B.A. in Middle East Studies

Required courses:

  • HIST 180: The Middle East (an introductory survey course which is a prerequisite for the major);

  • Seven more courses, six of which must be a MDES upper-division course, or one chosen from the list below; and

  • An eighth course, which may be either an upper-division MDES course, a course chosen from the list below, or the fourth semester of Arabic or Hebrew.


MDES 250: Persian IV*

MDES 252: Arabic IV*

MDES 312: Iran in the Middle Ages

MDES 313: Modern Iran

MDES 320: Advanced Persian I

MDES 322: Advanced Arabic I

MDES 324: Classical Persian Literature

MDES 325: Modern Persian Literature

MDES 333: Colloquial Arabic: Regional Dialects

MDES 334: Media Arabic

MDES 350: Advanced Persian II

MDES 352: Advanced Arabic II

MDES 454: Classical Arabic

MDES 461: Topics in Ancient Iranian Languages and Cultures

Many of the following courses are also cross-listed under MDES.

ANTH 327: Anthropology of the Middle East and Islam

ANTH 335: Comparative Muslim Societies

CLAS 349g: Ancient Empires

CLAS 360: Classical Arabic Literature in Translation

CLAS 378: Ptolemaic Egypt

ECON 322: Economic History and Modernization of the Middle East

ECON 342: Economic Development of the Middle East

FREN 448m: Islam in France [conducted in French]

HIST 324: Islam in Russia and the Soviet Union

HIST 379: Arabs in America

HIST 382: The Middle East 500-1500

HIST 383: The Modern Middle East

HIST 384: Popular Culture in the Middle East

HIST 480: Seminar in Middle East History

IR 362: The International Relations of the Contemporary Middle East

IR 463: Islam and Arab Nationalism

IR 464: U.S. Policy Towards the Middle East: 1950 to the Present

JS 361: Scripture and Polemic in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

JS 378: Jewish Magic in the Ancient World

POSC: 351 Middle East Politics

POSC: 363 Middle East Political Economy

REL: 302 Religions of Ancient Egypt and the Near East

REL: 315 Thought and Life of Islam

REL: 316 Women and the Islamic Tradition

REL: 317 Ancient Near Eastern Myth and Literature

REL: 394 Archaeology of Egypt and the Near East

REL: 402 Cultural Heritage, Religion and Politics in the Middle East

REL: 414 History of Islamic Law

REL: 494 Lab Methods and Theories in Archaeology


*Counts as an upper division course.

No more than two courses may be counted toward this major and another major.

  • 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
  • Phone: (213) 740 - 2795