The Middle Eastern Studies minor is a 21-credit program that allows students to take courses across a variety of social science and humanities disciplines. Students can also fulfill the program requirements through completing study abroad opportunities. Students who complete the minor will develop a level of expertise that bolsters their applications for both employment and graduate school opportunities after graduation. The minor can be completed by taking courses in Political Science, Anthropology, History, Criminal Justice, Religious Studies, and Modern Languages.
The Middle East is perhaps the most dynamic yet misunderstood region in the world. Despite its significance, however, the United States currently lacks the necessary experts on the Middle East to meet the demands of the U.S. government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. For this reason, expertise in the Middle East provides an excellent foundation for a career in law, politics, government, business, and the non-profit sector. Students who specialize in the Middle East will also be competitive for prestigious post-graduate programs such as Fulbright and the Peace Corps.
The best way to learn about the Middle East is to see it for yourself! Students can travel to the region by selecting from among a number of study abroad options, including to Jordan, Israel, and Tunisia. UCM offers both short-term, faculty led programs to the Middle East, as well as longer-term opportunities. These programs all count for course credit that can fulfill the requirements of the minor.
Every year, UCM students participate in The Middle East beyond the Headlines, a two-and-a-half week study abroad program to Jordan and Israel. By traveling to the region, students have the opportunity to understand the Middle East’s hot-button issues from a perspective that few Americans enjoy. Students will gain insight into the region through participating in a series of tours, excursions, and lectures. Among the program’s highlights are excursions to Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and Jerusalem, the holiest city on Earth. Students also enjoy a generous amount of free time, allowing them to get to know their host countries through exploration. Many students use their free time to visit incredible places such as Bethlehem, the Dead Sea, the Baptism Site, Masada, Ein Gedi, and more. Check out the video to the left for a look into students' experiences in The Middle East beyond the Headlines.
Being able to visit the Middle East was, without a doubt, one of the most valuable experiences I have ever had. Being able to have that experience has shown me things and places that most people will never experience in their life, it has transformed my levels of compassion and allowed me to expand my thoughts on the issues that others face in the world. My one piece of advice is this: This journey is a must. Get out of your comfort zone, break down any preconceived barriers and get ready for a life altering experience that you will never forget. Also get ready to fall in love with the cities, sites, and food!
ROBERT W., 2017 Middle East beyond the Headlines Participant