BA Middle Eastern North African Studies

Bachelor of Arts

Middle Eastern & North African Studies

"Today, more than ever, it is important that we have people in America who know a lot about the region, who can do away with the stereotypes and really appreciate the region for its richness and its diversity" - Leah Cowder, MENAS Alumni, Rhodes Scholar

About the Major

With nearly half a billion people calling the MENA region home, it remains a mystery to many in the West. Our program seeks to bridge this gap, offering an interdisciplinary approach that illuminates the cultures, histories, and politics of this vital region. Whether you're drawn to government service, academia, international business, or further studies, a Bachelor of Arts in MENAS provides a solid foundation for diverse career paths.

Through a diverse array of courses spanning religious studies, political science, history, literature, geography, sociology, archaeology, linguistics, and architecture, you will gain a holistic understanding of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). From ancient civilizations to modern geopolitics, our curriculum equips you with powerful knowledge about this pivotal part of the world.

One of the distinctive features of our program is the emphasis on language proficiency. You will not only engage with the region's cultures intellectually but also linguistically, achieving at least intermediate-level proficiency in a Middle Eastern language— Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish. This linguistic competency opens doors to deeper connections and insights, fostering a truly immersive learning experience.

Upon completion of the program, you will emerge with a comprehensive skill set and a nuanced understanding of the MENA region. You will be able to identify major historical periods, analyze social and cultural dynamics, critically evaluate media discourse, and conduct independent research. Moreover, you will achieve proficiency in a MENA language, enabling meaningful cross-cultural communication and engagement.

Join us as we unravel the mysteries of the Middle East and North Africa. Expand your horizons, deepen your knowledge, and embark on a transformative educational journey with Middle East and North African Studies.

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Areas of Study

Business & Economics

Explore the business landscape, economic dynamics, and entrepreneurial opportunities in the region, fostering an understanding of its commercial potential and challenges.

Culture & Language

Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Middle Eastern and North African cultures, while also equipping yourself with linguistic proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish, enabling effective cross-cultural communication and engagement.

Law, Policy & Social Justice

Examine legal systems, governmental policies, and social justice issues in the region, gaining insights into the complexities of governance, human rights, and societal transformations.

Arts & Media

Explore the psychological underpinnings of artistic expression, audience engagement, and media consumption, analyzing the impact of cultural products on human behavior and societal norms.

Social & Behavioral Sciences

Delve into the social and behavioral sciences within the context of the region, studying topics such as sociology, anthropology, and political science to understand societal structures, dynamics, and transformations.

Required Minor

Students are required to complete a minor or dual major. Some areas of interest that complement the major are business, political science, government policy, education, and law.

Career Pathways

Our graduates are often drawn to careers in academia, government services, international business, and teaching. These roles could look like:

  • Government Diplomat
  • International Relations Specialist
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • NGO Program Manager
  • Intelligence Analyst


  • Journalist/Correspondent
  • International Business Consultant
  • Policy Analyst
  • Researcher
  • Academic Professor

Undergraduate Independent Study

Please contact the MENAS department for more information on enrolling in an independent study course.

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