Major in Middle East and North African Studies
As of June 1, 2020, and until further notice, the MENA Program is waiving the study/experience abroad requirement for the MENA Studies major. Please write the MENA Studies Director (Rebecca Johnson) with any questions about this Covid-19 temporary waiver.
Major requirements (15 units)
- Language requirement: 6 units in MENA language courses beyond the first year in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish. Native-speaker proficiency does not count for course credit; comparable proficiency in the language, determined by appropriate testing, fulfills the language requirement but does not earn course credit.
- 9 additional course units
- MENA 200: Making the Modern Middle East: Culture, Politics, History (offered annually)
- 2 course units of MENA 301
- 6 course units distributed among the three disciplinary categories:
* 2 in history
* 2 in social sciences (including anthropology, economics, linguistics, political science, psychology, and sociology)
* 2 in humanities (including art history, art theory and practice, comparative literary studies, English, humanities, philosophy, and religious studies)
* At least 5 of the above 6 disciplinary courses must relate to the Middle East, including North Africa. The other, if not in the MENA region, should be related to the student’s focus within the major, either supplementing the student’s disciplinary training/focus, providing comparative perspective on the MENA region, or in a region adjacent to MENA (e.g., Sub-Saharan Africa; South Asia), and approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
* Additional quarters of MENA 301 (beyond the 2 required for the major) may be taken for major credit, so long as content varies, with the permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Additional credits beyond the 2nd credit of MENA 301 apply to the discipline of the professor teaching the course.
* At most 2 courses may be double-counted toward another major.
- Study abroad: The major requires a study abroad experience in the Middle East or North Africa, which may be fulfilled by completing a summer language institute in the region, summer research, or via a study abroad program during the academic year. Students should explore possible study abroad options early in their sophomore year. In exceptional cases, a student may petition the Director of the MENA Program, in writing for a waiver of this requirement.
- Honors (optional): Thesis (two quarters, enrolled as independent studies during the senior year, which count toward nine course units in 2.b. above, and distributed in any two of the three disciplinary categories, with a maximum of 1 credit per category), reviewed by the MENA Executive Committee for honors. Students must apply to the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the spring of their junior year to write a thesis. Applications (consisting of a 1-2 pp. description of the project, 1 p. bibliography, and letter of endorsement by the advising faculty member) are reviewed by the MENA Executive Committee. Note that acceptance into the honors thesis program is not a guarantee that the thesis or the student will receive honors in the MENA major.
Minor in Middle East and North African Studies
Minor requirements (8 units)
Students need 8 courses to complete the minor. Only 2 of these can be language courses, but language courses are not required for the minor.
- At least 2 courses are selected from each of the three disciplinary categories:
- 2 in history
- 2 in social sciences (including anthropology, economics, linguistics, political science, psychology, and sociology)
- 2 in humanities (including art history, art theory and practice, comparative literary studies, English, humanities, philosophy, and religious studies)
- All 8 courses must relate to the Middle East, including North Africa.
- Courses must be chosen from an approved list or in consultation with Katherine Hoffman, Director of the MENA Program, or Bianca Jimenez, Senior Associate Director of the Center for International and Area Studies.
- Students who satisfactorily complete two years of language study in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish may complete the minor with only 6 disciplinary courses. Native-speaker proficiency does not count for course credit; native speakers may take 2 courses in another non-native language towards the minor, or take 8 non-language courses.
- There is no study abroad required for the minor.