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Major Requirements


48 Units Total

All students interested in declaring this major must seek advisement from the MEIS Director (see contact information below) before completing paperwork with a Multidisciplinary Academic Advisor.

  1. Language Requirement (16 units)
    • Students are required to fulfill the language requirement by taking 4 classes in a language in MEIS, such as Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew, Urdu, or Indonesian/Malay. Students may satisfy this requirement either through a placement exam or coursework in that language. Currently, UCR offers only Arabic but students can take language classes either abroad (e.g. American University in Cairo, Boğaziçi University in Istanbul) or on other UC campuses (e.g. UCLA, Irvine) upon the approval of the MEIS director.
  2. Senior Research (4 units)
    • Students must take MEIS 199 or HIST 197 with MEIS content (taken senior year with the prior approval of the instructor or MEIS director).
  3. Select three (3) courses from the following required list (total 12 units)
    At least one course is required in each area.
    • Survey Courses 
      1. AHS 013: Arts and Architecture of the Islamic World
      2. ARLC 155/CPLT 155/MEIS 155/RLST 157: Introduction to Arabic Literature and Cultures
      3. RLST 111: Islam
      4. HIST 121: Middle Eastern History 1200 to 1798
      5. HIST 122: Modern Middle Eastern History 1798-1935
      6. HIST 124: Women in Middle Eastern and Islamic History
    • Specialized Courses 
      1. AHS 125: Illustrations and Illuminations: the Arts of the Book in the Islamic World
      2. GBST 169/ANTH 169: From the Maghreb to the Middle East
      3. GSST 162/RLST 162: Women’s Issues in Modern Muslim Thought
      4. HIST 125: Islam and Revolution in Iran
      5. HIST 126: Istanbul in History and Fiction
  4. Select four (4) courses from the elective areas (total 16 units):
    • Arabic Literature and Cultures
      ARLC 120: Classical Arabic Literary Prose 
      ARLC/CPLT/MEIS 151: Palestine/Algeria
      ARLC/CPLT 152: Modern Arabic Poetry in a Multilingual Frame
      ARLC/CPLT 154/PHIL 128: Introduction to Arabic Philosophy
      ARLC/CPLT/MEIS/RLST 156: Jews and Arabs
      ARLC/CPLT/MEIS/RLST 158: Islam and Psychoanalysis
    • Anthropology
      ANTH 136/SEAS 136: Anthropological Perspectives on Gender in Southeast Asia
      ANTH 140 (E-Z): Ethnographic Interpretations (courses focusing on Middle Eastern or Islamic studies only)
      ANTH 188/GSST 151: Islam, Women, and the State
      ANTH 109: Women, Politics, and Social Movements
    • Art History
      AHS 126: Sultans and Saints: The Visual and Material Culture of Islam in South Asia
    • Asian Studies
      AST 167/CPLT 167/SEAS 167: Postcolonial Literature and Criticism in Southeast Asia and South Asia
    • Comparative Ancient Civilizations
      CPAC/CLA/POSC 121: Monarchy
    • Creative Writing
      CRWT185e: Special Topics in Nonfiction, "Memoirs from the Middle East
      CRWT 134: Intermediate Nonfiction Workshop
      CRWT  146: Outcasts and Outsiders in Fiction   
      CWPA 256: Contemporary Literature of the Middle East
    • Economics
      ECON 170E: Economic Development in India
    • Gender and Sexuality Studies
      GSST 109: Women, Politics and Social Movements
      GSST 151: Islam, Women, and the State
      GSST 168: Gender and Power in Muslim Societies
      GSST 169:  Gender and Sexuality
    • Global Studies
      GBST 191: Seminar in Global Studies (courses focusing on Middle Eastern or Islamic studies)
    • Hispanic Studies
      SPN 193: Senior Seminar in the Literatures and Cultures of the Hispanic World
    • History
      HISE 160: India and the British Empire
      HIST 030: Themes and Personality in History (courses focusing on Middle Eastern or Islamic studies only)
      HIST 111: Public History and Community Voices
      HIST 125: Islam and Revolution in Iran
      HIST 126: Istanbul in History and Fiction
      HIST 128: Iran through Literature and Cinema
    • Media and Cultural Studies
      MCS 172: Topics in the Film and Media Genres (courses focusing on Middle Eastern or Islamic studies only)
    • Religious Studies
      RLST 112:  Islam in America
      RLST 113:  Topics in Modern Islam
      RLST 116: Religion and Violence
      RLST 121: Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament
      RLST 126: Israel: the Jewish State
      RLST 130: Bible/New Testament
      RLST 148: Religions of the Silk Road
      RLST 149: Southeast Asian Religions
      RLST 150: Islam in Southeast Asia
      RLST 151: Reading the Qur'an
    • Theatre, Film, and Digital Production
      TFDP 191J: Staging the Middle East
Faculty Advisor/Contact

Muhamad Ali
Director, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies
(951) 827-5111

Committee in Charge 

Muhamad Ali, Chair (Religious Studies)
Reza Aslan (Creative Writing)
Sherine Hafez (Gender & Sexuality Studies)
Erith Jaffe-Berg (Theatre, Film, and Digital Production)
Ruhi Khan (Media and Cultural Studies)
Kyle Khellaf (Comp Lit & Lang)
Laila Lalami (Creative Writing)
Benjamin Liu (Hispanic Studies)
Susan Ossman (Anthropology)
Fatima Quraishi (History of Art)
Jeff Sacks (Comp Lit & Lang)
Fariba Zarinebaf (History)
CHASS Dean, ex officio