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Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies

Major & Minor

Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies

Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies is an interdisciplinary program whose purpose is to explore the historical experience; literary, religious and cultural expression; and political and material life of the Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern civilizations. Our program is unique in the United States because it integrates Islamic studies and Jewish studies. There are two tracks offered in the major and minor, encouraging students to tailor their experience more closely to their interests: the Comparative Jewish and Islamic Studies track and the Modern Middle Eastern Studies track. Whether students favor the study of language, literature, religion, history or politics, they will find in our courses a way to deepen their appreciation of these complex and diverse societies and cultures. Students also will be encouraged to explore the interaction of Jews and Muslims with neighboring societies and cultures in the Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and other parts of the world.

Our majors and minors have gone on to do many diverse things after graduation. Many have entered professional schools in such fields as law, journalism, education, the ministry or rabbinate, government, and communal or social work. Others have gone on to do graduate work in either Jewish or Islamic studies or related disciplines. Still others have combined their interest in Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern studies with careers in business, medicine, or scientific research. All have found the major to have been an intellectually and emotionally rewarding experience and an important component of their overall development.

Interested in Study Abroad?

Study Abroad

Students majoring in Jewish, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies are encouraged to participate in the Washington University Overseas Studies program. The university currently sponsors preapproved programs of study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the University of Haifa, and the American University of Cairo. Study abroad options (which may require approval on a case-by-case basis) also exist for Prague (CET), and American University of Beirut (AUB).

Learn more about study abroad

Major and Minor in Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies

MAJOR

Two Tracks Students who wish to major in Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies will select one of two tracks: Comparative Jewish and Islamic Studies or Modern Middle Eastern Studies.

Units required: 24 advanced, in addition to prerequisites

Prerequisites for Both Tracks

  • 100- and 200-level language (Arabic or Hebrew), by course work or by placement. (A student who skips the first four semesters of language courses by placement must successfully complete the fifth semester.)
  • L75 JIMES 210C Introduction to Islamic Civilization AND L75 JIMES 208F Introduction to Jewish Civilization: History and Identity (Students with substantial prior course work may substitute an additional upper-level course with permission of their adviser and the director of undergraduate studies.)

Comparative Jewish and Islamic Studies Track Requirements

  • At least 3 credits in 300- and 400-level Jewish studies or Hebrew literature courses
  • At least 3 credits in 300- and 400-level Islamic studies or Arabic literature courses
  • 15 credits in 300- and 400-level JIMES courses, distributed as the student wishes
  • 3 credits in the departmental capstone course to be taken during the senior year. (Students may take this course during their junior year with permission of their adviser and the director of undergraduate studies.)

Modern Middle Eastern Studies Track Requirements

  • 15 credits in 300- and 400-level JIMES courses, distributed as the student wishes
  • 3 to 6 credits in 300- and 400-level courses that are pertinent to the modern Middle East that may be home-based outside of the department (i.e., home-based in Anthropology, History, International and Area Studies, Political Science, Religious Studies, and so on)
  • At least 3 credits in 300- and 400-level premodern Middle Eastern studies courses 3 credits in the departmental capstone course to be taken during the senior year. (Students may take this course during their junior year with permission of their adviser and the director of undergraduate studies.)

 

MINOR

Two Tracks Students who wish to minor in Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern studies will select one of two tracks: Comparative Jewish and Islamic Studies or Modern Middle Eastern Studies.

Units required: 18

Comparative Jewish and Islamic Studies Track Requirements

  • L75 JIMES 210C Introduction to Islamic Civilization OR L75 JIMES 208F Introduction to Jewish Civilization: History and Identity
  • At least 3 credits in 300- or 400-level Islamic studies or Arabic language and literature courses
  • At least 3 credits in 300- or 400-level Jewish studies or Hebrew language and literature courses
  • 9 credits in 300- or 400-level JIMES courses, distributed as the student wishes

Modern Middle Eastern Studies Track Requirements

  • L75 JIMES 210C Introduction to Islamic Civilization OR L75 JIMES 208F Introduction to Jewish Civilization: History and Identity
  • 12 credits in 300- or 400-level modern Middle Eastern studies courses
  • At least 3 credits in 300- or 400-level premodern Middle Eastern studies courses

 

For more information about all our Majors and Minors, including policies and additional information, please visit: https://jimes.wustl.edu/major-minor-requirements.