• Middle East Studies Program

    Interested in a career in government, business and finance, or an international organization? Hamline’s Middle East Studies (MES) minor may be just what you’re looking for.

    All eyes are on the Middle East as mass protests and revolts spread throughout the Arab World. This is not the first time that events in the Middle East have attracted public interest on a global level. As the birthplace of at least four major religions and many civilizations, the Middle East has for centuries been a center of knowledge and ideas, of techniques and commodities, and, at times, of military and economic power. Yet despite the historical and cultural significance of the Middle East, the general understanding of this area and its peoples is often fragmentary and distorted.

    Hamline’s Middle East Studies minor provides students with the skills necessary to understand the complex issues of the Middle East, and prepares them for careers in which a deep understanding of the region is essential. The MES minor is designed to provide a broad knowledge of the region’s culture, history, religion, politics, and society, and is complimented with the introductory study of any of its four major languages (Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, and Turkish).

    As an interdisciplinary program, Middle East Studies integrates approaches drawn from the humanities and social sciences including History, Art History, Religion, Political Science, Global Studies, Economics, and Modern Languages and Literature.

    Minors in Middle East Studies devise their own programs of study in consultation with their advisor. And study abroad opportunities offer minors the chance to learn about the region first-hand. 


    Sample Courses

    GLOB 3980 – Social Media and Contentious Politics in a Global Age: The Arab Spring
    HIST 1200 – Intro to European History: Islam in Europe: The Ottoman Empire
    REL 1200 – Survey of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible
    REL 3980 – Beginning Hebrew
    PSCI 3570 – Ethnic and Civil Conflict
    PSCI 3580 – Politics and Society in the Middle East
    REL 1220 – The New Testament
    REL 1500 – Introduction to Judaism
    ARTH 3980 – Special Topics: Islamic Art
    HIST 3980 – The Middle East in 20th Century



    REL 1560: Islam

    Goals: To gain an understanding of the history, texts, beliefs and practices of Islam. To explore the ways the commitment to the tradition is understood and expressed in the lives of Muslims from a variety of places and backgrounds. To gain an appreciation for both diversity and unity within the tradition.

    Content: Close reading of portions of the Qur’an and other sacred writings, such as the Hadith; survey of the history of Islam; exploration of Islamic philosophy, law, art and literature. Special topics will include an examination of Sufism, the mystical tradition, and an analysis of contemporary issues relating to Islamic politics, the tension between tradition and modernization, and the growth of Islam in America. Teaching Methods: Lecture, small and large group discussion, videos; possible field trips and guest lectures.

    Read more about the coursework.


    Middle Eastern Studies in the United States is an exciting and growing field. Currently, the Middle East Studies of America (MESA) lists more than 3,000 institutional members. As the Middle East’s role in US foreign and economic policy looms larger than ever, various US government agencies and departments have been seeking and recruiting graduates with degrees and knowledge of the region.

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    Dr. L. DeVriese

    Middle East Studies