MES Major


Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies


Description of Major
The participating departments (Anthropology, Classics, Economics, English, History, Modern Languages, Music, Religion and Urban and Regional Planning) offer an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in Middle Eastern Studies designated for: (1) general liberal arts students who wish to learn more about the Middle East; (2) students who wish to pursue graduate work in this field; and (3) students who seek employment in or relating to the Middle East. The major will be administered by the Middle East Center, a new venture at Florida State University. A BA degree in Middle Eastern Studies responds directly to a national as well as a regional demand for resources and information to educate students, professionals, and the surrounding community about this important region of the world.

Prerequisite Coursework
There is no prerequisite coursework for the major, but students are encouraged to take lower level introductory courses in some of the related disciplines. Such courses serve as background for the major and may meet prerequisites for more advanced courses in the major. Students are encouraged to begin study in Arabic or Hebrew earlier, and to take any culture and history courses that relate to the Middle East.
Requirements for graduation in the College of Arts and Sciences include: a minimum of six hours each in written communication, humanities, and natural science, and three hours each in history and mathematics. These should be completed as part of the general education/Liberal Studies program. In addition, students must complete a foreign language through the intermediate (2200 or equivalent) level.

Admission Requirements to Major Program of Studies:
Students must complete at least 52 semester hours of credit with a minimum grade point average of 2.0, at least half the required Liberal Studies hours including English and mathematics, or an A.A. Degree.


Major Program of Studies at FSU
Students majoring in the program are to construct their study program around three components, in consultation with an adviser, in addition to the University requirement for Liberal Studies and Electives. A total of 54 hours beyond Liberal Studies is required. The three major components for a BA degree in Middle Eastern Studies are:

  1. Major requirement. Students are to take a minimum of 36 hours from among those area specific upper level courses listed for their major track. The credit hours should come from at least 3 participating departments.
  2. A Middle East Survey requirement. Students are required to take 3 credit hours of a Middle East Survey course.
  3. A language requirement. 15 hours of coursework is required in a relevant area language (Arabic, Hebrew or any other Middle East language that might be offered on campus in the future). The 15 hours must come from one language. Students will be encouraged to bring their chosen language up to an effective level of proficiency in both reading and speaking by either taking additional coursework on the FSU campus or by participating in a semester or summer abroad program in their relevant cultural area as such programs are available. To encourage the achievement of language proficiency, language coursework hours taken beyond the 15 hour foreign language requirement may be counted towards the required 36 hours for the major.

Minimum Program Requirements - Summary

Liberal Studies 36 hours
Major Coursework 39 hours
Middle East Survey 3 hours
Foreign Language 15* hours
Electives 30 hours
Total Required 120 hours

*Students selecting the Middle Eastern Studies with an minor in Arabic option should start on their language no later than their sophomore year and will be encouraged to start the learning process as early as their freshman year.

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