce (chair), Dina Badie, Azita Osanloo, Shana Sippy, Sami Sweis

Student Representatives

Ibrahim Al-Aboosi

Middle Eastern Studies Courses

Course Descriptions