B.A. in Middle East Studies

Bachelor of Arts in Middle East Studies

This major is an interdisciplinary degree which draws on courses from classics, comparative literature, economics, French, history, international relations, Judaic studies, political science and religion. It offers students interested in exploring the richness and complexity of the Middle East, broadly defined as extending from Morocco through Iran, a framework for developing both expertise and wide-ranging critical perspectives on the region’s past, present and future. The variety of courses will allow students to tailor their choices to a range of possible emphases.

Nine total courses are required for the major. No more than two courses may be counted toward this major and another major.

Requirements for the Major

I. Language

All MDES majors must demonstrate fourth semester competency in a Middle Eastern language. This can be achieved through placement, transfer credits from other institutions (subject to approval by MDES language faculty), from study abroad, or through successfully completing the level IV Arabic (ARAB 252), Persian (IRAN 250) or Hebrew (HEBR 315) courses at USC.

ARAB 252: Arabic IV*
HEBR 315: Hebrew IV*
IRAN 250: Persian IV*

II. Content Requirement

All students must take HIST 180 (an introductory survey course) which is a prerequisite for the major.

III. Content Courses

Students must also take: a) seven upper-division courses, chosen from MDES courses or from the list below; b) an eighth course, which may be level IV of Arabic, Hebrew, or Persian or an upper-division course from the MDES courses or from the list below.

ARAB 300: Introduction to Translation**
ARAB 322: Advanced Arabic I
ARAB 333: Colloquial Arabic: Regional Dialects**
ARAB 334: Media Arabic**
ARAB 352: Advanced Arabic II

IRAN 320: Advanced Persian I
IRAN 350: Advanced Persian II

MDES 312: Iran in the Middle Ages
MDES 313: Modern Iran: Fall of Monarchies and Rise of Islamic Republics
MDES 314: Political Thought In The Middle East
MDES 316: The Great Muslim Empires of the Near East and India
MDES 324: Classical Persian Literature in Translation
MDES 325: Modern Persian Literature in Translation
MDES 340: Perspectives on US Foreign Policy in the Middle East
MDES 342: Modern Arab State and Society I: Media and Intellectual Works
MDES 343: Modern Arab State and Society II: Culture and Literature
MDES 345: Sovereignty in the Middle East
MDES 461: Topics in Ancient Iranian Languages and Cultures

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

CLAS 349g: Ancient Empires
CLAS 360: Classical Arabic Literature in Translation
CLAS 378: Ptolemaic Egypt
CLAS 499: The Hellenistic World on Stones and Papyri
COLT 448: Traveling Genres: An Introduction to Modern Arabic Literature
ECON 342: Economic Development of the Middle East
FREN 448m: France and Islam [conducted in French]
HIST 324: Islam in Russia and the Soviet Union
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: International Relations of the Contemporary Middle East
IR 363: Middle East Political Economy
IR 464: U.S. Policy Towards the Middle East: 1950 to the Present
JS 314: Holy War and History: Jews, Christians & Muslims
JS 389: Culture and Society in Israel: Inventing the Dream
POSC 351: Middle East Politics
REL 315: Thought and Life of Islam
REL 316: Women and the Islamic Tradition
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.
** Counts toward major only with departmental permission.

Fall 2016 Courses

Arabic:

ARAB 122: Arabic I

ARAB 152: Arabic II

ARAB 222: Arabic III

ARAB 252: Arabic IV

ARAB 322: Advanced Arabic I

ARAB 333: Colloquial Arabic: Levantine Colloquial

ARAB 334: Media Arabic

Persian:

IRAN 120: Persian I

IRAN 220: Persian III

IRAN 320: Advanced Persian I

Iranian Studies:

GESM 120: Kings and Heroes, Villains and Saints

MDES 313: Modern Iran: Fall of Monarchies and Rise of Islamic Republic

MDES 316: The Great Muslim Empires of the Near East and India

Middle East Studies:

CLAS 378: Ptolemaic Egypt

GESM 120g: Scripture and Script: The Hebrew Bible in Modern Literature and Film

HEBR 120: Hebrew I

HEBR 220: Hebrew III

HIST 180: The Middle East

HIST 324: Islam in Russia and the Soviet Union

HIST 480: Seminar in Middle East History

IR 363: Middle East Political Economy

JS 389: Culture and Society in Israel: Inventing the Dream

MDES 340: Perspectives on US Foreign Policy in the Middle East

MDES 345: Sovereignty in the Middle East

POSC 351: Middle East Politics

Advisement

Majors in the Middle East Studies Program (MESP) can work closely with faculty.  Please contact Renee Almassizadeh to find out how.

  • USC Middle East Studies Program
  • Taper Hall 449
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-4355