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Minor in Middle Eastern Studies


                                                                                                         Blue Mosque, Sultanahment

Middle Eastern Studies at MIT offers students the opportunity to explore the connections among culture, society, politics, economics, technology, and environment in the Middle East, including North Africa. MIT offers a number of subjects open to undergraduates which provide a variety of perspectives on the ancient, Islamic, and modern Middle East. The goal of the HASS Minor Program in Middle Eastern Studies is to lead the student from the basic language into survey subjects and then into more focused studies of individual countries or specific historical periods and to encourage analysis of the main methodological and conceptual issues in Middle Eastern Studies.

The Minor Program in Middle Eastern Studies consists of six subjects (at least three of which must be MIT subjects) arranged into four areas of study.

Area I: Language

Area II: Humanities and the Arts

Area III: Social Sciences

Area IV: Historical Studies

As with all HASS Minors, only five of the six minor subjects may be counted toward the eight-subject Institute HASS Requirement. Of these five, at most one shall count toward satisfaction of the HASS Distribution Requirement. Of the six subjects required for the minor, at least four must count only toward that minor (and not toward any other degrees, major or minor).




Two intermediate (Levels III and IV) subjects in one of the following Middle Eastern languages are required: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish. The advisor may also approve other Middle Eastern languages, such as Armenian, Greek, or Kurdish.

Because MIT does not offer instruction in these languages, students may satisfy the Area I language requirement at Harvard University or Wellesley College. They may satisfy the language requirement at other institutions provided they receive permission in advance from the HASS Minor Advisor in Middle Eastern Studies. Students who can demonstrate language competence beyond the intermediate level may either take two more advanced language subjects (highly recommended), or two more subjects from Areas II, III, and IV.


Areas II, III, IV: Four subjects to be selected from at least two areas.




4.610 Civic Architecture in Islamic History, HASS-A

4.614 Architecture in the Islamic World, HASS-A

4.617 Issues in Islamic Urbanism (G)

4.619 Historiography of Islamic Architecture (G)

4.621 Orientalism and Representation (G)




3.993 Archaeology of the Middle East, HASS-S

17.405 Seminar on Politics and Conflicts in the Middle East, HASS-S

17.565/17.567 Israel: History, Politics, Culture, and Identity, HASS-S

21H.260 Cities in the Middle East: History, Politics, and Society, HASS-S

WGS.221 Women in the Developing World, HASS-S




21H.160 Islam, the Middle East, and the West, HASS-H

21H.161 The Middle East in the Twentieth Century, HASS-H, CI-H

21H.262 Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, HASS-H

21H.365 Cultural Plurality in Modern Middle East, HASS-H

WGS.220 Women and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa, HASS-H


Courses offered elsewhere:

A substantial number of courses dealing with Middle Eastern Studies are available to our students at Wellesley College and Harvard University. Students may take relevant courses at these institutions provided they receive permission in advance from the HASS Middle Eastern Studies Minor Advisor.


This list is not exhaustive. Relevant subjects that are no longer offered and subjects with variable topics (such as “special subjects” or “selected topics” courses, for example) may also be counted at the discretion of the minor advisor.

[ ] Jointly listed subjects

(G) Graduate subjects which are open to qualified undergraduates, with the permission of the instructor


Additional information can be obtained from the Minor Advisor:
Professor Philip S. Khoury, 10-280, x3-0887
Or from the History Office, E51-255, x3-4965