Middle East Studies Minor

The minor in Middle Eastern Studies is an interdisciplinary program that seeks to familiarize students with the histories, geographies, religions, cultures, arts, languages, and politics of the region known as the Middle East. It draws on courses in Geography, History, Modern Foreign Languages, Political Science, and Religion, fostering connections between different disciplinary approaches to the study of the region. The program thus provides a foundation of knowledge and learning about the Middle East (including the Arab World, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and Israel), while privileging no single country, theme, or political position. Through this program, students will gain both specialized knowledge and broad understanding about this dynamic region, in a manner that promotes dialogue, understanding, and awareness of the Middle East and its place in the world.


1. Two sequential semesters of instruction in any Middle Eastern language at Mary Washington or at a comparable institution for transfer credit (6 credits; to be approved by the program director)

2. Four non-language courses in Middle Eastern Studies, chosen at the 300 or 400 level, or RELG 210, and from at least three different departments (12 credits; see course offerings below)

3. A capstone experience in the form of a semester-long, relevant individual study project, study abroad program, or internship (3 credits; to be approved by the program director)


Nabil Al-Tikriti (History)

Mehdi Aminrazavi (Religion)

Farhang Rouhani (Geography), Program Director

Ranjit Singh (Political Science)


ARABIC 351: Classical Arabic Literature in Translation

ARABIC 352: Modern Arabic Literature in Translation

ART HISTORY/CLASSICS 305: Egyptian and Near Eastern Art and Archeology

GEOGRAPHY 304: Geography of the Middle East

GEOGRAPHY 410X: Islam and the West

HISTORY 300H/387: Turkey from Empire to Republic

HISTORY 383: Islamic Civilization I

HISTORY 384: Islamic Civilization II

HISTORY 385: The Arab-Israeli Conflict

HISTORY 386: Modern Iraq

HISTORY 471E1: Sufi Movements

HISTORY 471E2: The Great War in the Middle East

POLITICAL SCIENCE 355: Politics of the Middle East and North Africa

POLITICAL SCIENCE 471: Opposition in the Middle East

RELIGION 210: Islam

RELIGION 331: Islamic Mysticism

RELIGION 340: Mysticism East and West

RELIGION 341: Major Religious Thinkers in Islam

RELIGION 400: Islamic Philosophy and Theology