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Middle Eastern Studies

Overview of Program

The Middle Eastern studies program prepares students for a wide variety of careers with the government, in law, teaching, international organizations and the private sector as well as for graduate study. Students gain an understanding of Middle Eastern cultures and its richness, as well as a good knowledge of the Arabic language.

Students acquire a critical knowledge of this increasingly powerful economic and political region. Faculty advisers help students choose courses that will meet their career and graduate school needs. Many students also choose to double major in a field such as economics, history, philosophy or French.

In the Classroom

The primary focus of the program is to prepare students, through their contacts with faculty members from various disciplines, to lead the world of tomorrow through the political and cultural tensions of today. Students who choose to study the Middle East will graduate with a well-rounded and excellent knowledge of all aspects of the region. The study of Arabic is essential to the field; students will finish with a good knowledge of the language to be able to pursue further study at the American University of Cairo. Students also take courses that focus on political science, anthro- pology, religion, art, philosophy and history.

Study Abroad

Students who major in Middle Eastern studies have the opportunity, when feasible, to spend their junior year or one semester abroad studying at the American University of Cairo, the foremost institution for the study of Arabic language and culture.


Majors also have had the opportunity to intern with government agencies or with international corporations or organizations. Internships are highly recommended and are available with a wide variety of organizations. Hood's location near Washington, D.C., offers a number of internship opportunities with governmental agencies. Previous students have spent the summer in Palestine working in a refugee camp, interning with the CIA and at the Middle Eastern Institute in Washington, D.C.

Program Advantages

"My time in Palestine was huge turning point in my life. I gained respect for the rich culture of the Middle East, but also gained a greater awareness of the Arab-Israeli conflict and of the importance of promoting peace. It really made me think about what my contribution to the world would be."
Michelle Marquard, '11

"Now more than ever is the time to understand the challenges of our century. The way of bridging the gap between cultures is knowledge."
Donald Wright, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of French and Arabic and Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program

Learn more about the major.