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Academics: Near Eastern Studies

Academics: Near Eastern Studies

With a minor in Near Eastern Studies, you’ll take coursework exploring the history, politics, and cultures of the Near East and North Africa region and then study at one of our partner institutions in Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, or Israel. You can expect to deepen your facility in language and immerse yourself in the cultures of this fascinating part of the world where civilization began.


Minors may choose to study at American University in Cairo.Minors may choose to study at American University in Cairo.In this interdisciplinary minor, students complete six courses focused on the Near East and North Africa in at least three different departments across two divisions. Since language is essential to understanding any culture, students are also required to take French at Washington College or study Arabic, Turkish, or Hebrew at a partner institution. Finally, minors must submit a research paper on the region (ordinarily as part of the required coursework for the minor).

Academic Requirements

Of the six courses required for the minor, two must be introductory courses (listed below; preferably taken during the freshman and sophomore years), and four must be upper-level courses, taken both at Washington College and in the region itself. Two of the upper-level courses must be taken at Washington College, and two must be taken abroad. Alternatively, participation in a Washington College summer program plus one additional course at Washington College may substitute for two courses abroad.

Options for introductory coursework
  • ANT 105. Introduction to Anthropology
  • ECN 111. Principles of Macroeconomics
  • HIS 203, 204, 205, 206 Modern World History I, II or Early Western Civilization I, II
  • POL 104. Introduction to World Politics
Recommended upper-level courses offered at Washington College:
  • HIS 357 Early Islamic Civilization
  • POL 388 US Foreign Policy in the Middle East
  • FRS 312 The Contemporary Francophone World
  • Other special topics courses as approved by the program chair

For more information, contact the director of the minor, Tahir Shad.

  • Carson Thomas ’19

    Supported by College Trustee Ralph Snyderman ’61, environmental science major Carson Thomas ’19 studied abroad in Israel, at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.

  • Stepheney Wilson ’20 with her students in Zanzibar.

    A double major in biology and theater introduces dramatic arts to schoolchildren in Zanzibar.