University of Wisconsin–Madison

Middle East Studies (MES) Certificate

MES certificateThe purpose of the Middle East Studies (MES) Certificate Program is to combine training in a discipline or profession with insight and knowledge about the culture, languages, and problems of the area.

The program adopts the basic philosophy that it is necessary to develop a new practical approach to the study of the Middle East by first acquiring sound training in a discipline or profession and then by applying the methods and concepts of that discipline and profession, as well as skills of inquiry and research, to specific problems in the Middle East.

Economic planning, law reform and institution building, urbanization, demography, housing, nutrition, agriculture, land problems, the organization and development of educational systems, and technical and vocational training at all levels are some of the fields covered by the program.

MESP has extensive and unique resources in these fields, and it offers a broad range of courses on the languages, history, culture, and literature of the region.

MES certificateStudents interested in declaring the undergraduate certificate should contact the Middle East Studies Program office or the undergraduate advisor, Csanád Siklós, 262-5006;

MES certificateRequirements include the interdisciplinary core course Introduction to the Middle East, which should be taken as early as possible in the sequence of courses for the certificate. The certificate requires 18 credits total.


LCA 266 (Introduction to the Middle East)

LCA 300 (Topics in Languages and Cultures of Asia)


– Select a second semester of a selected Middle Eastern language:

– Select one course in history and social science (3 credits)

– Select one course in religion and culture (3 credits)

– Select additional courses in history and social science; religion and culture; or other electives (including up to 3 credits of advanced Middle Eastern language) to reach the 18 credit minimum for the Certificate.

To learn more about what courses to take, visit our Courses page.


– 9 credits, counting toward the certificate, taken in residence

– A cumulative 2.000 GPA for all courses counting toward the certificate

MES certificate– 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.

– 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.

– 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.

MES certificateAdvising 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.  We offer walk-in advising, advising workshops, and scheduled appointments. We strongly encourage students to begin career exploration early on and to make use of the many resources available on campus.


– Make a Career Advising Appointment

L&S Career Services

Language and International Directions Advising (Language Institute)

International Internship Program

INTER-LS 210 L&S Career Development: Taking Initiative  (1 credit, targeted to first and second-year students)

L&S Career Initiative