Middle Eastern Studies Major

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 Arabic or Persian and are encouraged to study abroad in locations in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, and the Indian Ocean region.

In class with Joanne Nucho
In class with Joanne Nucho

What You’ll Study

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

Learning at Pomona

Malak Afaneh '21

Studying the Poetry of Palestinian Women

Malak Afaneh ’21 analyzed the symbolism, motifs and literary devices of the poetry of Palestinian women who wrote poetry as a form of healing and processing from trauma.

Malak Afaneh '21
Malak Afaneh ’21

The major's flexibility of requirements has allowed me to take classes from religious studies to anthropology to art history, all while developing critical thinking skills and fresh perspectives on the region's history as a whole. Furthermore, although I was an Arabic heritage speaker, I still wanted to improve my speaking skills. The MES Department offers abundant classes to learn the standard, colloquial, and even poetic forms of the Arabic language, and opens doors for an opportunity to study abroad in the Middle East or even communicate with Arabic speaking communities.

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.