Middle Eastern Studies Major

A minimum of 40 credits of course work on the Middle East. Any course that devotes 50% or more of its substance to Middle Eastern countries, peoples, or issues may be counted toward the major.  One (1) course on Middle Eastern diasporas may count toward the major. 

Requirements for the major are: 

1. Four (4) courses (16 credits), equivalent to two years of college-level study of a Middle Eastern language, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, Persian, and Armenian. Classes in Arabic and Modern Hebrew are currently taught in the Five Colleges. Additional courses in Arabic and in other languages are offered through the Five College Mentored Language Program.  Students may count up to four (4) credits toward the major for studying a Middle Eastern language through the Five College Mentored Language Program. A maximum of 16 lower level language credits and a total of 24 language credits can be counted toward the major.

2. Two (2) introductory courses (8 credits) providing an overview of Middle Eastern history. One course (4 credits) must be in the premodern period (pre-1500 CE) and one course (4 credits) must be in the modern period (1500-present). The following courses fulfill the premodern history requirement: History 108 (“Middle East History from the Rise of Islam to the Ottomans”); Religion 202 (“Introduction to Islam”). The following courses may be used for the modern history requirement: History 111 (“The Making of the Modern Middle East”); International Relations 211 (“Middle East Politics”).

3. Four (4) elective courses (16 credits), two (2) of which (8 credits) must be from

  • Group One: Humanities (language, literature, the arts, history, philosophy, and religion and interdisciplinary courses in these areas); In order to count toward the major, Studio Art or performance courses must be supplemented with analytical written work.

and two (2) (8 credits) must be from

  • Group Two: Social Science (anthropology, economics, geography, international relations, linguistics, politics, sociology, and interdisciplinary courses in these areas).

At least three (3) courses (12 credits) must be 300-level courses. A course that is taught outside of Mount Holyoke must be approved by the chair of the Asian Studies Program to count as a 300-level course.  One (1) of the three 300-level courses must be a non-language course.