Minor in Middle East Studies

    This interdisciplinary minor 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 a basic but solid understanding of the region. Students may select courses that provide a broad introduction across disciplines, or they may choose courses that address a particular historical period or theme.

    Twenty units (five courses) are required. All students must take MDES 201w or MDES 301g. To complete the minor a student must also take three upper-division courses from the list below. Students who are also studying a language may substitute ARAB 252, HEBR 315 or IRAN 250 for one of the three upper-division courses. However there is no language requirement for the minor.

    Learning Objectives

    -Foundational knowledge of the history of the MENA (Middle East/North Africa) region from classical to modern times.

    -Training in several different disciplinary approaches to the region, from history, economics, political science, and international relations, to literature and language.

    -Critical thinking skills to enable the student to place recent and current regional events in historical context.

    -Ability to question and problematize popular accounts of the region’s past and present.

    -Exposure to key elements of Middle Eastern society and culture.

    Academic Advising

    To speak to a college advisor about your interests, contact Isaura Pena (isaurape@usc.edu)


    • MDES 201: The Middle East: Global and Environmental Perspectives (GE-G)

    • MDES 301: The Global Middle East (GE-C)

    • ARAB 252: Arabic IV

      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

      CLAS 349: Ancient Empires

      CLAS 371: From Alexander to Cleopatra: The Mediterranean in an Age of Expansion

      CLAS 378: Ptolemaic Egypt

      COLT 437: Arabic Autobiography: Writing and Interpreting the Self

      COLT 447: Traveling Genres: Politics/Poetics of Modern Arabic Prose

      ECON 342: Economic Development of the Middle East

      HEBR 315: Modern Hebrew Language (Hebrew IV)*

      HIST 382: The Middle East, 500-1500

      HIST 480: Seminar in Middle East History

      IR 362: The International Relations of the Contemporary Middle East

      IR 363: Middle East Political Economy

      IR 464: US-Middle East Foreign Policy Issues

      IRAN 250: Persian IV

      IRAN 320: Advanced Persian I

      IRAN 325: Business Persian

      IRAN 350: Advanced Persian II

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

      MDES 312: Medieval Iran: Society and Culture

      MDES 313: Modern Iran

      MDES 314: Politics, Ideologies, Cultures of the Global South (GE-H)

      MDES 316: The Great Muslim Empires of the Near East and India (GE-H)

      MDES 324: Persian Literature

      MDES 325: Politics of Film and Literature in Modern Iran (GE-B)

      MDES 335: Nation and State in Modern Turkey

      MDES 340: The United States and the Middle East

      MDES 342: Arab Intellectuals in Question (GE-C)

      MDES 343: Modern Arab Culture and Literature (GE-B)

      MDES 345: Power and Authority in the Middle East (GE-H)

      MDES 375: Politics and Society in the Contemporary Middle East

      MDES 401: Environment and Politics in the Middle East

      MDES 403: Infrastructures of Dominance: Technology, Development and the Struggle for Power

      MDES 441: Cities of the Middle East (GE-G)

      MDES 475: Seminar in Middle East Studies

      POSC 351: Middle East Politics

      REL 394: Archaeology of Egypt and the Near East

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

    From our student

    Shaunt Kludjian is a sophomore in the Department of Middle East Studies

    Not only does the Department of Middle East Studies teach the rich history of the region meticulously, they also guide and support their students to think about and prepare for the future. We are taught to question the details of the details, to understand the region in all of its complexity.
    With the guidance of the extraordinary staff and faculty, we, the students, are encouraged to explore the Middle East as scholars and researchers.