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Middle East Studies

The Middle East Studies Program offers students an interdisciplinary minor aimed at a comparative study of the Middle East (including North Africa). The minor curriculum's "Core Courses" emphasize the study of the Middle East since the emergence of Islam, while "Supporting Courses" may include further study of the ancient, medieval, or modern Middle East, or a three-quarter sequence of a Middle Eastern language.

Middle East Studies students are encouraged to Study Abroad. Approved courses taken at other universities or through participation in the Education Abroad Program can be included as part of the minor by petition.


Program Director

Babak Rahimi
Associate Professor, Literature

Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor

Jennifer Dieli
Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor
Ridge Walk Academic Complex - Arts and Humanities Building, 6th Floor, Room 655

Current UC San Diego undergraduate students, please use the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) for all advising questions.


Guillermo Algaze
Distinguished Professor, Anthropology

Amanda Batarseh
Assistant Professor, Literature

Eli Berman
Professor, Economics

Suzanne Brenner
Associate Professor, Anthropology

Gary Fields
Professor, Communication

Thomas Gallant
Distinguished Professor, History

Hasan Kayali
Professor, History

Michael Provence
Professor, History

Gershon Shafir
Distinguished Professor, Sociology

Nir Shafir
Assistant Professor, History

Oumelbanine Zhiri
Professor, Literature


Middle East Studies Minor

The minor consists of 5-7 upper division courses, or 4 upper division courses and a 3 course sequence of a Middle Eastern language. 3 of the upper division courses have to deal with the Middle East since the emergence of Islam, listed under "Core Courses" in the UC San Diego General Catalog. All courses used to meet requirements for a minor in Middle East Studies must be taken for a letter grade and be passed with a grade of C- or better.



UC San Diego Undergraduate Student Resources

Course Offerings

Course Offerings

Refer to the official UC San Diego General Catalog for a complete list of approved courses that will count toward a minor in Middle East Studies.

Course offerings are constantly changing. Please refer to the Schedule of Classes for the most up-to-date listing.

(*) Indicates course may be petitioned for credit. Instructions on How to Petition Courses.

Fall 2023

  • *LTEN 179. Topics: Arab/Muslim American Identity and Culture
  • *HINE 128. History of the Middle East: The Early Medieval Period, 500–1000
  • *HINE 137. Two Peoples-Palestine/Israel
  • JWSP 1. Beginning Hebrew
  • JWSP 104. Practicum in Advanced Hebrew

Winter 2024

  • JWSP 2. Intermediate Hebrew
  • *COMM 158. Representations of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict
  • HINE 109. History of the Ottoman Empire +
  • HINE 116. Middle East (1798-1914)
  • *HINE 129. History of the Middle East:The Late Medieval Period, 1000–1500
  • SOCI 158. Islam in the Modern World

Spring 2024

  • *HINE 100. The Hebrew Bible and History
  • HINE 118. The Middle East in the Twentieth Century
  • HINE 120. Middle East in the New Century
  • HINE 145. Islam and Science: The History of Science in the Middle East (600–1950)


Past Events

2018 - 2019

February 21, 2019
The Black Winter of 1860 - 61: War, Famine, and The Political Ecology of Disasters in Qajar Iran with Dr. Ranin Kazemi, Associate Professor of History at San Diego State University. 

2017 - 2018

October 26, 2017
Mafia State: The Politics of Organized Crime in Contemporary Turkey with Ryan Gingeras, Associate Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School

December 7, 2017
The Demise of the US-Turkish Partnership? Strategic Partnership in the Erdogan and Trump Presidencies with Sinan Ciddi, Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies and a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University

June 5, 2018
Why Destroy Yemen?: Roots to the World's Greatest Humanitarian Catastrophe with Isa Blumi, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor in the Department for Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies at Stockholm University

2016 - 2017

February 21, 2017
From Japanese Internment to the Muslim Ban: History Forgotten and Remembered with Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy, Dr. Simeon Man, Dr. Wendy Matsuura, and Dr. Michael Provence

February 23, 2017
Imperfect Strangers: Americans, Arabs, And U.S.— Middle East Relations in the 1970s with Salim Yaqub, Professor of History at University of California, Santa Barbara.


Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for responses to commonly asked questions. If you have further questions, please contact the Middle East Studies program through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).

What are core courses?

Core courses deal with the Middle East since the emergence of Islam. Please refer to UC San Diego's General Course Catalog for a complete list of Middle East Studies core courses.

Can I take courses P/NP for the Middle East Studies minor?

No, courses must be taken for a letter grade.

I've taken lower division courses at my community college. Can they count toward my minor?

You will need to petition the course to see if it will apply toward the minor.

Instructions on How to Petition Courses

I found a UC San Diego course I want to use for the Middle East Studies minor. Can I take it?

You will need to petition the course to see if it will apply toward the minor.

Instructions on How to Petition Courses