Israel Studies Minor

Program Director: Dr. Ilai Saltzman

Students doing a Minor in Israel Studies will study the history, culture and political structure of Israel and its place in the Middle East.  Students from all majors are encouraged to apply.

To make an appointment to explore or declare a minor go to:

Students should also contact Dr. Ilai Saltzman, Israel Studies Advisor
4123 H.J. Patterson Hall
College Park, MD 20742
Or visit:

The minor consists of 15 credits, and is organized around the following requirements:

Course Title Credits
Required Core Courses
ISRL342/HIST376History of Modern Israel 13
ISRL448Seminar in Israel Studies3
Select one course in the area of Middle East Studies: 23
Islamic Civilization
History of the Ottoman Empire
Elective Courses
Select six credits of the following:6
New Explorations in Israel Studies (ISRL289I)
Seminar in Israel Studies (ISRL448A)
Seminar in Israel Studies (ISRL448B)
Advanced Topics in Israel Studies
Elementary Hebrew I 3
Elementary Hebrew II 3
Intermediate Hebrew I 3
Intermediate Hebrew II 3
Elementary Modern Standard Arabic I-II 3
Elementary Modern Standard Arabic III-IV 3
Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic I 3
Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic II 3
Egyptian Colloquial Arabic II 3
Advanced Modern Standard Arabic I
Advanced Modern Standard Arabic II
Critical Approaches to Israeli Culture
Conversation and Composition I
Conversation and Composition II
Introduction to Hebrew Cultural Studies
Readings in Modern Hebrew
Modern Hebrew Literature in Translation
Total Credits15

A comparable course at another university may substitute for this; consult the Minor Advisor


To fulfill the Middle East Studies requirement, students must take one of the courses listed below or a comparable course. Courses within ISRL cannot be counted for this requirement. This list is not complete; other courses may be substituted with the approval of the Advisor. Students may also take one additional course from this list as an elective for credit toward the Minor. Other courses in Middle East Studies at UMD or elsewhere may be substituted for those on this list in consultation with the Advisor. HIST, COMM, GVPT, and SLLC all regularly offer special topics courses on the Middle East.


No more than 3 credits of language instruction below the 3xx-level may be credited toward the Minor.


Special Topics in Israel: (Topics change on an annual/semester basis, generally taught by distinguished visiting faculty.)

Special Topics in recent years have included:  The Arab-Israeli Conflict through Film; Introduction to Israeli Cinema; Immigration & Ethnicity in Israel; Israel Politics and Society; Women and Gender in Israel; Public Culture in Israel;  Israel Society as Seen Through Literature & Culture; Cultural Diversity and Multiple Identities in Contemporary Israeli Society; Society Politics and Mass Media in Israel; The Theater of Terror: Modern Terrorism and Mass Media; Israeli Politics for Young Leaders, and more.

Other courses may be applied toward the minor by petition.


  • Coursework must include at least 9 3xx or 4xx-level credits, of which 6 of those credits MUST be taken at University of Maryland.  These include credits earned in UM Study Abroad programs.
  • A student may use a maximum of 6 credits (two courses) to satisfy requirements for both a major and a minor.  Courses completed for one minor, may not be used to satisfy the requirements for another minor.
  • No courses with an earned grade below “C-” may count towards the minor.
  • An overall GPA of 2.0 in the minor is required for graduation.
  • Up to 2 courses may be taken at another university if the courses are approved by the Israel Studies Advisor. These would include credits earned in non-UM Study Abroad Programs.