UMass Amherst
Judaic and Near Eastern Studies

Degree Requirements

Middle Eastern Studies
Program Office
744 Herter Hall
(413) 545-2550

Middle Eastern Studies | Judaic Studies

The Field

The Middle Eastern Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program that includes courses related to the Middle East offered through various departments.   The program also includes various levels of Arabic and Hebrew courses offered through the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies.   In addition to the University's courses, students can draw on Middle Eastern Studies courses offered at the other four colleges in the Five College system.  A Middle Eastern Studies major allows students to explore various academic and professional prospects after graduation, including teaching, journalism, international relations, business, and joining non-profit organizations.

The Major

Requirements for a major are as follows:

  1. HISTORY 130 and 131 (formerly MEAST 100 and 101) (Middle Eastern History I & II);
  2. Fulfilling the intermediate level requirement (two years) in a Middle Eastern language;
  3. 24 upper-level credits (300-level courses and above) in Middle Eastern subjects in a variety of disciplines including Arabic, Archeology, Art History, Economics, History, Legal Studies, Political Science, Religion and Sociology; with adviser's approval some of these courses may be taken at the other four colleges in the Five College system; see list below;
  4. Junior Year Writing requirement (usually taken in the History Department, HIST 591-595).
  5. The major in Middle Eastern Studies requires at least a C grade in courses taken towards the major. No course with a Pass grade can be accepted for major credit.

The Minor

The minor in Middle Eastern Studies requires students to complete one year of a language of the region, HISTORY 130 and 131 (MEAST 100 and 101), and three upper level courses chosen from an approved list of courses offered by the Five College consortium; see list below. 

For a minor in Arabic language, non-native speakers are required to take one year (6 credits) beyond the intermediate level.   Native speakers are required to take six courses (18 credits) beyond the intermediate level.

If you would like to declare a minor in either Middle Eastern Studies or Arabic Language, please complete the Declaration of Academic Form and bring it with a transcript to Professor David Mednicoff, Director of Middle Eastern Studies, 735 Herter Hall.


Intro-Level Middle Eastern History Courses: CAMPUS
HISTORY   130       Middle East History I UMass
HISTORY   131       Middle East History II UMass
HIST@AMH 19 Middle Eastern Hist: 600-1800 Amherst
HIST@AMH 20 Middle East 1800-Present Amherst
Upper-Level Courses: CAMPUS
ANTH@AMH 31 Anthropology of Middle East Amherst
ASIA@AMH   55       Early Islam   Amherst
ASIA@AMH   56       The Islamic Mystical Tradition Amherst
ASIA@AMH   65       Mid East Court Culture Amherst
ASIA@AMH 48 Middle East 1800-Present Amherst
ASIA@AMH 64 S:Middle East History Amherst
GERM@AMH 42 Crusades/Image of Islam Amherst
HIST@AMH   60       Early Islam        Amherst
HIST@AMH 62 Women in the Middle East Amherst
HIST@AMH 93 S-Middle East History Amherst
REL 55  Amherst  Islamic Intellect Traditions Amherst
RELG@AMH   17       Islamic Religious Tradition Amherst
RELG@AMH   24       Muhammad & Qur'an Amherst
RELG@AMH   54     Revival & Reform in Islam Amherst
RELI 36  Amherst   Persian Religion: Persian Period Amherst
WAGS@AMH 62 Women in Middle East Amherst
HACU022/ SS222  Hampshire  The Modern Middle East Hampshire
SS 0221  Hampshire  Israel & Palestine Hampshire
SS@HMP 107 Oil & the Arab Economies Hampshire
GNDST 210/ REL 207  Mt Holyoke   Women & Gender in Islam Mt Holyoke
GNDST333/HIST301 Mt Holyoke Women/ Gender in the Mid East Mt Holyoke
INTL@MNT 211 Middle East Politics Mt Holyoke
INTL@MNT 341 Political Islam Mt Holyoke
IR 224  Mt Holyoke  US & Iran Mt Holyoke
RELG@MNT 201 Introduction To The Qur'an Mt Holyoke
RELG@MNT 202 Introduction To Islam Mt Holyoke
RELG@MNT 203 Hebr Script/Old Test Mt Holyoke
RELG@MNT 207 WomnGendr In Islam Mt Holyoke
RELG@MNT 211 Ancient Near East Mt Holyoke
RELG@MNT 305 The Hebrew Prophets Mt Holyoke
ECON@SMI 214 Econ Middle East & N Africa Smith
GOVR@SMI  224       Islam&Politics in the Mid East Smith
GOVR@SMI 229 GovtPolitics/Israel Smith
GOVR@SMI 240 Internatnl Polictics Smith
GOVR@SMI 248 Arab-Israeli Dispute Smith
HIST@SMI 207 Islam Civ To 15Thc Smith
HIST@SMI 208 Shaping of Modern Middle East Smith
HIST@SMI 209 Aspects of Middle Eastern Hist Smith
REL 245  Smith  The Islamic Tradition Smith
RELG@SMI  246       Islamic Thought &  Modernity Smith
RELG@SMI 210 Intro To Bible I Smith
RELG@SMI 245 The Islamic Tradition Smith
RELG@SMI 275 Islam Smith
ART-HIST  347       Islamic Art & Architecture I   Umass
ART-HIST  348       Islamic Art & Architecture II Umass
CLASSICS 325 Near Eastern Myth Umass
CLASSICS 326 EgyptIndo-Iran Myth Umass
COMM  497OO     ST-Arab Cinema    Umass
GERMAN 297A Sptpc-Crusades& Image of Islam Umass
HISTORY 497D      ST-Afghanistan & Central Asia Umass
HISTORY 297A ST-Crusades & Islam Umass
HISTORY 340 Civ Of Islam I Umass
HISTORY 342 Civ Of Islam II Umass
HISTORY 343 Modern Middle East Umass
JUDAIC 301 Bible And Archeology Umass
JUDAIC 325 Jews,Christians & Islam in the Middle Ages Umass
JUDAIC 392L S-Jews of Muslim Lands Umass
JUDAIC  390I   S: Popular Culture in Israel & Palestine Umass
LEGAL     397M      ST: Law, Society & Islam Umass
LEGAL 491N ExplainingTerror:MiddleEastUS Umass
POLISCI   294T      ExpTerror: The U.S. & MidEast Umass
POLISCI   333       Gov & Pol Mid-East Umass
SOCIOL    291E      Sociol Change in the Middle East Umass
HIST 591-595-alpha thematically related courses, such as:
HISTORY  592C   S-Culture Wars Umass
HISTORY  593D   S-Israel and the Palestinians Umass


Study Abroad

     In addition to the courses offered, the University has an exchange program with the American University in Cairo, which offers both summer and full-year scholarships through the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA). The summer program at AUC concentrates only on colloquial Egyptian Arabic, while the full-year program offers Modern Standard Arabic as well as courses in history, religion, political science, economics, and literature.

     Credits earned may be transferred to the University as part of a Middle Eastern Studies concentration, subject to approval of the program adviser. Other programs in Tunisia, Morocco, and Syria are also available to qualified students.

     For detailed information on Study Abroad opportunities, contact the Middle Eastern Studies Program Director or the International Programs Office.

© 2006– University of Massachusetts Amherst. Site Policies.
This site is maintained by the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, A Department of The College of Humanities and Fine Arts.