A student looks down upon an historic city square

We live in a world in which Middle Eastern affairs are the subject of expanded interest and curiosity. But what is the Middle East? Simply looking at a map may not solve this problem. See for yourself:

These maps include different areas—some include North Africa, others include parts of Asia, and still others include some of Asia and Africa, but not all. We can’t clearly define the Middle East geographically. In the Middle East Studies Program, students will explore how this region functions historically, geographically, ethnically, religiously, linguistically and politically.

In the Middle East Studies minor, students can expect to tackle issues of definition, region, geography, religion, language, politics and political histories that span Greek and Roman empires to post-revolution Iran and beyond. The Middle East region has a deeply rich culture with an extensive historical timeline that invites further discovery; this region is a kaleidoscope of religions and languages, defining the part of our world where East meets West. In a post-9/11 world, the imperative to understand this region and its people is more important than ever.

Minor Requirements

The Middle East Studies minor is made up of 18 credits (6 courses). Minor have the opportunity to choose from political science, history, geography, religion, and language courses to fulfill their degree. See the requirements for the Middle Eastern Studies minor.

Beyond the Classroom

Study Abroad

Students who are pursuing the Middle East Studies minor are encouraged to spend a portion of their time at UVM abroad. We try to make it easy for you to fulfill your major requirements through such programs by accepting up to one-half of the credits toward your major as transfer credits. Learn more about our opportunities to study abroad.


Outside the classroom, many of our students undertake internships abroad or in the U.S. with direct relevance to their degrees in fields including businesses, government, media, international organizations like the United Nations, and international non-profit organizations. Explore our internship opportunities.


A key part of your success at UVM will be your relationship with your academic advisor. Think of your advisor as your academic liaison who you can rely on to clarify university policies and requirements, provide support, and help you navigate your undergraduate journey. As a Middle East Studies minor, you will automatically be paired with the program director. Learn more about advising here.

Popular Courses

  • POLS 2200 Global Citizenship
  • POLS 2525 International Politics Middle East


An undergraduate minor in Middle East Studies, coupled with a complementary major, prepares students for graduate study in several disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.  Alumni also pursue careers in policy analysis, government, research, journalism, business, law, international development and activism in the United States and Middle East.