Middle East & North African Studies

Middle East and North African Studies Minor

An interdisciplinary minor providing students with a multifaceted approach to the language, history, politics, religion, culture, and economics of the Middle East and North African region

professor at white board



Program faculty

Over 20

Related courses


Disciplines included in the curriculum

An established program

We've been building our MENA program for over a decade. Consistent on-campus language courses and diverse offerings across the curriculum mean that students can design this minor to complement their other coursework, interests, and career goals.

Advanced Arabic language training

Minors take at least three semesters; language courses are available through the advanced level in MSA and in colloquial dialects.

Three options for study away

Students can spend a semester doing coursework for the minor in Jordan, Morocco, or Jerusalem

A flexible minor that students tailor to their interests

Students take a regional survey on culture, history, politics, or religion; we also require three semesters of language study. Students choose their remaining courses according to their interests.

This minor can be completed in two years. In the first year (no matter what year the student is), they begin the first two courses of the Arabic sequence. Students should also take one of the survey courses before moving on to more advanced coursework.

Arabic course eating at professors house

Students complete the third semester of language study; interested students can continue to pursue Arabic beyond this point as well. Students should also take the two more focused classes for the minor. We recommend that at least one of these be at the 300 or 400 level.

arab spring aftermath study

Many students complete coursework for the minor in a third year.

professor teaching

Learning Outcomes


the historical, cultural, social, and political traditions that influence the Middle East and North Africa;


how to counteract reductionist and ethnocentric estimations of the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa;

Locate, critically analyze, interpret, and discuss

cultural and religious texts and political and social forces;

Express and apply

concepts and knowledge to engage in informed conversations about important issues related to the region;


skills, knowledge, and nuanced perspectives that are necessary for effective global citizens actively engaging in an increasingly interconnected world.

Grant Marthinsen, Alumnus

Class of 2018, International Studies Major – MENA Track/Religious Studies Minor

“ The flexibility an interdisciplinary major offers in terms of what you can take … has been incredibly helpful in making the education and the classes feel relevant to what I’m interested in. ”

Where do MENA Alumni end up?

MENA is a great complement to many fields!

Diplomacy, Consulting, Intelligence, Military

Development, NGOs

Business, Law

Activism, Environmental Lobbying


Foreign Language


Next Steps

Early Decision App Deadline

November 15, 2022

Regular Decision App Deadline

February 15, 2023

For More Info

Shanna Kirschner

Minor Coordinator