About the School


The School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies (MENAS) is a multi-disciplinary unit focusing on the region extending from Morocco to Afghanistan, which includes the Arab world, Iran, Israel, and Turkey. We provide a full range of language courses in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew (through Judaic Studies), and undergraduate and graduate courses in the history, culture, linguistics, religion, and politics of the region.

Rigorous, Interdisciplinary Education

MENAS offers small, engaging classes with dedicated, renowned professors. It provides undergraduate and graduate students with a well-rounded interdisciplinary education in preparation for careers in government service, international business, journalism, NGOs, military and advanced academic study.

MENAS offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts (BA), Master of Arts (MA), Accelerated Master of Arts (AMP), and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in Middle Eastern and North African Studies, with courses in anthropology, art and architecture, geography, history, linguistics, Islamic studies, literary studies, mass culture and media studies, minority studies, and political science. The School also offers a BA in Arabic.

MENAS is one of the few programs in the country that offers extensive language training in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. Hebrew is also offered through the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies.

MENAS offers, in conjunction with other departments, a dual MA in MENAS and Journalism, a dual MA in MENAS and Public Administration, and a dual PhD in MENAS and Anthropology.

External Support for MENAS

MENAS receives support from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, which is one of 14 Middle East centers nationally to receive National Resource Center funding. The University has had an NRC in Middle East studies since 1975, making it one of the longest consistently funded centers in the country. The Center supports students through Foreign Language and Area Studies grants, provides seed-funding for faculty positions, supports academic work through conference and events, and does community outreach.


The University is one of only seven institutions in the country selected to participate in the federally-funded Arabic Flagship program, which helps undergraduate students reach advanced-level fluency in Arabic.

Likewise, we are one of a few campuses that offer Arabic Project Global Officer (Project GO), which improves the language competency, regional expertise and intercultural communication skills of ROTC students.

MENAS is also home to the prestigious Center for Arabic Study Abroad.


Persian & Iranian studies are supported by the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute. Their support is a part of their mission of addressing the importance of Persian culture and achieving understanding through education.


MENAS has a vibrant program of Turkish language instruction which is supported by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and its National Resource Center funding.  Turkish classes at UA regularly attract the largest number of students studying the language of any university in the country and complement research and courses on Turkey and the Ottoman Empire offered across UA, including in MENAS, History, and Anthropology.