Study the Middle East at USC!

The Middle East Studies Program (MESP) at USC Dornsife is committed to the teaching and study of languages, cultures, and societies from North Africa and the Gulf to the Levant and Central Asia.   With core faculty in Arabic, Persian, History, Literature and International Relations, as well as affiliated faculty in Economics, Political Science, Religion and Classics, it is home to an interdisciplinary major and minor in Middle East Studies as well as a minor in Iranian Studies. The program organizes lively and exciting lectures, colloquia, conferences, and film series on a broad range of topics ranging from politics and economics to religion and popular culture.  


Read more about the Middle East Studies Program.

Click here to view the current Schedule of Classes.




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Nader Shah: Warlord or National Hero? : Professor Rudi Matthee

Neither East nor West: Professor Rudi Matthee

Introduction to Islam: Professor Sherman Jackson

Sherman Jackson, the King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture and Professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity teaches a GE course, Introduction to Islam.

Video by Mira Zimet


Dornsife students describe how they use their SOAR (Student Opportunities for Academic Research) funds to assist faculty research or to support their own research project.

Video by Mira Zimet

Problems Without Passports

Problems Without Passports shows undergraduate researchers that big issues transcend national borders.

Video by Mira Zimet

Global Experiences

Video by Mira Zimet

Choosing Your Major

USC College students provide testimonials on the decision-making process for choosing a major.

Archaeology Research

Undergraduate students work with Professor Lynn Dodd on photographing ancient Indian artifacts for preservation.

Video by Mira Zimet

The Romance of Archeology

Archeology major Jenny Crawford ('10) talks about her experience traveling to Peru last summer to work on a few archeological digs.

Video by Mira Zimet

USC Dornsife Middle East Studies Program Inaugural Farhang Foundation Iranian Studies Initiative Conference

Click here to read about the inaugural Iranian Studies Initiative conference.

If you missed the event, watch the morning and afternoon panels.

Upcoming Events

No new upcoming events.

For more information on past events, click here

Farhang Foundation sponsors Iranian Studies Initiative

Photo Contest Winners

Emma Katz won First Prize with the 2 photos below:

1st Photo:

While I studied abroad in Amman, Jordan, I took this picture of a staircase I discovered while exploring one of my favorite neighborhoods.  The staircase led up a steep hill- one of many in Amman -and bridged two halves of a famous art gallery.  I'm not sure who painted the stairs, or for what purpose, but it was a beautiful, vibrant discovery- the kind Amman is full of.


2nd Photo:

One of the most memorable trips I took while in Jordan was a journey north of Amman, to the Roman ruins at Umm Qais.  The ruins themselves were impressive, but the view from the hilly top of Umm Qais was spectacular.  From this site, I stood in Jordan while looking out on Israel, the Golan Heights, and Syria simultaneously.  It was an extraordinary experience to see the countries I have spent time studying become physically present


Nesma Tawil won Second Prize for her photo below:

Protest in Gezi Park. Istanbul, Turkey. Summer 2013.

Congratulations to USC Global Scholar - Nora Pearl Snyder, Spring 2014 graduate (Middle East Studies/International Relations)

Congratulations to USC Renaissance Scholar - Adeel Mohammadi, Spring 2014 graduate (Biological Sciences/Religion; Economics/Middle East Studies)

Daily Trojan covers Springborg Lecture

Congratulations to the five delegates from the Middle East Studies Program who successfully represented the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in the Model Arab League on March 14-16!

Study Abroad in the Middle East

Read the experiences of Middle East Studies student Kevin Steen in his blog about his travels abroad based in Amman Spring 2012.

Expand your career options

Become an informed world citizen. Middle East expertise can help you further your goals in business, government, medicine, engineering, law, and public policy. 


Studying in Jordan: Anna Miner

Studying in Jordan: Anna Miner

Watch this & more videos >

  • USC Middle East Studies Program
  • Taper Hall 449
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0151
  • Images courtesy of Ed Ou Photography and USC Dornsife Office of Overseas Studies