Middle East and Islamic Studies

College of Behaviorial and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

College of Humanities
Dean: Paul Sherwin


Professors—Astren, Banerjee
Associate Professors—Behrooz, Monshipouri Assistant Professors—Azadpur, Bertram, Chekuri, Ellis, Ibrahim, Kavuri-Bauer, Khanmohamadi, Millett, Modirzadeh, Salama, Volk, Watts

Co-Director: Nicole Watts
HSS 219
E-mail: nfwatts@sfsu.edu

Co-Director: Lucia Volk
SCI 383
E-mail: lvolk@sfsu.edu

Co-Director: Carel Bertram
HUM 325
E-mail: carel@sfsu.edu


Minor in Middle East and Islamic Studies

Program Scope

The Middle East and Islamic Studies minor is a multidisciplinary minor designed to provide undergraduate students with a broad understanding of the history, politics and culture of the Middle East and Islamic world. The students are required to fulfill both core and elective requirements, designed to give a background of the complexity and diversity of the region as well as offer more specific, in-depth studies of select issues of the region. This program covers regions and peoples from or in the Middle East from the founding of Islam in the seventh century to the present. In concert with the “Islamic Studies” aspect of this program, this minor also extends beyond the Middle East to those cultures, societies and areas that are associated with the historical and current spread of Islam. Students can select from a variety of courses across multiple disciplines, including history, religion, politics, culture, art, music, language, and literature.

The minor is useful to students planning careers in politics and government, business, education, international organizations, journalism, and art, as well as for those who simply desire a better understanding of the Middle East and Islam. The multidisciplinary nature of the program also prepares students for further study in a number of academic fields at the graduate level.

The Middle East and Islamic Studies Minor consists of a core curriculum of three courses that deal with the region as a whole from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, plus 9-11 units of upper division courses taken from the following list upon advisement.


Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Complete at least 9 units in the core, by taking one course from Section A, one course from Section B, and a third course from either section. Units
Section A: History and Politics
HIST 604 Islamic World I: 500-1500  
HIST 605 Islamic World II: 1500-present
PLSI 410 Middle East Politics (4)
PLSI 420 State-Society Relations in the Middle East (4)
Section B: Arts and Culture
ANTH 319 Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa  
HUM 361 Cultural Expression in Islam
ART 504 The Art and Architecture of Islam
PHIL 516 Islamic Philosophy
Total for core 9-11
Electives: (9-11 units) In addition to the three core courses above, take a minimum of three additional courses as electives. At least one course must be from Part I, and at least one course from Part II. The third elective may be taken from either part. Courses that are used to satisfy core requirements may not also be used as electives.  
Part I: History and Politics
HIST 584 History of the Indian Subcontinent  
HIST 604 Islamic World I: 500-1500
HIST 605 Islamic World II: 1500-present
HIST 606 History of Iran, 1500-present
IR 323 The Middle East: Periphery(4)
IR 324 The Middle East: Heartland(4)
IR 326 South and Southeast Asia Foreign Relations(4)
IR 335 Muslim Societies in Transnational Perspective(4)
IR 433 Model Arab League
JS/IR/PLSI 430 Israeli Democracy: Politics, Institutions, and Society
PHIL 436 Islamic Political Philosophy
PLSI 410 Middle East Politics (4)
PLSI 420 State-Society Relations in the Middle East (4)
PLSI 425 Imagining Power in the Middle East (4)
Part II: Arts and Culture
ANTH 319 Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa  
ARAB 102 Second Semester Arabic (5)
ARAB 103 Third Semester Arabic (5)
ARAB 200 The Art of Arabic Calligraphy
ARAB 206 Intermediate Conversation
ARAB 300 Reading Quranic Arabic
ARAB 401 Arab Culture and Identity in English
ARAB 650 Modern Arabic Fiction in English
ART 504 The Art and Architecture of Islam
CWL 420 Medieval Europe and Islam
CWL 430 Heroic Tales of the Mediterranean
ETHS 420 Arab American Identity: Memory and Resistance
ETHS 430 Arab Media Images in America: Impact on Arab Americans
ETHS 440 Islam in America: Communities and Institutions
ETHS/ARAB/CWL 450 Contemporary Arabic and Arab American Literature
HUM 361 Cultural Expression in Islam
HUM 375 Biography of a City: Istanbul
HUM/JS 377 Jerusalem
HUM 496 Islam and the Poetics of Space
JS/HEBR 152 Second Semester Modern Hebrew
JS/HEBR 201 Third Semester Modern Hebrew
JS/HEBR 202 Fourth Semester Modern Hebrew
JS/CINE 408 Israeli Cinema
JS/HUM/PHIL 501 Judaism, Christianity and Islam
MUS 530 Musics of the Middle East and India
PHIL 515 Semitic Religious Thought: Islamic Mysticism
WOMS 565 Women in the Muslim and Arab Worlds
Total Electives 9-11
Total for Minor 18-22

Foreign Language Requirement

Students are strongly encouraged to develop proficiency in a Middle Eastern language or a language pertaining to the Islamic world.  Second-semester language courses and higher will count towards elective units.  Each student will discuss how to incorporate language into their minor during advising sessions.

Study-Abroad Courses

Students completing the Middle East and Islamic Studies minor are strongly encouraged to participate in study-abroad programs, whether through the CSU system or another approved study abroad program. Currently, SFSU is in the process of creating a partner university program in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Consult advisor for details.

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Last modified July 06, 2012 by bulletin@sfsu.edu