Program: Minor in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

Program Description

The Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (MEIS) Program at CSUN is an interdisciplinary minor that offers courses in the languages, histories, religions, cultures, sociology and politics of Middle Eastern peoples. It also seeks to enhance students’ understanding of Islamic cultures and Muslim communities both internationally and within the United States. In addition, MEIS provides an academic home for the study of the intellectual, cultural and material conditions that have shaped our current understandings of and relationships with the Middle East and Islamic societies. Among the primary beneficiaries of this program are students interested in becoming scholars, journalists, translators, interpreters, diplomats, businesspersons, negotiators and personnel in foreign offices. Some of the courses in the MEIS Program satisfy General Education requirements or may be used as electives in several majors.

Program Requirements

1. Language Requirement (3-4 units)

Select one course—must be level 102 or higher:

ARAB 102 Elementary Arabic II (4)
HEBR 102 Elementary Hebrew II (4)*
PERS 102 Elementary Persian II (4)*
PERS 202 Intermediate Persian II (3)

2. Students must take 15 more units with at least one course from each category:

History Requirement (3 units)

Choose at least one of the following:

HIST 185 Civilization of the Middle East (3)*
HIST 424 Medieval Middle East (3)
HIST 425 Early Modern Middle East (3)
HIST 426 A History of Modern Middle East, 1798-1979 (3)
HIST 427/JS 427 Israel’s History and Peoples (3)

Society and Politics (3 units)

Choose at least one of the following:

POLS 420D International Relations of the Middle East (3)
POLS 438 Governments and Politics of the Middle East (3)
SOC 332 People, Society, and Culture in the Middle East (3)

Religion (3 units)

Choose at least one of the following:

RS 346 Sufism (3)
RS 363 Islam in the Modern World (3)
RS 365 Islam (3)*
RS 384 Approaching the Qur’an (3)

Culture (3 units)

Choose at least one of the following:

ANTH 338 Anthropology of Africa (3)
ANTH 356 Anthropology of the Mediterranean (3)
ART 416 History of Ancient Near Eastern Art (3)
GWS 315 Gender, Sexuality and Islam in the U.S. (3)
GWS 420 Women and Gender in Islamic Societies (3)
JOUR 495MAM Muslims and the Media (3)

*Courses that are also GE.

Total Units in the Minor: 18-19


Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program
Director: Khanum Shaikh
Jerome Richfield (JR) 340L
(818) 677-7299

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a minor in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an ability to speak, comprehend and write one of the major Middle Eastern languages at novice/intermediate level.
  2. Identify the major events of Middle Eastern and Islamic history, and articulate the internal and external forces that led up to and shaped these events.
  3. Explain the current cultural, political and religious challenges facing Middle Eastern peoples.
  4. Describe and analyze significant Islamic religious beliefs, ethics, practices, philosophies and cultural expressions.
  5. Describe the principal social and cultural contours of Islamic communities, families and gender relations, and explain the complex and multifaceted forms of identities.
  6. Have knowledge of minorities (ethnic, cultural, religious) within the larger Middle Eastern societies, as well as the dynamics of the relationships among diverse groups.