Middle Eastern Studies - Arabic Program

Middle Eastern Studies - Arabic Program

IAS Middle Eastern Studies - Arabic Program
Department Information: 
273 HRCB

The Major

Middle East Studies is a challenging liberal arts major that examines a wide range of important issues affecting the modern Middle East, including the countries of the Arab world, Israel, Turkey, and Iran.  All students gain a broad background in Middle Eastern history, geography, politics, culture, religion, literature, and language.  Students complete at least three years of Arabic, including an intensive study abroad experience, which leads to advanced language proficiency. Additionally, students select one of two disciplinary tracks: Social Sciences or History and Humanities.

Students begin the major by studying first-year Arabic (ARAB 101/102) and by completing the introductory core curriculum (MESA 201: Introduction to Middle East Studies and MESA 250: Introduction to the Religion of Islam). Students then take second-year Arabic (ARAB 201/202) along with a core curriculum in their chosen disciplinary track. These track requirements include introductory and methodology courses in the chosen discipline, as well as course work in Middle East history, geography, politics, and literature. Following ARAB 202, majors travel to Jordan for a semester-long intensive Arabic program and a two-week Israel/Palestine studies course in Israel.  Students finish the major by choosing from a range of elective courses and completing a capstone research seminar (MESA 495).  Some students may choose to continue with an additional year of Arabic, leading to a double major in Arabic language.  

Educational and Career Opportunities

MESA students have access to a wide range of resources, including the Middle East Studies/Arabic Students Association (MESAS), which sponsors academic, social, and service events on campus and in the community. Students can access Arabic tutoring, peer mentoring and faculty mentoring programs, and connect with alumni in many fields who provide advice on entering professions. Many students compete nationally in Model Arab League, and all students are encouraged to complete an internship prior to graduation. Majors develop excellent writing and problem-solving skills that enable them to succeed in the workforce. The combined training in Middle Eastern affairs, Arabic, and an academic discipline enables students to develop analytical skills that are useful in many professions. MESA graduates work in government, education, journalism, business, law, health professions, nonprofit, and many other sectors.

Graduation Requirements

To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

  • The University Core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education. (For a complete listing of courses that meet university core requirements, see here.)
  • At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office

Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.