Middle East Studies (MES) Certificate

The MES Certificate introduces undergraduate and graduate students to a multi-disciplinary course of study that provides them with a well-grounded study of the history, civilizations, religions, politics, geographies, and economic factors that shape the cultural landscape of this dynamic and often volatile region.

MES Certificate provides an in-depth training in a special area that may be particularly useful as students pursue careers in such fields as Academia, Law, Public History, Education, Business, and even Medicine, where they will practice their profession abroad or use their international experience to expand their understanding of this region.

Students interested in declaring the undergraduate certificate should contact Lindsey Bliefernicht, the IRIS Assistant Director for Students and Curriculum, at lindsey.bliefernicht@wisc.edu.

For program information, you may contact the Middle East Studies Program director, Nevine El Nossery, at elnossery@wisc.edu.

The Undergraduate Certificate requires a total of eighteen (18) credits in courses chosen from an approved list.  The coursework consists of:

  • One Core course (3 credits)

IS 266 (or its equivalence): Introduction to the Middle East

  • 2nd semester of a selected Middle Eastern language (a minimum of 3 credits)
  • One course in History & Social Science (3 credits)
  • One course in Religion & Culture (3 credits)
  • Two additional courses (3 credits each)

These additional courses should come from History & Social Science, Religion & Culture, or other approved electives

To view our course offerings, click here.

1.  Historical and Cultural Grounding

Understanding the historical, political, and cultural forces and conditions that have given rise to the unity and diversity in the region today.

2.  Multi-disciplinarity

Analyzing contemporary political, economic, and cultural realities in the region from at least two disciplinary perspectives, ideally including humanities, social sciences and sometimes natural science approaches.

3. Depth of Knowledge

Mastering at the undergraduate generalist level a particular facet of life in the region by taking courses on a particular sub-region or country, or by studying a regional language, or by taking at least two courses on the region in one discipline

Advising for the Certificate is run by the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS).

The IRIS Assistant Director for Students and Curriculum can assist you in developing your plan of study for the Certificate, track progress towards your Certificate, explore study abroad and international internship options, and begin the career exploration process.  IRIS offers walk-in advising, advising workshops, and scheduled appointments.

You can contact the undergraduate advisor, Lindsey Bliefernicht at lindsey.bliefernicht@wisc.edu.

We strongly encourage students to begin career exploration early on and to make use of the many resources available on campus.

Resources:

Course List

The Middle East Studies Certificate requires a total of eighteen (18) credits in courses chosen from an approved list. The coursework consists of:

• 1 Core Course: INTL ST 266 (or the equivalence, e.g. HIST 139): Introduction to the Middle East (3 credits)

• 2nd Semester of a Selected Middle Eastern Language (3 credits)

• 1 Course in History & Social Science (3 credits)

• 1 Course in Religion & Culture (3 credits)

• 3 Elective Courses (3 credits each)

wdt_ID SUBJECT DESCRIPTION NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS
1 INTL ST 266 Introduction to the Middle East 3
LANGUAGE wdt_ID SUBJECT DESCRIPTION NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS
Arabic 1 AFRICAN 325 Colloquial Arabic 2
Arabic 2 AFRICAN 330 Sixth Semester Arabic 3
Arabic 3 AFRICAN/​LCA LANG 321 First Semester Arabic 4-5
Arabic 4 AFRICAN/​LCA LANG 322 Second Semester Arabic 4-5
Arabic 5 AFRICAN/​LCA LANG 323 Third Semester Arabic 4
Arabic 6 AFRICAN/​LCA LANG 324 Fourth Semester Arabic 4
Arabic 7 AFRICAN/​LCA LANG 327 Elementary Summer Immersion Arabic 8
Arabic 8 AFRICAN/​LCA LANG 427 Intermediate Summer Immersion Arabic 8
Arabic 9 AFRICAN/​LCA LANG 445 Readings in Advanced Arabic Texts 3
Arabic 10 AFRICAN/​LCA LANG 446 Readings in Advanced Arabic Texts 3
LANGUAGE SUBJECT DESCRIPTION NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS
wdt_ID SUBJECT DESCRIPTION NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS
1 AFRICAN/​LCA LANG 445 Readings in Advanced Arabic Texts 3
2 AFRICAN/​LCA LANG 446 Readings in Advanced Arabic Texts 3
3 CLASSICS/HISTORY 110 The Ancient Mediterranean 4
4 CURRIC 375 Proseminar* 1-3
5 ​GEN&WS/HISTORY/​LCA 472 Women in Turkish Society 3
6 HISTORY 111 Culture & Society in the Ancient Mediterranean 3-4
8 HISTORY 139 The Middle East in the 20th Century 3-4
9 HISTORY 500 Reading Seminar in History* 3
10 HISTORY 540 Balkans and Middle East, 1700-1918: The Rise of National States 3-4
11 HISTORY 600 Advanced Seminar in History* 3
SUBJECT DESCRIPTION NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS
wdt_ID SUBJECT DESCRIPTION NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS
1 AFRICAN 300 African Literature in Translation 3
2 AFRICAN/​LCA/​RELIG ST 370 Islam: Religion and Culture 3-4
3 ART HIST 201 History of Western Art I: From Pyramids to Cathedrals 4
4 ART HIST 305 History of Islamic Art and Architecture 3
5 ART HIST 440 Art and Power in the Arab World 3
6 ART HIST 500 Proseminar: Special Topics in Art History* 3
7 ​ART HIST/CLASSICS 304 The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome 3
8 ART HIST/LCA 379 Cities of Asia 3
9 ART HIST/​LCA 428 Visual Cultures of South Asia 3
10 ART HIST/​RELIG ST 373 Great Cities of Islam 3
SUBJECT DESCRIPTION NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS
wdt_ID SUBJECT DESCRIPTION NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS
1 AFRICAN 495 Fifth Semester, A Language of Northern Africa 3
2 AFRICAN 496 Sixth Semester, A Language of Northern Africa 3
3 AFRICAN 605 Advanced Topics in African Cultural Studies 3
4 AFRICAN 669 Special Topics 3
5 AFRICAN 901 Seminar in Modern African Literature 3
6 AFRICAN/​LCA LANG 445 Readings in Advanced Arabic Texts 3
7 AFRICAN/​LCA LANG 446 Readings in Advanced Arabic Texts 3
8 ​AFROAMER/GEN&WS 624 African American Women's Activism (19th & 20th Centuries) 3
9 ANTHRO 322 The Origins of Civilization 3
10 ANTHRO/​LINGUIS 430 Language and Culture 3-4
SUBJECT DESCRIPTION NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS