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Middle East Studies

Degree Options: Major, Minor
Locations: Lincoln Center, Rose Hill
Visit the Middle East Studies Department

The Middle East comes alive with meaning.

Stock photo of intricate mosque - LGFew parts of our world are more in the news—or vital to U.S. interests—than the Middle East. As a Middle East studies major at Fordham, you’ll become well versed in the complexities and intricacies of Middle Eastern and North African culture, history, religion, civilization, economics, and politics. We train and equip you to step into challenging positions related to Middle East affairs.

We’re one of the few schools in the U.S. to offer an interdisciplinary undergraduate major in Middle Eastern studies. You’ll begin with language training in modern standard Arabic—a distinctive asset. You’ll then explore the cultures of the Middle East and North Africa from ancient to modern times, from Morocco in the west to Afghanistan in the east, and from Turkey in the north to Somalia in the south.

You’ll take courses in history, anthropology, political science, art history, economics, religion, philosophy, and literature. The Middle East will come alive with meaning—and you will graduate ready for a career or advanced study in the field.

You’ll learn more than Middle East studies here. You’ll also study philosophy, theology, literature, languages, ethics, mathematics, science, and the performing arts through Fordham’s common core curriculum, the centerpiece of our liberal arts education.

We want you to excel in your field—and as a human being.

Program Highlights

As a Middle East studies major, you take eight courses—a mix of requirements and electives—from multiple departments:

  • African and African American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arabic
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Theology


We connect you with internships at leading organizations to gain practical experience, including:

  • Near East Welfare Association
  • National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce
  • Human Rights Watch/Middle East
  • Amnesty International
  • Human Rights First
  • International Catholic Organizations Information Center

We offer many activities throughout the year, including lecture series, annual conferences, and social events.

Study Abroad

Immerse yourself in the Middle East through our study abroad programs at collaborating universities:

  • American University of Cairo, Egypt
  • Arabic Language Institute in Fez, Morocco
  • Bourguiba Institute for Arabic Language Study in Tunis, Tunisia
  • Tangiers-American Legation Museum (TALM) Arabic language program in Tangiers, Morocco
  • St. Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon

You can find many other opportunities through Fordham’s International and Study Abroad Program.

Sample Courses

The Past in the Present: Near East Nationalism, Politics and Archeology
Classic Islamic Texts
Women in Africa
Middle Eastern Pop Culture
Arabic Conversation and Composition
Political Economy of the Middle East
Francophone Voices from North Africa
History of Modern Israel
Islamic Ethics
Palestine-Israeli Conflict

Life After Fordham

You graduate with a degree in Middle East studies well-versed in the complexities and intricacies of Middle Eastern and North African culture. Among those who will be eager to recruit you:

  • Businesses
  • Mass media
  • Law firms
  • Governmental agencies
  • NGOs
  • Philanthropic organizations
  • Relief and aid agencies
  • Human rights groups
  • Graduate and professional schools

Our career services tap Fordham’s ties with more than 2,600 companies. We offer:

  • Post-graduation career search
  • Resume development, Interviewing practice
  • Networking skill development
  • Hands-on case-study sessions with industry executives
  • Field-specific advising/coaching

You also get access to our powerful (and Fordham-loyal) network of alumni, who want to see you succeed as they have.

Learn More About Middle East Studies Degree