2020-21 Pomona College Catalog 
    Feb 05, 2023  
2020-21 Pomona College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG] Use the dropdown above to select the current 2022-23 catalog.

Middle Eastern Studies Major

Requirements for the Major in Middle Eastern Studies

The major consists of twelve courses of which at least six must be numbered 100 or higher. These should comprise: two core courses to anchor further studies on the Middle East; a three-semester language requirement to build capacity to read primary sources and conduct fieldwork; four electives to develop depth and breadth of perspective; a course in methods; a required senior seminar, to be taken in the discipline most germane to the senior thesis, under consultation with the faculty advisor; and a required senior thesis supervised by two faculty readers. This comprises a 12-course program of study with the possibility of passing out of the language requirement. The program in Middle Eastern Studies, thus, provides training in foreign language study as well as an emphasis on research and writing. The flexibility of the course requirements in the program allows students with a range of different interests to tailor a path of study best suited to their own academic and professional goals. 

  1. Two core courses drawn from introductory level Middle Eastern Studies courses from the disciplines of Anthropology, Art History, History, Literature, Politics, and Religious Studies.
  2. Three semesters of Arabic or the equivalent: ARBC 001 CM ARBC 002 CM ARBC 033 CM  or ARBC 044 CM  .Or four semesters of Persian or the equivalent: Independent Study Persian 1, Independent Study Persian 2, Independent Study Persian 3, Independent Study Persian 4. Other languages may be possible under discussion with advisor.
  3. Four electives numbered 100 and above: Two electives in a single discipline drawn from Anthropology, Art History, History, Politics or Religious Studies; two additional electives to be chosen from courses listed as Middle Eastern Studies courses in consultation with Middle Eastern Studies advisor
  4. An upper level course in research methods, chosen from the discipline most relevant to your thesis, such as Anthropology, Art History, History, Literature, Politics, and Religious Studies. This course must be numbered 100 or higher and must meet the standards for a research methods course in the discipline in which it is offered.
  5. Two integrative courses:
    1. Senior seminar (MES 190 PO) in the discipline of your thesis in consultation with advisor; and
    2. Senior thesis (MES 191 PO )

Students will select at least one advisor of the two required from among Middle Eastern Studies faculty to supervise their senior thesis. The second advisor should be from the discipline of your thesis research.

Students are strongly encouraged to take a semester studying abroad in the Middle East. For instance, Pomona College currently offers study abroad options in Morocco, Jordan and Israel; Pomona College students have also studied abroad with SIT programs in Egypt, Oman, Yemen and Turkey.

Courses taken abroad may be submitted for credit toward the major and minor.