Studies Major

Bilal Humeidan

Director of Undergraduate Programs

127 New Cabell Hall

The Department of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures offers two interdisciplinary majors that feature a core of language work and additional coursework in one of two regional concentrations: the Middle East or South Asia. Not all concentration courses must be from within MESALC. For instance, a course on Islam offered by the Religious Studies department would count towards a concentration in either the Middle East or South Asian regions. Current lists of approved concentration courses are posted by region here: Middle East, South Asia (See the Student Information System for current semester course offerings). In consultation with their advisor, students may also take courses outside their geographical region of concentration to count toward their major requirements.


To meet the prerequisites of the Studies degree, the student must have completed at least one of the following options:

  • Option 1: Completion of an Intermediate level (2010/2020) Middle Eastern (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian) or South Asian (Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit) language with a grade of C or better in each semester.

    • For Hebrew, students may substitute Classical Hebrew (HEBR 2410/2420) instead of Modern Hebrew (HEBR 2010/2020).

    • For Sanskrit, any two 2000-level SANS courses will apply (instead of 2010/2020).

  • Option 2: Completion of an Accelerated (1060/2060) Middle Eastern (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian) or South Asian (Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit) language with a grade of C or better in each semester.

  • Option 3: At least Intermediate level proficiency in a Middle Eastern (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian) or South Asian (Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit) language as determined by the successful completion of a placement test. Contact the appropriate langauge program coordinator for details.


A total of ten courses (30 Credits), as follows:

  • 2 courses (6 Credits) in one MESALC language at or above the 3000-level.
  • Fourth-Year Capstone Seminar Course (3 Credits).
    • For Middle Eastern Studies, this class is MEST 4991: Middle East Studies Seminar.
    • For South Asian Studies, this class is SAST 4991: South Asian Studies Seminar.
  • 7 courses (21 Credits) based on the student's regional concentration (Middle East or South Asia).
    • At least 1 literature course (including literaure in translation courses).
    • At least 1 history course.
      • History of the Middle East (HIME) for Middle Eastern Studies.
      • History of South Asia (HISA) for South Asian Studies.
    • At least 3 of these courses must be offered by the same department.
    • At least 3 of these courses must be offered by different departments.



  • A maximum of 12 study abroad and domestic transfer credits are allowed, with the permission of the major advisor.

  • USEM credits do not count toward major requirements.

  • Double majoring is encouraged, but students are reminded that 24 credits in each major must come from courses unique to that major. Only 2 courses may be shared.


GPA Requirements

Students in this major must maintain a satisfactory grade point average in major and related courses each semester. Satisfactory is defined as an average of C (2.0). Students not maintaining this grade point are subject to discontinuation from the major.


Declaring Major

  1. Select a region of concentration (Middle East or South Asia).

  2. Review course listings by area (Middle East, South Asia) and the major requirements. The major requirements are described above or on the Declaration of Major Advising Form that you can download here, or obtain from the MESALC department bulletin board on the first floor of New Cabell Hall.

  3. Obtain the following two forms: Declaration of Major Advising Form (from MESALC) and Declaration of Major Form (from The College of Arts & Sciences). You may download the Declaration of Major Advising Form here, or get a hard copy from the MESALC department bulletin board on the first floor of New Cabell Hall. You must pick up a hard copy of the College Declaration of Major Form from 101 Monroe Hall.

  4. Complete the top portions of both Declaration of Major forms and make an advising appointment with the Director of Undergraduate Programs, listed above.

  5. Bring the following items to your meeting with the DUP: Declaration of Major Advising Form, College of Arts & Sciences Declaration of Major Form, and a list of courses you anticipate taking to complete the major.

  6. Submit all forms and copies to the appropriate parties (as indicated on the bottom of the forms).

“The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at”