Middle East Studies


Middle East Studies (MES) is an interdisciplinary concentration that draws upon courses offered by a distinguished core faculty in the humanities and the social sciences. Regardless of one’s passions – whether history, religion, politics, culture, literature, modern media, philosophy or practices of everyday life – the Middle East is an ideal site for considering the diversity and complexity of the human experience.  A growing number of exciting courses, creative and relevant programming, and a steady stream of post-docs and visiting professors offer unparalleled opportunities for MES concentrators who wish to understand this region and to engage with a broad range of issues that affect our world.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Understand the Middle East from several disciplinary perspectives
  • Acquire intermediate to advanced proficiency in Arabic or other Middle Eastern language
  • Actively participate in a reading seminar on approaches to Middle East Studies
  • Develop theoretical acumen in humanistic and social scientific research methods
  • Design a unique concentration based around a geographic region or critical question relating to the Middle East
  • Produce a significant piece of independent research


Click here for a list of requirements.

Honors and Capstones

View Honors website

All concentrators are required to complete a capstone project, which may take the form of an undergraduate honors thesis or an independent study project. Students interested in graduating with Honors should review closely the requirements listed on the Honors website

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Expand your reading skills
  • Collaborate fully
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Embrace diversity
  • Learn what it means to study the past
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201313 13 
201418 18 
201511 11 
201610 10 

Alumni Pathways

Middle East Studies concentrators have gone on to become attorneys, management consultants, and diplomats.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Student Leaders:

  • Anna Murphy
  • Pierre Lipton
  • Isabella Creatura

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact focal_point@brown.edu, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.