As soon as you declare Middle Eastern Studies (MES) as your major, you should make an initial advising appointment with Maya Mikdashi, Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program, to help plan your coursework and discuss with you additional opportunities that, while not required, may enhance your experience and broaden your knowledge base while completing the MES major. These opportunities include the Honors Program, internships, and study abroad.  

The interdisciplinary major in Middle Eastern Studies consists of a total of 34 credits that are distributed among the following courses. Students must complete all courses counting towards the major in Middle Eastern Studies with a grade of "C" or better.

Core Middle Eastern Studies courses (12 credits):

  1. Introduction to the Modern Middle East (3 credits) 01:685:100
    This course should be taken as early as possible, in the freshman year, or as soon as the major is declared.

  2. Historical Survey (3 credits)
    One of the following three courses should be taken as early as possible, in the freshman year, or as soon as the major is declared.

    01:685:201/01:508:201 Islamic Civilization
    01:685:305/01:508:205 History of the Modern Middle East
    01:685:304/01:508:304 The Ottoman Empire
    01:685:336 History and Cultures of Iran

  3. Senior Seminar (3 credits) 01:685:499
    Senior Seminars in Middle Eastern Studies are offered every semester and focus on a particular topic, such as Laws of Islamic Warfare; Theories of Revolution: The 1979 Iranian Revolution in Comparison; Religion(s) and Secularism(s) in the Middle East; and Middle East Film and Cinema.

    With the approval from the Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program, students may substitute an equivalent Senior Seminar in a related discipline (e.g. Art History, History, Jewish Studies, Political Science, Religion, Sociology, or Women and Gender Studies) that has the Middle East as its focus. 

  4. Arts/Literature (3 credits) 01:013:201; 01:013:221; 01:082:320
    The Arts/Literature requirement can be satisfied by choosing one of the courses listed above in either the AMESALL or the Art History department. Upon the director’s approval, students can also take related courses in other disciplines.

Middle Eastern Language (16 credits):

Students can choose to study any of the following Middle Eastern languages:

Less common languages, arranged in consultation with the AMESALL department and the MESP director.

Language courses at Rutgers are typically worth 4 credits (as opposed to the standard 3), therefore, majors should plan to spend four semesters studying their chosen language. All 16 credits must be in the same language – you cannot mix and match.

Students who arrive at Rutgers having completed coursework in their chosen language elsewhere may take a placement test. If the student tests beyond the intermediate level, they need only complete 8 (or 6, depending on the specific courses chosen) credits of language study, at the advanced level, in consultation with the MESP director. Advanced placement students must document their previous language study (students with native language abilities are not eligible to use their native language as their language of study).

Electives (6 credits):

The remaining 6 elective credits are taken from other courses offered by Middle Eastern Studies, or from approved cross-listed courses relevant to the Middle East offered by contributing departments. Language courses may not be taken to fulfill elective requirements. Some examples of accepted courses from contributing departments are:

Islam and Democracy (Political Science); Jews in the Islamic World (Jewish Studies); and Women and Society in the Islamic Middle East (History). Students may also pursue an internship (3 credits) for elective credit. There many different types of internships available locally or off-campus that would be acceptable for elective credit for the major. More information and the required forms are available here