Study the people, culture, politics, history, networks and languages of the Middle East and deepen your knowledge through study abroad.

As a Middle Eastern Studies major or minor, you’ll explore the Middle East, Africa and South Asia from a global and cross-regional perspective.

The interdisciplinary curriculum provides opportunities to develop complementary skills in fields such as anthropology, history, international relations, politics or religious studies.

Students study the Arabic language and are encouraged to study abroad in locations in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, and the Indian Ocean region. There is a three-semester Arabic language requirement.

  • In class with Professor of Anthropology Dru Gladney
    In class with Professor Dru Gladney

What You'll Study

  • Middle Eastern culture
  • History of the Middle East
  • Arabic
  • Research methods
  • Anthropology, history, politics or religion
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Middle Eastern Studies courses at Pomona College

Learning at Pomona

  • Leyth Swidan ’16 Project Image
    Effects of Displaced Syrians on Jordanian Communities

    In Jordan, Leyth Swidan ’16 researched the drivers of tension between Syrian refugees and host urban communities and recommended solutions to the ongoing situation.

  • Nana-Korantema Koranteng ’16
    Donors and Activism Within the Jordanian Women’s Movement

    While studying abroad in Amman, Nana-Korantema Koranteng ’16 explored the complexities of donor-beneficiary relationships amongst Jordanian Women’s Movement organizations.

  • Clare Anderson ’15
    The Oman Interior and Indian Ocean, 1624-1742

    Based on travelogues, Clare Anderson ’15 examined the Ya’ariba Imamate (1624-1742), its power structures and how Indian Ocean networks shaped Omani culture. 

Leyth Swidan ’16
Leyth Swidan ’16

During semester abroad in Jordan, I was better able to analyze the role of international and regional powers in the Middle East and understand the contested interpretations of the region’s history, culture and politics, which allowed me to gain the skills needed for a career in an increasingly international environment.

Faculty & Teaching

The Claremont Colleges Middle Eastern Studies faculty have a broad range of expertise, including Middle East history, religious studies, Islamic philosophy and mysticism, sociocultural anthropology, U.S. foreign policy, labor and migration, human rights, women’s studies, Islam and Muslim Chinese, and dance.

Professor Arash Khazeni

Courses in Middle Eastern Studies draw upon the expertise of faculty from an array of departments at Pomona College and The Claremont Colleges, including anthropology, history, language, literature, philosophy, politics, religious studies, sociology, and theatre and dance. These fields offer a broad exploration of the societies, languages, cultures and histories of the Middle East and their connections to the wider world.