At which campus can I study this program?
The Middle East Studies major fosters the study of the Middle East from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. The core of the major is a foundation in the history of the region and the politics, societies, and cultures of the past and the present, in a global context. The major promotes the development of analytical skills, articulate expression of ideas, awareness of current events, and engagement in meaningful discussion.
What is Middle East Studies?
Middle Eastern Studies intends to instill an understanding of the history and culture of the multiple countries that make up the Middle East, from ancient through modern times. It is an interdisciplinary area of study that encompasses various aspects of the Middle East such as history, politics, religion, language, literature, art history, and more. Middle Eastern Studies offers a way to investigate a region of the world from multiple perspectives engaging a variety of methods of study.
You Might Like This Program If...
- You are interested in gaining further insight into the politics, societies, and cultures of the Middle East.
- You are interested in adding the Middle East Studies major to your major in a related field such as History, Global and International Studies, Political Science, and Arabic.
- You have a desire to do in depth research on the Middle East, and hope to spend time in the Middle East.
- You are interested in a career in international trade, diplomacy, aid, education, and more.
- You are interested in graduate studies in fields such as history, middle east studies, Islamic studies, Jewish studies, archaeology, philosophy, comparative literature, religious studies, political science, sociology, economics, and more.
Entrance to Major
In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:
- attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
- have third-semester classification.
For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Middle East Studies, a minimum of 120 credits is required:
|Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements||24|
|Requirements for the Major||33|
6 credits of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 6 credits of GH courses.
6 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives. Up to 12 credits of Arabic, Hebrew or another Middle Eastern language may count toward the major. 9 credits for the major must be at the 400-level.
Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
Requirements for the Major
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|HIST/JST 181||Introduction to the Middle East||3|
|HIST/JST 190||The Middle East Today||3|
|HIST/JST 305Y||Middle East Studies Research Workshop||3|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|Students should choose 24 credits from the list below with the following criteria: 9 credits at the 400-level; no more than 12 credits of languages. 1||24|
|Society and Cultures in Modern Israel|
|Islamic Architecture and Art|
|Elementary Modern Standard Arabic I|
|Elementary Modern Standard Arabic II|
|Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic|
|Arab Language, Cultures, and Current Topics|
|Introduction to the Qur'an|
|Islamic States, Societies and Cultures c. 600-1500|
|Advanced Language & Cultures I|
|Advanced Language & Cultures II|
|Technology & Society in Modern Asia|
|Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian Mythology|
|Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future|
|Canaan and Israel in Antiquity|
|Literature of the Ancient Near East|
|Law & Economy in the Ancient Near East|
|Languages and Cultures of the Ancient Near East|
|Literary Cultures of Islam|
|Basic Modern Hebrew I|
|Basic Modern Hebrew II|
|Intermediate Modern Hebrew|
|Advanced Hebrew--Conversation Emphasis|
|Advanced Hebrew--Reading Emphasis|
|The Byzantine Empire|
|Early Modern Empires of Islam: The Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals|
|Crusades: Holy War in the Middle Ages|
|The History of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (1917-Present)|
|The Indian Ocean World|
|Illicit Asia: An Alternative Introduction to Asia|
|Orthodox Christianity: History and Interpretations|
|Jewish Histories of the Middle East|
|Classical Islamic Civilization, 600-1258|
|The Ottoman Empire|
|The Contemporary Middle East|
|Government and Politics of the Middle East|
|International Relations of the Middle East|
|Introduction to Islam|
Honors version of courses may count toward the major. Additional courses may count toward the major in consultation with the director of Middle East Studies.
Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.
The keystone symbol appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.
Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)
- Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits
University Degree Requirements
First Year Engagement
All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.
Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.
First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.
6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements
- United States Cultures: 3 credits
- International Cultures: 3 credits
Writing Across the Curriculum
3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.
Total Minimum Credits
A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.
Quality of Work
Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.
Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition
The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
B.A. Degree Requirements
Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.
B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.
The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Use the Liberal Arts Majors and Minors web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program