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Please work with the CAS director to select electives that meet your goals.

  • Analyze main social, political and religious properties, and modern history of the Middle East or the evolution of political thought and the ways in which social theories can be applied to the study of the region.
  • Demonstrate fair knowledge of one of the four main languages in the region.
  • Examine the Middle East region’s cultural diversity.
  • Use a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches from the humanities, social sciences or related professions in the study of the Middle Eastern region.

Students must complete 12 credits (four courses), which must include the following:

The choice of one of the program’s two foundational graduate-level courses (substitutions may be made in some cases with permission from the director):

  • MES 682 - Social Theory and Middle East Politics OR
  • MES 644 - Israel and Palestine: Historical Approaches

Nine total elective credits chosen from the list of affiliated classes, the University’s language offerings, experiential education and study abroad. The following classes have already been approved by the program:

  • ARC 735 - Islamic Architecture
  • MES 644 - Israel and Palestine: Historical Approaches
  • MES 668 - Middle East in Anthropological Perspective
  • MES 682 - Social Theory and Middle East Politics
  • MES 684 - International Relations of the Middle East
  • MES 707 - Culture in World Affairs
  • REL 607 - Ancient Religious Rhetoric
  • REL 625 - Pluralism in Islam
  • REL 628 - Muslim Rituals, Practices, and Performances
  • REL 676 - Religion and Jewish Literature

Credits Towards the Certificate

In addition to these affiliated classes, students may also earn credits towards the certificate in the following ways:

  • A maximum of 6 credits of any regional language courses at the 600 level (i.e., 620).
  • Extracurricular experience (i.e., internships) that may count for between 1 and 3 credits (with the approval of the program director).
  • A maximum of 6 credits of graduate-level Middle East-related independent study or special topics courses.
  • A maximum of 6 credits of relevant, departmentally approved coursework taken at another university. The Middle Eastern Studies Program (MESP), the Maxwell School and Syracuse University presently have established student exchange relationships with the American University in Cairo (Egypt), Bahçesehir University (Turkey), Bogacizi University (Istanbul, Turkey), An Najah University (Nablus, Palestine), and the Interdisciplinary Center (Herzliya, Israel).


In order to enroll in the certificate program, you must be a matriculated Syracuse University graduate student in good standing and have completed at least 6 credits of coursework in related classes.

Extracurricular Opportunities

  • Internships: Graduate students can receive a maximum of 3 credits for an internship in any governmental/non-governmental organization based either in the region or outside which deals strongly with the Middle East. For a list of available opportunities, contact the program director.
  • Fieldwork: The Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs at the Maxwell School usually allocates one or two annual summer research grants for Maxwell doctoral students. The purpose of the award is to provide students the opportunity to gather data, undergo advanced language training, and increase competitiveness of future proposals for funding. Grants range from $1,000 to $3,000 and will be assigned on merit. Grant awardees register and receive credit for an independent study course (typically 3 credits). Students who have secured outside sources of funding may also submit proposals for fieldwork through independent study.
  • Other Awards:  MESP Young Scholar Prize is awarded annually to the best essay by a graduate student at the University dealing with any aspect of the Middle East. The author of the winning paper is presented with a certificate and a $500 prize.

For complete CAS requirements, please visit the Course Catalog.

Application Information

Students who have completed at least 6 credits of related coursework in Middle Eastern Studies should complete the  Graduate Enrollment Internal Admission Application form to receive admission to the program. Once completed, the form should be submitted to the regional program manager at the Moynihan Institute (346-E Eggers Hall) who will pass it on to the Graduate Enrollment Management Processing Center (716 E. Washington Street). Please note that the “Program Code” for the certificate in Middle Eastern Affairs is MI17CAS.

Please also remember that a Graduate Diploma Request Form must be completed through MySlice during the semester the student will graduate. Students must complete a separate form for each of their degree programs as each results in its own degree date and diploma.

The program director will recommend granting the certificate to students who have met all of the requirements (while maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 for all classes taken towards it) and who are in good standing in their graduate school or department.


Yüksel Sezgin

Yüksel Sezgin

Associate Professor, Political Science Department

Director, Middle Eastern Studies Program

Research Affiliate, South Asia Center

100F Eggers Hall
315.443.4431 |

Eleanor Langford

Eleanor Langford

Regional Program Manager, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

346 Eggers Hall
315.443.2935 |

Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs
346 Eggers Hall