Through the Languages and Literatures major, students develop advanced proficiency in a foreign language while building familiarity with the many cultures of the Near and Middle East, including Central Eurasia. By building advanced knowledge of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, modern Hebrew, or Turkic (including Uzbek or Uygur), students create a gateway to understanding the diverse people and complex, interwoven stories and histories of this region.
Students use the real-world language skills they acquire to engage with classical and modern media. They enhance their understanding of the region through elective courses and hands-on research opportunities. Alumni are prepared for eventual study and work in the Near and Middle East, and they find successful careers in a variety of fields such as public service, education, law and business.
Admissions, Advising & Student Resources
Please see our Undergraduate Programs section for information about applying to the program, career paths, scholarships, and other student resources.
Introductory language courses are available in the fall or summer quarters. Students should sign up for introductory courses as early as possible in order to fulfill the major’s language requirement. If you have previous experience studying a language, see our information on language placement and proficiency exams.
Note: Courses cannot be duplicated and used in multiple areas of the degree. Twenty-two (22) credits must be taken in-residence at the Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures.
The degree totals 72 credits and requires:
- Gateway to the Middle East (MELC 101)
- Introductory MELC Course. One introductory (200 Level) course on the Middle East
- Two years or its equivalent (as evidenced by an examination) of one of the following Middle Eastern languages: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Modern Hebrew, Uzbek (or other appropriate languages approved by the Undergraduate Advisor)
- 10 credits of advanced literature courses (400 Level) in one of the core languages (this requirement can be satisfied only after the student has successfully completed the primary language requirement above)
- Seminar in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC 491). All final-year students are required to take MELC 491 during their final Autumn quarter.
- 20 credits of supporting coursework from the following categories:
- Additional advanced literature courses in the student's primary Middle Eastern language
- Courses in a second Middle Eastern language (not to exceed 15 credits)
- Approved relevant exceptions (not to exceed 15 credits)
Note: MELC 498 (Capstone Essay, 5 credits) can be used here if student prefers.