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Middle Eastern Studies Minor

The Middle Eastern Studies minor contributes to the mission of the University and its core values of respect, service, hospitality, diversity and learning for life by providing coursework, study abroad, community partnerships and events that promote learning about and understanding of the Middle East, its various peoples, geographies, religions, languages and cultures. Students from a variety of disciplines will find the minor of interest, including those in business, nursing and education whose future clients, patients and students may be of Middle Eastern descent. Middle Eastern-American students may also find this coursework beneficial in learning more about their cultural heritage and immigrant experience. Area residents with Middle Eastern backgrounds, especially those in southwest Chicago, or those with an interest in the Middle Eastern history, culture, religions and contemporary events will also find the minor helpful in promoting lifelong learning and mutual understanding.

Courses in Middle Eastern Studies

The Middle Eastern Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program with special interest in the Middle East and North Africa. The minor is designed to provide students with a strong understanding of and appreciation for the cultural, political, economic and religious diversity of the Middle East. Courses within the Middle Eastern Studies minor will provide students with a sound foundation upon which they can build further study in fields related to this most critical region of the world. The minor offers courses from a variety of disciplines on Middle Eastern history, religions, geography, politics, culture and languages. These courses fulfill requirements in the General Education program and several majors and minors in the College of Liberal Arts and Education, as well as the Middle Eastern Studies minor.


To fulfill the requirement for the minor, students must complete 18 credit hours (six courses) in approved courses. At least 3 credits must be in a modern Middle Eastern language. Students select courses in consultation with their primary academic advisor and the Middle Eastern Studies program advisor. Courses taken in the minor may count toward fulfilling major and/or other University requirements. Search Self-Service using course type "Middle Eastern Studies" to identify approved course sections.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of 6 transfer credits can be used to satisfy the 18 credit hours requirement. Approved courses taken at other universities or through participation in the Study Abroad program may be included as part of the minor by petition to the director.

Language Study

Introductory courses are accepted in Middle Eastern languages, including Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Kurdish, Azeri and Hebrew. Saint Xavier University will offer placement exams and introductory coursework in Arabic, but will accept transfer credit for other Middle Eastern languages. Students interested in Persian, Hebrew or Turkish may wish to investigate self-managed language study through the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs (NASILP).

Students may test out of a modern Middle Eastern language by receiving up to 6 credits for the successful completion [a grade of C or above] of the courses taken at Saint Xavier University into which they were placed, provided that the courses completed are above the elementary 101-level.


The Middle Eastern Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program that draws upon the expertise of faculty in many academic programs and schools within the University. The participating faculty offer courses appropriate to the scholarly study of the Middle East and contribute to the development of the minor.