The Major in Middle Eastern Studies Details

DEPTARTMENT/UNIT: International and Area Studies

Since 1981, the interdisciplinary major in Middle Eastern Studies (MES) has provided Berkeley students with the opportunity to study a region of great geopolitical significance whose economic and social development is closely linked to our own society. The MES major covers the Arab world, Turkey, Iran, and Israel, intertwining history and culture, geography and ecology, politics and economics, with an emphasis on the modern and contemporary Middle East. Its broad and balanced program of study draws on a wide variety of Middle East-related courses offered by faculty from more than 20 different departments and schools within the University. Students in the MES major also learn at least one of the major Middle Eastern languages of today: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish. MES graduates work in academe, industry, and government, both in the United States and abroad. About half of MES alumni pursue graduate studies; many of these students go on to university or professional careers.