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Undergraduate Students

CMENAS offers major and minor options for undergraduate students. The program draws upon the expertise of nearly 70 faculty affiliates who are distinguished scholars of the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) region in fields such as anthropology, political science, history, classical studies, language, and literature. Students in these programs can choose both general and highly specialized coursework in a variety of disciplines.

About the Program

The interdisciplinary MENAS major and minor is designed to give students a broad background of the region. Faculty and courses are from departments within the College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA), and it is the combination and coordination between them that provides a wide base of knowledge of the past and present issues involving the region. While the program focuses on the modern Middle East, many courses are offered that demonstrate the connection between ancient and modern history and contemporary affairs in the region including training through advanced levels of contemporary language courses of the region—Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish.


Students graduating with CMENAS degrees go on to careers in many fields, including: higher education, government service, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the difference between Middle East Studies (MES) and CMENAS?

CMENAS is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the modern (meaning after 632- the “birth” of Islam) Middle East. MES deals with the medieval and ancient periods as well as the modern, and offers programs of specialization in specific topics such as a language or historical period. This allows students to have a strong knowledge base of several aspects of the region including history, culture, and language. MES offers undergraduate, MA and PhD programs utilizing a more focused disciplinary approach. Students who wish to focus on the ancient Middle East, including an ancient language, should apply for the program in MES.

What funding is available for students?

Center funding is extremely limited. However, applicants who are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents should apply for the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is contingent upon Center funding being renewed each year. For more info, visit

For prospective MA students, visit the Rackham School of Graduate Studies funding website »

Other funding opportunities to support fellowships and grants for student research abroad, international internships, and the study of less commonly taught languages are offered by: