Interdivisional Concentrations

Middle Eastern Studies


The Middle Eastern Studies (MES) concentration promotes the intellectual exploration and analytic study of the historical and contemporary Middle East, from North Africa to Central Asia. MES provides an interdisciplinary framework with course offerings cross-listed with history, literature, language, religion, human rights, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, political studies, art history, and environmental and urban studies. Students moderate into a primary program with a concentration in MES, allowing them to formalize a focus on a region or period within the historical or contemporary Middle East.


Students concentrating in MES must meet the following requirements before Moderation: enroll in an MES core course and obtain one year of language proficiency in Arabic or Hebrew. At Moderation, usually held concurrently with the primary program, students must submit papers on past experience and projected work, as well as an academic paper about the Middle East written in one of their core or elective MES classes. At least one member of the Moderation board should be a faculty member affiliated with MES.

After Moderation, students must enroll in four other electives to broaden understanding of the region, one of which should be a 300-level seminar that requires a substantial paper on some topic pertaining to the Middle East. At least one elective should be taken outside the student’s primary division. Students must also successfully complete a Senior Project that addresses aspects of the contemporary Middle East and incorporates topics that students have studied during their MES course work. While the two-semester Senior Project is based in a primary program, the Senior Project board must include at least one faculty member affiliated with MES.


Core courses include: Religion 106, Introduction to Islam; Literature 2060, Arabic Literature; and History 185, The Making of the Modern Middle East. MES electives include: Arabic 101–102, Elementary Arabic; Arabic 201–202, Intermediate Arabic; Arabic 301–302, Advanced Arabic; Hebrew 101-102, Elementary Hebrew; Hebrew 201-202, Intermediate Hebrew; and History 2122, The Arab-Israel Conflict.