As soon as you declare Middle Eastern Studies Program (MESP) as your major, you should contact Dr. Sandy Russell Jones, Director of MESP, to make an initial advising appointment. Dr. Russell Jones will help you plan your coursework and discuss with you additional opportunities that, while not required, could enhance your experience in completing the MESP major, such as 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):
- 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.
- 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
- Senior Seminar (3 credits) 01:685:493; 01:685:494; 01:685:499
Senior Seminars in Middle Eastern Studies are offered every semester and focus on a particular topic, such as The United Nations and the Middle East; Women’s Movements in the Middle East; and The Middle East in Western Popular Culture and Mass Media.
In lieu of the Senior Seminar in Middle Eastern Studies, students may substitute an equivalent Senior Seminar in a related discipline (e.g. Art History, History, Jewish Studies, Political Science, Religion, Sociology or Women's and Gender Studies) that has the Middle East as its focus, with the approval of the Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program.
- 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