Mindful of an increasingly complex and culturally diverse national and global society, the Department of Middle Eastern Studies is committed to the preparation of students for intellectual leadership in their selected field and in the professions that they will pursue in the course of their lives.
The Department promotes specialized knowledge and broad understanding of the Middle East, a dynamic region of the world that includes the Arab states, Iran, Israel, and Turkey and whose influence extends into Central Asia, North Africa, and other world regions. The Department seeks to provide its majors and the University community at large with a learning environment of the highest quality, produced by instructional programs with a solid academic foundation and delivered by a faculty with extensive experience and world-class credentials.
The departmental faculty and staff support our students through a rigorous course of study and strive to increase in them the awareness of the need to assume personal responsibility for their actions and develop habits of self-reliance and a passion for lifelong learning.
At the undergraduate level, Middle Eastern Studies offers three majors: a focused Islamic Studies major; an interdisciplinary degree in Middle Eastern Studies that incorporates a broad survey of language study, history, fine arts, religious studies, and social sciences; and a degree in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, which allows students to pursue range of interests in the languages and cultures of the Middle East, including study of Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish languages. It emphasizes the acquisition of a Middle Eastern language as well as cultural studies, with particular strengths in literature, material culture, art history, and music. This model encourages us all to look beyond the boundaries of language and nation that sometimes obscure our view of the Middle East as a region with a shared past, present, and future.
At the graduate level, the Department of Middle Eastern Studies offers MA and PhD degrees in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC). MELC Students at the master’s level may concentrate in linguistics (theoretical or applied), Islamic Studies, or Middle Eastern literatures and cultures. At the doctoral level, students select a field of study from among the following: Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East, linguistics (theoretical or applied), Islamic Studies, or Middle Eastern literatures and cultures.
The Center for Middle Eastern Studies offers an terminal MA in Middle Eastern Studies. This program develops a strong knowledge base, preparing students for leadership positions as professionals in areas such as journalism, translation, business, foreign policy, international law, and work with government and non-government organizations.
Focusing on the region as a whole, the Department encourages its students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to explore languages, cultures, and other areas that are beyond their immediate major or area of study, and broaden their interest to include the whole span of eras covered by our curricula, from antiquity to modern times.