Near Eastern Languages and Cultures / Undergraduate Study

Middle Eastern Studies BA

Learning Outcomes

The Middle Eastern Studies major has the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrated written and oral mastery of a Middle Eastern language
  • Demonstrated specific skills and expertise, including research, analysis, and writing
  • Ability to read texts in Arabic, and analyze the language and the cultural context
  • Identification, evaluation, and analysis of historical monuments, periods in time, vocabulary, concepts, and historical figures

Preparation for the Major

Required: Two courses selected from Ancient Near East 10W, History 9D, Middle Eastern Studies M50A, M50B, 50C and demonstrated proficiency equivalent to level 3 at UCLA in one modern Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish) or through a departmental language placement examination. Students selecting ancient languages (including Akkadian, Aramaic, Coptic, Egyptian, Old or Middle Iranian, Sumerian, Syriac) are not required to take a modern elementary Middle Eastern language.

Transfer Students

Transfer applicants to the Middle Eastern Studies major with 90 or more units must complete the following introductory courses prior to admission to UCLA: one year of Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, or another modern middle Eastern language.

Refer to the UCLA transfer admission guide for up-to-date information regarding transfer selection for admission.

The Major

Students must complete 11 courses as follows:

Required Core Courses: A total of six courses, including at least two from three of the following four areas:

History: Ancient Near East M103A, M103B, M104A, M110A, M110B, M110C, Anthropology 166P, Armenian 130, 131, History 105A, 105B, 105C, M108C, Iranian M110A, M110B, M110C, Jewish Studies M182A, M182B, M182C.

Language: Ancient Near East (Egyptian) 120A, 120B, 120C, Ancient Near East (Coptic) C123A, C123B, Ancient Near East (Sumerian) 140A, 140B, 140C, Ancient Near East (Hittite) M168, Arabic 103A, 103B, 103C, 112A, 112B, 112C, Armenian 103A, 103B, 103C, 106A, 106B, 106C, Hebrew 103A, 103B, 103C, 110A, 110B, Iranian 103A, 103B, 103C, 161A, 161B, 161C, Semitics (Aramaic) 110, 130, Semitics (Syriac) 115, Semitics (Akkadian) 141, Turkic Languages 102A, 102B, 102C (Turkish), 112A, 112B, 112C (Uzbek), 116A, 116B, 116C (Azeri).

Literature: Ancient Near East 150A, 150B, Arabic M110, C141, M148.

Religion: Ancient Near East M130, M135, M185D, History M106, Iranian 170, Islamic Studies M110, 130, 151, Jewish Studies M155, Study of Religion 120.

Required Elective Courses: Any five courses from the department or from Anthropology M166Q, 167, Art History C116A, 119A, 119B, C120, Economics 111, 112, Ethnomusicology 161L, 161N, French 121, 160, History 105A, 105B, 105C, M106, 107A through 107D, 108A, 108B, 109B, M110B, 111A, 111B, 111C, 116A, 116B, 164B, 167A, M184D, M185F, M185G, M185I, Philosophy 104, Political Science 132A, M132B, 157, 165, Study of Religion 120.

Students may petition to substitute a core or elective course with a departmental independent study/directed research course (197, 198, or 199) as long as it covers a topic relevant to Middle Eastern studies. No more than two 197, 198, or 199 courses (8 to 10 units) may be applied toward the major.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to spend time abroad either to (1) study with an education abroad program or (2) work on a UCLA-affiliated archaeological excavation in the broader Middle East. For information on studying abroad, contact the Education Abroad Program, 1332 Murphy Hall, 310-825-4889; for UCLA-affiliated excavations, contact the departmental academic counselor at 310-825-4165.