Middle East Studies Minor

History (HIST)
2115 Francis Scott Key Hall
Phone: 301-405-4265

Director: Shay Hazkani, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-405-3693

3107 Taliaferro Hall
Phone: 301-405-4306

The Middle East Studies Minor (MESM) introduces students to the history, culture, and politics of the Middle East since the emergence of Islam. MESM balances coursework in the contemporary period with exposure to the pre-twentieth-century political, intellectual, and religious experience of the region, its ethnic and religious make-up, and the rich culture that these together engendered.

To make an appointment to explore or declare a minor, go to http://arhu.umd.edu/academics/undergraduate-studies/minors/.

The Minor in Middle Eastern Studies requires 15-18 credits (5 courses; some language courses carry more than 3 credit hours per course). Coursework must be distributed to meet the overlapping requirements below. (For example, HIST120:  Islamic Civilization can be used to meet both the pre-modern requirement and the Arab world requirement, but does not count doubly in terms of credit.)

Course Title Credits
Area Distribution
Select at least one course in each of two of the following Area categories: 16
The Arab world
Iran and the Persian/Iranian world
(Middle Eastern) Jewish and Israel
Turkish and Ottoman
Middle Eastern Diasporas and All Middle East
Select at least two courses that focus on the pre-modern period (the 7th century through the 19th century) 26
Select one course from the list of approved Middle East Studies courses 33
Total Credits15

Other areas of concentration may be considered and require the director’s approval.


Students may fulfill this requirement through their area distribution or elective courses.


A language course of 3 or more credits may be used to satisfy this requirement.  Advanced Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, or Turkish language courses that are content courses rather than grammar-based can be used for the Elective category or count toward Area Distribution and/or Pre-Modern, depending on subject matter.

Additional Requirements

  • A minimum of 3 courses (9 credits) must be at the upper level (3xx- or 4xx-level).
  • All credits must be earned with a grade of "C-" or above (no Pass/Fail option).
  • An overall GPA of 2.0 in the minor is required for graduation.
  • A list of qualifying courses in each category is available from the academic advisor of the minor and on MESM’s webpage.
  • Only one 1xx or 2xx-level or grammar based course in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish may be credited toward the Minor.
  • At least six credits of 3xx or 4xx-level credit must be taken at the University of Maryland.
  • No more than six credits may be taken at an institution other than Maryland.
  • A maximum of two courses can count towards both the major and the minor.
  • Courses cannot count towards multiple minors.