Middle Eastern & North African Studies Program

What You Will Learn

Our Mission

The mission of the Middle Eastern and North African Studies Program (MENA) is to provide a thorough survey of the cultures, politics, and religions of the region throughout history, with a strong focus on the contemporary period. The MENA minor supports the aims of a pragmatic liberal arts education by offering challenging and engaging courses that will give students a better understanding of the complex circumstances of the region.

Global Citizenship

Global Citizenship

The MENA minor will help you achieve a greater awareness of the people and politics of a misunderstood region, beyond the stereotypes and soundbites that characterize much of our cultural discourse surrounding this part of the world. Within the program, you’ll take challenging courses that will assist you in a critical understanding and analysis of the historical, social, and cultural issues facing the Middle East today. You will learn about the region in geopolitical contexts, as well as the United States’ role in both diplomacy and conflict. In addition to a better grasp of the diversity and complexity of the Middle East and North Africa, you will have the chance to gain practical linguistic skills, to study abroad in MENA countries like Morocco, Jordan, or Israel, and to participate in community interactions with people from the region to give you direct cultural experience. 
Responsible Leadership

Responsible Leadership

As a minor you will join a group of highly motivated students who are concerned about current affairs and feel a responsibility to help improve US-Middle East relations. You will be equipped to present corrective viewpoints to those with whom you engage in debates, correcting the vast misinformation that exists about both Islam and the Middle East. 

Productive Careers

Productive Careers

Study abroad programs in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as internship possibilities and cultural contact with migrants from the region in your classes, will give you firsthand experience working with people from the diverse cultures of the region. Previous MENA graduates have gone on to Fulbright scholarships, graduate programs, the Peace Corps, careers with international organizations such as the Red Cross, and business opportunities in the region. The MENA program encourages real world experiences that not only allow you to contribute to enhancing understanding about the region but also prepare you for your future career. 

Meaningful Lives

Meaningful Lives

Familiarity with the region and its conflicts will lead you to continue to follow news from MENA after you graduate, as well as positioning you to serve as a bridge for cultural understanding when you find yourself in situations where you are able to share your knowledge of and perspectives on MENA.