Middle Eastern Studies Major

Goals for the Middle Eastern Studies Major

Majors in Middle Eastern Studies will:

Requirements for the Middle Eastern Studies Major

The major in Middle Eastern Studies requires nine units. Students must demonstrate proficiency in Arabic (equivalent to at least two semesters at the second-year level). No credit toward the major is given for the first year of language study. Exceptionally, another Middle Eastern language (for example, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew) may be substituted for Arabic. The substitution of a language other than Arabic for the major requires the approval of the advisory committee. A student who wishes to substitute a language other than Arabic should consult their advisor and, with their advisor’s approval, submit a written request to the director. If the request is approved, one year of Arabic study will still be required for the major in almost all cases. For students who are exempt from the language requirement, nine units are still necessary for the completion of the major. Students are required to concentrate in some area or aspect of Middle Eastern Studies (for example, Arabic language and literature; religion; the pre-modern Middle East; the modern Middle East; political science, women and gender) by taking four courses above the 100 level, including at least two at the 300 level, one of which must normally be a seminar. As long as they have secured the program’s approval, students may apply two courses taken away from Wellesley to the major. In exceptional cases, students who wish to count an additional course taken away from Wellesley to their majors may, after consultation with their advisors, submit a request for approval to the director. For the minor, only one course taken away from Wellesley may be counted.

Majors devise their own programs of study in consultation with an appropriate faculty member from the student’s area of concentration.

In addition to Wellesley courses, students are encouraged to take relevant courses at Brandeis University, Olin College, and MIT. These courses must be approved toward the major, in advance, by the corresponding department at Wellesley.

Honors in Middle Eastern Studies

The only route to honors in the major is writing a thesis and passing an oral examination. To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all work in the major field above the 100 level; the Advisory Committee may petition on behalf of the student if their GPA in the major is between 3.0 and 3.5. See Academic Distinctions. A student who wishes to be admitted to the honors program should discuss their plans with their advisor well before the application is due, and should normally have completed at least two courses within the discipline or department of the advisor.

Courses for Credit Toward the Middle Eastern Studies Major and Minor

ARAB 310 / MES 310 Resistance & Dissent North Africa & Middle East

1.0

ARAB 368 / REL 368 Writing Islamic History

1.0

ARTH 203 Iraq's Antiquities, Then and Now

1.0

ARTH 241 Egyptian Art and Archaeology

1.0

CLCV 240 / REL 240 Romans, Jews, and Christians in the Roman Empire

1.0

HIST 266 / SAS 266 The Indian Ocean as African, Arab, and South Asian History

1.0

HIST 284 The Middle East in Modern History

1.0

HIST 293 / MES 293 Changing Gender Constructions in the Modern Middle East

1.0

HIST 364 / MES 364 Seminar: Film and Narratives of Social Change in the Modern Middle East and North Africa

1.0

HIST 366 / MES 366 Seminar: 'Greater Syria' under Ottoman and European Colonial Rule, c. 1850-1950

1.0

HIST 367 / SAS 367 The Indian Ocean as African, Arab, and South Asian History

1.0

HIST 369 / MES 369 Histories of "Ethnic" and "Religious" Violence

1.0

JWST 104REL 104 Study of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

1.0

MES 260 / REL 260 Religion and Culture in Muslim Societies

1.0

MES 261 / REL 261 Cities in the Islamic World

1.0

MES 263 / REL 263 Islam in the Modern World 1.0
MES 264 / REL 264 Religious and Ethnic Minorities in the Ottoman Empire 1.0
MES 265 / REL 265 Religion, Politics, and Culture in Modern Turkey 1.0
MES 267 / REL 267 Muslim Ethics 1.0
MES 347 / REL 347 Muslim Ethics 1.0
MES 359 / REL 359 Seminar: Power, Authority and Legitimacy in Muslim Societies 1.0
MES 361 / REL 361 Seminar: Studying Islam and the Middle East 1.0
MES 362 / REL 362 Seminar: Love, Desire, and Illumination: Poetry in the Islamic World 1.0
MES 363 / REL 363 Seminar: Law and Community in Muslim Societies 1.0
MES 365 / REL 365 Cities in the Islamic World 1.0
MES 367 / REL 367 Muslim Travelers 1.0
PEAC 217POL2 217 Politics of the Middle East and North Africa

1.0

PHIL 366 / REL 366 Seminar: Themes in Islamic Philosophy and Theology

1.0

REL 105 Study of the New Testament

1.0

REL 242 Archaeology of the Biblical World

1.0

REL 243 Women in the Biblical World

1.0

REL 244 Jerusalem: The Holy City

1.0

REL 262 The Formation of the Islamic Tradition

1.0

REL 268 Religion and Culture in Egypt

1.0

REL 269 Religion and Culture in Iran

1.0

REL 270 Religions of the Silk Road

1.0

REL 330* Seminar: Religion and Violence

1.0

REL 342 Archaeology of the Biblical World

1.0

REL 345 Seminar: Enslavement and the Bible

1.0

REL 348 Religion and Culture in Egypt

1.0

REL 364 Seminar: Sufism: Islamic Mysticism

1.0

SPAN 252* The Making of Spain

1.0


*REL 330 and SPAN 252: require the permission of the director and the instructor if the course is to be counted for Middle Eastern studies.