About Middle Eastern Studies

Close up photo of a map showing parts of the middle east

The Middle East is the cradle of the three monotheistic religions. It also has some of the world's greatest archeological and religious sites. It is the locus of two thirds of the world's known oil reserves. Events in the Middle East affect our daily lives. The Middle Eastern Studies curriculum enables students to gain insights into the cultural, religious, and political forces that motivate the inhabitants of this vital region of the world.

The Middle Eastern Studies program trains students to develop an understanding of cultural institutions and their influence on contemporary world affairs; to explore the concepts of conflict, security, and peacemaking and to examine complex public issues vital to informed citizenship; and to develop informed beliefs and knowledge about other nations or cultures. The curriculum in Middle Eastern Studies draws on a number of existing courses at UC. In addition, students will be strongly encouraged to take courses in Middle Eastern studies and languages offered at any of the many reputable American (for example, Georgetown University, Washington DC), European (for example, SOAS, London), and overseas institutions. Students will be assisted in (1) identifying and applying to institutions where courses are offered that fulfill and enrich the programmatic requirements of the Middle Eastern Studies Certificate and (2) seeking financial support available from a variety of sources, for example, the UC Office of International Programs, Taft Foundation, private organizations, and federal agencies to enroll in a study abroad program, for example, in Istanbul, Jerusalem, Cairo, Dubai, Beirut, Fez, Amman, or Sanaa.


Check out our AY 2021-22 Newsletter here.


Sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers(CAORC), the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program will offer intensive summer language institutes overseas in eleven critical need foreign languages. The CLS Program was launched in 2006 to offer intensive overseas study in the critical need foreign languages of Arabic, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu. In 2007, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian institutes were added along with increased student capacity in the inaugural language institutes. Azerbaijani was added in 2009 followed by Indonesian and Japanese in 2010, Swahili in 2016, and Portuguese in 2019.

The CLS Program provides fully-funded seven to ten week group-based intensive language instruction and extensive cultural enrichment experiences held overseas at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels (beginning not offered for Azerbaijani, Chinese, Persian or Russian) for U.S. citizen undergraduate, Master's and Ph.D. students. Program details and location of CLS Institutes may be found under Program Details (https://clscholarship.org/programs.php).

The CLS Program is part of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI), a U.S. government interagency effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Former CLS participants have applied with various academic backgrounds including business, engineering, law, science, medicine, social sciences and humanities. The CLS Program does not have any government service requirement upon completion, however, it is expected that participants will continue to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their future academic and professional careers. Application information, including deadlines for submission of letters of reference and transcripts, can be found at https://clscholarship.org/application.php.

Contact Dr. Rob Haug for further information at robert.haug@uc.edu