Middle East Studies Major

For students who want to explore the Middle East more deeply, this major is a multi-disciplinary program that includes three years of foreign language study.

Students build skills and knowledge through coursework in three areas: A) History, B) Language and Literature, and C) Social and Cultural Studies. They complete their degree with a capstone course that draws upon that expertise. The three-years of foreign language study is typically in Arabic, though the program can accept transfer credit in other languages with certain conditions.

The program allows for an emphasis on the transnational and diasporic experiences of people with heritage ties to the region so students can take advantage of our campus’ Center for Arab American Studies and the Armenian Research Center.

In addition to preparing students for graduate study of the modern Middle East, this BA program provides a solid foundation for a variety of careers in which language, social, and cultural expertise alongside oral and written communication skills are desirable.

For students who want to highlight their coursework in Middle East Studies in another way, consider the Middle East Studies Certificate.

What Will I Learn?

Students who complete the BA in Middle East Studies should be able to demonstrate:
  1. The ability to formulate viable research projects in Middle East Studies.  
  2. The ability to contextualize that research within the scholarly literature of Middle East Studies generally and relevant subfields (e.g. History, Anthropology).
  3. The ability to interpret the history and culture of specific locales in the Middle East within regional, transnational and global contexts.
  4. The proficiency in one Middle Eastern language (typically Arabic) as demonstrated via an assessment OR the completion of three years of university level foreign language study with a B average.

Visit the University Catalog

Beginning in Fall 2023, you can visit the University Catalog to learn about degree requirements and coursework for the Middle East Studies major.

Also learn about requirements and coursework for the Middle East Studies certificate.

General Program Information

Frequently asked questions about studying the Middle East at UM-Dearborn

Starting in Fall 2023, there are two ways you can focus on Middle East Studies: the MEST BA or the MEST Certificate.

(Please visit the MEST Certificate website for more information on this program.)

MEST Course Groups

  • Courses with an * can be applied to the capstone requirement.
  • MEST 3000 can be applied to Group A, B or C. 
  • MEST 3900 and MEST 4000 and MEST 4900 can be applied to Group A, B, or C by petition (as they depend on the particular project students complete in those courses).

Learn About Our Faculty

Middle East Studies faculty teach and do research in diverse fields. Click the link below to read more about us and our work.

Associated MEST Faculty

Middle East Studies Steering Committee

Dr. Cam Amin
Dr. Camron Amin - MEST Coordinator

Camron Michael Amin, Ph.D.

Middle East Studies (MEST) Discipline and Certificate Coordinator, Professor of Middle East and Iranian Diaspora Studies

For more information about the program or certificate, contact [email protected]

Teaching Areas: 

Arab American Studies, History, Middle East Studies, Women's & Gender Studies

Research Areas: 

Iran / Iranian Studies, Women and Gender Studies



Hani Bawardi
Dr. Hani Bawardi

Hani Bawardi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History

[email protected]

Teaching Areas:

Arab American Studies, History, Middle East Studies

Research Areas:

Arab American Studies, Immigrants / Immigration



Ara Sanjian
Dr. Ara Sanian

Ara Sanjian, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History; Director of Armenian Research Center

[email protected]

Teaching Areas:

Arab American Studies, Armenian, History, Middle East Studies

Research Areas:


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