Middle East Studies Major

Few parts of our world are more in the news or more vital to the international interests of the United States than the Middle East. Business, mass media, law firms, governmental and non-governmental bodies, philanthropic organizations, relief and aid agencies, human rights groups, and graduate and professional schools are all eager to recruit individuals well-versed in the complexities and intricacies of Middle Eastern/North African culture, history, religion, civilization, economics, and politics.

Fordham University is one of the few institutions of higher learning in the United States that offers an interdisciplinary, intercampus, undergraduate major in Middle Eastern studies. This program trains and equips students to step into challenging positions related to Middle East affairs.

CIP Code

05.0108 - Near and Middle Eastern Studies.

You can use the CIP code to learn more about career paths associated with this field of study and, for international students, possible post-graduation visa extensions. Learn more about CIP codes and other information resources.

All majors must complete a minimum of eight one-semester courses composed of the following:

Course Title Credits
Required Courses
THEO 3711Sacred Texts of the Middle East3
or THEO 3715 Classic Islamic Texts
MEST 2000Introduction to the Modern Middle East4
MEST 4001Seminar: Middle East4
Select five electives 1

Any course with the MEST subject code or the MEST attribute code may fulfill this requirement.

Majors and minors are strongly advised to study a Middle Eastern language. Modern standard Arabic is regularly offered in the college and will satisfy the college’s language proficiency requirement. If a student has satisfied the language proficiency requirement through a non-Middle Eastern language, as many as two courses in a Middle Eastern language may be counted toward the eight-course requirement for the major and six-course requirement for the minor.


The major in Middle East studies is available at Fordham College at Rose Hill and Fordham College at Lincoln Center. Students in Fordham's School of Professional and Continuing Studies may major in Middle East studies only if they receive the approval of their advising dean and/or department, and their schedules are sufficiently flexible to permit them to take day courses at the Rose Hill or Lincoln Center campuses.

Fordham College at Rose Hill students: The requirements above are in addition to those of the Core Curriculum.

Fordham College at Lincoln Center students: The requirements above are in addition to those of the Core Curriculum.

Professional and Continuing Studies students: The requirements above are in addition to those of the PCS Core Curriculum and any additional electives that may be required to earn a minimum of 124 credits.