The Department of Middle East Studies (MDES) is committed to the teaching and study of the languages, cultures, peoples, and societies throughout the Middle East region, with an emphasis on sustainability and globalization. MDES is home to an interdisciplinary major and minor in Middle East Studies, a minor in Iranian Studies, and a minor in Arabic. The department organizes lively and exciting lectures, colloquia, conferences, and film series on a broad range of topics ranging from politics and economics to history and the arts. Explore our programs below:
We offer an interdisciplinary degree that combines rigorous coursework, close mentorship with faculty, and the scholarly latitude to research and learn about the pressing problems of globalization and environmentalism.
Students can choose from three distinct minors to expand their breadth of knowledge on the peoples, cultures, and history of the region: Middle East Studies, Arabic, and Iranian Studies.
Our faculty teach Arabic and Persian, from beginning to advanced levels, in our top-ranked language training programs.
Your Major & Minor
We offer 1 major, 3 minors, and 3 languages
Our department is the first of its kind in the nation.
Our faculty’s research and teaching covers the peoples, cultures, politics and history of the MENA region. Specifically, we conduct teaching and pursue scholarship with a keen focus on topics related to sustainability and globalization.
Learn how we have taken a new approach with a focus on the impact of the environment on social change in the MENA region.
To receive D-Clearance on any of our courses, please contact MDES@usc.edu
Each year, students travel to the following countries below, while earning units!
Contact Peter Hilton for more information: email@example.com
Our very own students, Anthony Khoury and Faatima Abdul-Aziz, won the Best Acting awards for their short film, “Empty,” at USC’s 2022 Multilingual Student Film Festival hosted by the Center for Languages and Cultures.