Middle Eastern Studies Certificate

The Middle Eastern Studies Certificate enables students to organize their general education courses around an interdisciplinary program providing a coherent introduction to the Middle East. Students have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the cultural, historical, political, and religious factors that have shaped the region through time, and gain insight into the current issues that are of central importance both to the region and the world.

To earn this certificate, students may choose among a broad range of course offerings covering ancient through modern periods, or specialize in historical, political, cultural, or religious studies. This certificate may also serve as a “bridge” to Penn State’s Middle East Studies Minor.

The certificate is available to all majors and requires 12 credits for completion (with a grade of C or better in each course). 9 of the 12 credits needed to earn this certificate are drawn from across the General Education curriculum. Many of the courses that count toward completion of this certificate can also be used toward the International (IL) and U.S. Cultures (US) requirements.

One 3-credit survey course:
HIST 181 Introduction to the Middle East 3 credits Satisfies GH;IL
9 credits from the following approved list, 3 of which must be completed at the 400-level:
ANTH 009 Rise of Civilization in the Old World 3 credits Satisfies GS;IL
CM LT 110/ J ST 131 Jewish Literature: An International Perspective 3 credits Satisfies GS;IL
J ST 060/ ANTH 060/ Society and Cultures in Modern Israel 3 credits Satisfies GS;IL
PL SC 060/ SOC 060      
RL ST 107 Introduction to Islam 3 credits Satisfies GH;US;IL
ANTH 420/ J ST 420 Archaeology of the Near East 3 credits  
HIST 473 The Contemporary Middle East 3 credits Satisfies IL
PL SC 467 International Relations of the Middle East 3 credits  
**PL SC 022 Politics of the Developing Areas 3 credits Satisfies GS;IL
**INTST 400 Seminar in International Studies 3 credits Satisfies IL
**HIST 497 Special Topics 3 credits  


**The courses PL SC 022, INT ST 400 and HIST 497 may count toward the certificate only if they contain an appropriate level of area content. This means that the course must be primarily about the peoples, cultures, places, politics etc. of the Middle East region as generally defined. Particular sections of PL SC 022 focus primarily on the Middle East and the broader Islamic world. Recent topics for INST 400 and HIST 497 have included: Children of Abraham (Spring 2011), Arab-Israeli Conflict (Spring 2010), and The U.S. and the Arab World: from Barbary Pirates to the Global War on Terror (Fall 2010). If there is any question, please contact the instructor to verify that the course qualifies for the certificate.

New or other courses, whether completed through Penn State or used as transfer credits from other institutions, may be considered for inclusion among the requirements for the Middle Eastern Studies certificate. Inclusion of such courses is at the discretion of the certificate coordinator, who may request syllabi and/or correspond with other instructors to determine whether the courses in question meet content requirements.

Only 6 credits beyond the above are required for students to achieve the minor. Courses in an approved area language will count toward the minor.

Visit the Registrar's website to download the certificate application.


Dr. Leigh-Ann Bedal
Associate Professor of Anthropology