The interdisciplinary major in Middle Eastern Studies (MES) provides an opportunity to study a region of historic and cultural importance whose current development is bound up with the political, economic, and cultural development of our own society. The Middle East encompasses the Arab world, Turkey, Iran, and Israel. This program is designed to allow students to study the culture and history of the region; its basic geographic, demographic, and ethnographic characteristics; recent political, economic, social, and cultural changes; and at least one of the major Middle Eastern languages of today.
The MES major is not to be confused with the major in Near Eastern Studies (NES). The NES major emphasizes language and literature and includes the study of the ancient Middle East. Students interested in those fields should contact the Near Eastern Studies Department in 250 Barrows Hall, 510-642-3757. Both MES and NES also offer minors.