Middle East Studies, Minor (Madrid)

Saint Louis University's Middle East studies minor facilitates the exploration of the various factors that have shaped the Middle East, also exposing students to the history, cultures and religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, among other religions in the region.

The Middle East is a region of historic and contemporary importance in which three of the major world faiths developed. Rulers built empires whose peoples made lasting contributions to philosophy, the visual and literary arts, architecture and mathematics. The relevance of significant trade routes in the past continues in the region today in its major commercial centers and industries of profound importance. 

Leadership

Jeffrey Wickes, Ph.D.
     Program Director

Curriculum Overview

SLU's Middle East studies program is special in its historical scope — exploring the ancient, medieval and modern periods — to encourage students to gain an unusual depth in their study of a complex world region. Moreover, the minor focuses not only on the geographic area of the traditional Middle East but also on areas influenced by or politically tied to the cultures of the Middle East, such as Spain and Africa. With courses from an array of fields in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business, and the Madrid, Spain campus, this minor is distinctly multidisciplinary.

Students must complete 19 credits of Middle East studies (MES) courses for the minor. Students are encouraged to take MES courses from a range of disciplines on diverse topics, cultures and time periods. Courses for the minor are offered at both the St. Louis and the Madrid campuses.

Some courses not listed here may count toward the minor with the approval of the program director. These must have a majority of material related to the Middle East. Courses that are taken in study abroad programs or that are special topics courses (with a temporary course number ending in ‘930’) may also be approved for the minor and may count towards one of the area requirements with consultation from the program director.

St. Louis Campus Requirements

At least one of the MES courses taken for the 19 credits of the minor must be at the 3000-4000 level.

Required Course
ISTD 1100Intro to International Studies1
Humanities and the Arts Electives
Select one of the following:3
Global Masterpieces in Art
Art of Jerusalem and Three Faiths: Past and Present
Excavating Culture of Three Faiths
Islamic Art and Society
Islamic Art and Society: Advanced
Crossroads of the World: The Middle East and North Africa Through History
Special Topics
Special Topics (Spanish (Christian) Mysticism and its Muslim and Jewish Predecessors)
Social Science and International Business
Select one of the following:3
Middle Eastern Business
Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
Philosophy and Theological Studies
Select one of the following:3
Jewish Life: Bible to Middle Ages
Jewish Life: Middle Ages to Modern Times
Old Testament
New Testament
Religions of the World
Jerusalem: Three Faiths, One City
Pentateuch
Old Testament: Prophets
Christians In Middle East
Jewish Life: Bible to Middle Ages
Special Topics
Electives
Additional credits chosen from any of the three MES Attribute areas.9
Total Credits19

Madrid Campus Requirements

At least one of the MES courses taken for the 19 credits of the minor must be at the 3000-4000 level.

Required Course
ISTD 1100Intro to International Studies1
Humanities and the Arts Electives
HIST 3760Medieval Spain3
or HIST 3770 History of the Jews in Spain
Social Science and International Business
Select one of the following:3
Special Topics (Introduction to the Politics of the Middle East and North Africa)
Special Topics (International Contemporary Challenges)
Philosophy and Theological Studies
Select one of the following:3
Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain
Stranger Things: Peoples and Places through Religious Travelers' Eyes
Jerusalem: Three Faiths, One City
Special Topics (International Contemporary Challenges)
Special Topics (The Qur’an and the Bible)
Old Testament: Prophets
Jewish Life: Bible to Middle Ages
Islam and the Christian Theologian: Comparing Theological Themes
Electives
Additional credits chosen from any of the three MES Attribute areas.9
Total Credits19

Non-Course Requirements

For the non-credit bearing required capstone, minors will revise a research paper that was originally written for an MES course from the minor with the counsel of a professor. The students will present the revised paper at an annual capstone event and write a brief commentary on their studies on the Middle East for submission to the director of the minor.

Language Study and Study Abroad Recommendation

Though the MES minor does not require foreign language study or study abroad, the MES faculty strongly recommends that students with an interest in future careers or graduate studies in Middle East topics pursue relevant foreign language study and/or study abroad in the Middle East. Language courses taken abroad or in other universities may transfer and count towards the minor with approval from the director of the minor. Students should discuss the options available with the director of the minor and the Office of International Services.

Continuation Standards

All minor courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher in order to count for the minor and for the student to continue in the minor.