Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC) major is the study of the languages, literature, history, and cultures of the Middle East from antiquity to modern times. MELC offers language programs in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish, and in the ancient languages of Egyptian, Sumerian, Akkadian, and Aramaic. Students can explore the interconnected worlds of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and their neighbors, as well as the modern literature and diverse cultures of the modern Middle East. The major also offers study in pre-modern and modern Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. The department offers students the opportunity to participate in a discovery experience that is innovative, collaborative, transdisciplinary, and features digital research.

The major in Middle Eastern Language and Cultures offers two specializations: 1) Languages and Literature and 2) Middle Eastern Worlds. Students in the Languages and Literature specialization can pursue a major in the modern languages of:

  • Arabic
  • Hebrew
  • Persian 

The Middle Eastern Worlds' specialization is the study of the material, intellectual, and religious histories and cultures of the region from ancient to modern times. Students can pursue a major in:

  • Ancient Middle Eastern Worlds
  • Modern Middle Eastern Worlds

Students can focus on a specific region, time period, language, art, and culture of the Middle East. The areas of study featured in the MELC department include: 

1) Ancient Middle Eastern societies & languages, including ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

2) Modern Middle Eastern societies and languages including Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish (minor only). 

Declaring the Major

Students are recommended to declare the major early in their academic careers. MELC 10 and MELC 11 are required lower-division courses, which may be taken after declaring the major. Students should consult with the undergraduate student advisor regarding major requirements, transfer credits, study abroad plans, and the opportunity to combine two disciplines through a double major study.  

Honors Program

Students in any of the Middle Eastern Language and Cultures majors, with an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 or higher and a GPA of 3.51 or higher in courses completed in the major, may apply for admission to the honors program in their senior year. Students must maintain the required GPA in the major in order to remain eligible for the honors program. 

In addition to the GPA requirement, students must submit an honors thesis of at least 20 double-spaced, typewritten pages in their senior year. Students are required to enroll in an Independent Study course (MELC 199) in the fall semester and the honors course in (MELC H195) in the spring semester of their senior year in order to receive credit for the thesis. The honors thesis must be read and evaluated by a two-member committee consisting of a department faculty thesis supervisor and another member of the faculty. The thesis must be deemed to be at least B+ quality in order to qualify the candidate for graduation with a degree of honors. Students may receive distinctions of "high honors" or "highest honors" for outstanding thesis papers. 

Minor Programs

In addition to the major program, the department offers a minor in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC), as well as minors in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish.

Minors Offered by the Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC)

Arabic (Minor)
Hebrew (Minor)
Persian (Minor)
Turkish (Minor)

Visit Department Website

Major Requirements

The Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC) major offers concentrations in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Ancient Middle Eastern Worlds, and Modern Middle Eastern Worlds. Students are encouraged to begin the study of a language early in their academic studies. MELC 10 (Middle Eastern Worlds: Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia) and MELC 11 ( The Modern Middle Eastern Worlds) are required courses for the major. 

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to satisfy major requirements must be taken for a letter grade and be at least 3 units.
  2. Students pursuing a double major may overlap two courses to meet both major requirements. Students can also overlap one course to satisfy a major and minor requirement.  
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required to declare the major and must be maintained in both lower and upper-division courses used to satisfy major requirements. 
  4. With the prior consent of the faculty major advisor, students may take courses across various disciplines to satisfy the culture and history course requirements for the major. 

Arabic Emphasis

Lower Division Major Requirements8
Middle Eastern Worlds: Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia [4]
Middle Eastern Worlds: The Modern Middle East [4]
Lower Division Language Requirement20
Elementary Arabic [5]
Elementary Arabic [5]
Intermediate Arabic [5]
Intermediate Arabic [5]
Students may be able to satisfy the lower division requirements by completing Arabic 10 (satisfies Arabic 1A and 1B) and Arabic 30 (satisfies Arabic 20A and 20B) courses offered during the summer term or through study abroad programs.
Upper Division Requirements6
Advanced Arabic [3]
Advanced Arabic [3]
Arabic Literature Courses9
Select three of the following:
Media Arabic [4]
Modern Arabic Prose [3]
Classical Arabic Prose [3]
Modern Arabic Poetry [3]
Classical Arabic Poetry [3]
Arabic Historical and Geographical Texts [3]
Islamic Religious and Philosophical Texts in Arabic [3]
Survey of Arabic Literature (in Arabic) [3]
Survey of Arabic Literature (in Arabic) [3]
**Only one colloquial course can be used to satisfy this requirement
Colloquial Arabic [4]
Colloquial Arabic [4]
Arabic Culture and History Courses6-8
Select two courses:
Students may select two courses from the MELC Worlds majors course list (see below). Students may also select courses from other departments. All courses for the major must be approved by the faculty major advisor.
Total Units49-51

Hebrew Emphasis

Lower Division Major Requirements8
Middle Eastern Worlds: Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia [4]
Middle Eastern Worlds: The Modern Middle East [4]
Lower Division Language Requirements20
Elementary Hebrew [5]
Elementary Hebrew [5]
Intermediate Hebrew [5]
Intermediate Hebrew [5]
Upper Division Requirements6
Advanced Hebrew [3]
Advanced Hebrew [3]
Hebrew Literature Courses9
Select three of the following:
Modern Hebrew Literature and Culture [3]
Modern Hebrew Literature and Culture [3]
The Structure of Modern Hebrew [3]
The Structure of Modern Hebrew [3]
Elementary Biblical Hebrew [3]
Elementary Biblical Hebrew [3]
Biblical Hebrew Texts [3]
Biblical Hebrew Texts [3]
Hebrew Culture and History Courses6-8
Select two courses:
Students may select two courses from the MELC Worlds majors course list (see below). Students may also select courses from other departments. All courses for the major must be approved by the faculty major advisor.
Total Units49-51

Persian Emphasis 

Lower Division Major Requirements8
Middle Eastern Worlds: Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia [4]
Middle Eastern Worlds: The Modern Middle East [4]
Lower Division Language Requirements20
Select either the Elementary or Heritage Speaking Series
Elementary Modern Persian [5]
Elementary Modern Persian [5]
Reading and Composition for Persian Speaking Students
and Reading and Composition for Persian-Speaking Students
Intermediate Modern Persian [5]
Intermediate Modern Persian [5]
Upper Division Requirements6
Advanced Persian [3]
Advanced Persian [3]
Persian Literature Courses9
Select three courses from the following:
Readings in Classical Persian Prose [3]
Readings in Classical Persian Prose [3]
Classical Persian Poetry [3]
Classical Persian Poetry [3]
Contemporary Persian Literature [3]
Contemporary Persian Literature [3]
Modern Analytical Prose in Persian [3]
Persian Culture and History Courses6-8
Select two courses:
Students may select two courses from the MELC Worlds majors course list (see below). Students may also select courses from other departments. All courses for the major must be approved by the faculty major advisor.
Total Units49-51

Ancient Middle Eastern Worlds 

Lower Division Major Requirements8
Middle Eastern Worlds: Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia [4]
Middle Eastern Worlds: The Modern Middle East [4]
Upper-Division Requirements24-32
The major requires 7 upper-division courses. Students may choose to take two ancient upper-division language courses to count towards the 7 required courses for the major.
Elementary Akkadian [4] (Ancient Middle Eastern Languages)
Elementary Akkadian [4]
Selected Readings in Akkadian [4]
Selected Readings in Akkadian [4]
Elementary Sumerian [4]
Elementary Sumerian [4]
Selected Readings in Sumerian [3]
Selected Readings in Sumerian [3]
Elementary Hittite [4]
Elementary Hittite [4]
Introduction to Egyptian Hieroglyphs [4]
Introduction to Egyptian Hieroglyphs [4]
Intermediate Egyptian [3]
Intermediate Egyptian [3]
Elementary Biblical Hebrew [3]
Elementary Biblical Hebrew [3]
Biblical Hebrew Texts [3]
Biblical Hebrew Texts [3]
Aramaic [3]
Aramaic [3]
Upper-Division Content Courses
Students may select courses from the list below or from other departments. All courses for the major must be approved by the faculty major advisor.
Introduction to Ancient Egypt [4] 1
Women and Gender in Ancient Egypt [4]
Egyptomania [4]
Religion of Ancient Egypt [3]
Babylonian Religion [3]
Ancient Mesopotamian Literature [3]
Ancient Astronomy [4]
Mesopotamian History: Stories of Ancient People and Places [4]
Digital Humanities and Egyptology [4]
Disease, Health and Pandemics in Ancient Egypt, the Ancient Middle East, and the Classical World [4]
Survey of Ancient Egyptian History [4]
Gilgamesh: King, Hero, and God [4]
Beyond Wikipedia: The Ancient Middle East [3]
Early Egypt: From Village to Pyramid [4]
Ancient Egypt: Power, Glory and Empire in the Second Millennium [4]
The Origins of Racism in the West [4]
Writing Systems of the World [4]
Explorers, Archaeologists, and Tourists in the Middle East [4]
The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia: 3500-1000 BCE [4]
The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia: 1000-330 BCE [4]
Topics in Islamic Art [4]
Iranian Archaeology [4]
Archaeology of Mesopotamia [4]
Archaeology of the Levant [4]
Art and Archaeology of Middle Eastern Christianity [4]
Silk Road Art and Archaeology [3]
Art and Archaeology of Ancient Syria [4]
Art and Archaeology of Ancient Turkey [4]
Arts of Iran and Central Asia [4]
Aspects of Biblical Religion [4]
Biblical Poetry [4]
Topics in History and Cultures of Israel [4]
Literature and History in the Hebrew Bible [4]
History and Historiography in the Hebrew Bible [3]
The Hero in the Bible and the Ancient Middle East [3]
Sufism: The Mysticism of Islam [3]
Synagogues, Cathedrals, and Mosques: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain [4]
The Thousand and One Nights in World Literary Imagination [3]
Sociolinguistics of the Middle East [4]
Religions of Ancient Iran [3]
Topics in Persian Art and Culture [4]
Magic, Religion, and Science: The Ancient and Medieval Worlds [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Ancient Middle Eastern Studies [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Egyptian Studies [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Iranian/Persian [4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Ancient Middle Eastern Studies [2,4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Egyptian Studies [2,4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Cuneiform [2,4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Egyptian [2,4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Semitics [2,4]
Middle Eastern Archaeological Field School [6]
Directed Group Study for Upper Division Students [1-4]
Supervised Independent Study and Research [1-4]
(1) MELC 18 may count as an upper-division course for the major.
Total Units32-40

Modern Middle Eastern Worlds 

Lower Division Major Requirements8
Middle Eastern Worlds: Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia [4]
Middle Eastern Worlds: The Modern Middle East [4]
Upper-Division Requirements24-32
The major requires 7 upper-division courses. Students may select two upper-division courses in a modern Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, & others) to count towards the 7 required courses for the major.
Upper-Division Content Courses
Students may select courses from the list below or from other departments. All courses for the major must be approved by the faculty major advisor.
Writing Systems of the World [4]
Explorers, Archaeologists, and Tourists in the Middle East [4]
Topics in Islamic Art [4]
Art and Archaeology of Middle Eastern Christianity [4]
Silk Road Art and Archaeology [3]
Arts of Iran and Central Asia [4]
Aspects of Biblical Religion [4]
Biblical Poetry [4]
Topics in History and Cultures of Israel [4]
Literature and History in the Hebrew Bible [4]
History and Historiography in the Hebrew Bible [3]
Modern and Contemporary Jewish Thought [4]
Modern Jewish Literatures [4]
Topics in Islamic Thought and Institutions [3]
Modern and Contemporary Islamic Thought [3]
Shi'ite Islam [3]
Sufism: The Mysticism of Islam [3]
Women in Islam [4]
Islam [4]
The Rise of Islamic Civilization [4]
Emergence of the Modern Middle East [4]
The Modern Middle East from WWI to the Present [4]
Arabic Literature in Translation [3]
Arabic Literature in Translation [3]
Middle Eastern Women Writers [4]
Cultural Encounters in Modern Arabic Literature [3]
Synagogues, Cathedrals, and Mosques: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain [4]
Narratives of Identity in Israeli and Palestinian Fiction [4]
The Thousand and One Nights in World Literary Imagination [3]
Sociolinguistics of the Middle East [4]
Reel Arabs: Film and Fiction in the Middle East [4]
Middle East: Post-Colonialism, Migration, and Diaspora [4]
Middle East, Empire, and Orientalism [4]
Topics in Persian Art and Culture [4]
History of Persian Literature [4]
Persian Literature in Translation [4]
Film and Fiction of Iran [4]
Islamic History and Historiography (600-1050) [3]
Turkish Literature in Translation [3]
Topics in the History of Central Asia and the Turks [3]
Law and Society in the Early Modern Middle East [3]
History and Culture of Afghanistan [3]
The Quran and Its Interpretation [4]
The Assyrians and Other Religious Groups in the Middle East [4]
Magic, Religion, and Science: The Ancient and Medieval Worlds [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Jewish Studies [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Islamic Studies [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Arabic [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Hebrew [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Iranian/Persian [4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures [2,4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Jewish Studies [2,4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Islamic Studies [2,4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Arabic [2,4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Hebrew [2,4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Iranian/Persian [2,4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Turkish [2,4]
Middle Eastern Archaeological Field School [6]
Directed Group Study for Upper Division Students [1-4]
Supervised Independent Study and Research [1-4]
Total Units32-40

Minor Requirements

The Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC) minor program requires five upper-division courses in the literature, language, culture, or history of the Middle East from ancient to modern times. Students can take two upper-division courses in one of the modern languages of the Middle East, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, among others, or from the ancient languages such as Egyptian, Cuneiform, and Semitics. Students can also take courses related to the Middle East from other departments. All courses for the minor must be approved by the faculty major advisor. 

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared before the first day of classes in your Expected Graduation Term (EGT). For summer graduates, minors must be declared prior to the first day of Summer Session A. 

  2. All upper-division courses must be taken for a letter grade. 

  3. A minimum of three of the upper-division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.

  4. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required in the upper-division courses to fulfill the minor requirements.

  5. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.

  6. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.

  7. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which the student plans to graduate. If students cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, they should see a College of Letters & Science adviser.

  8. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)

Minor Requirements

Upper-Division Requirements (5 Courses)15-20
Select five courses from the list below or relevant courses from other departments. Students may also take up to 2 courses in an ancient or modern language of the Middle East. All courses must be approved by a faculty major adviser.
Introduction to Ancient Egypt [4] 1
Women and Gender in Ancient Egypt [4]
Egyptomania [4]
Religion of Ancient Egypt [3]
Babylonian Religion [3]
Ancient Mesopotamian Literature [3]
Ancient Astronomy [4]
Mesopotamian History: Stories of Ancient People and Places [4]
Digital Humanities and Egyptology [4]
Disease, Health and Pandemics in Ancient Egypt, the Ancient Middle East, and the Classical World [4]
Survey of Ancient Egyptian History [4]
Gilgamesh: King, Hero, and God [4]
Beyond Wikipedia: The Ancient Middle East [3]
Early Egypt: From Village to Pyramid [4]
Ancient Egypt: Power, Glory and Empire in the Second Millennium [4]
The Origins of Racism in the West [4]
Writing Systems of the World [4]
Explorers, Archaeologists, and Tourists in the Middle East [4]
The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia: 3500-1000 BCE [4]
The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia: 1000-330 BCE [4]
Topics in Islamic Art [4]
Iranian Archaeology [4]
Archaeology of Mesopotamia [4]
Archaeology of the Levant [4]
Silk Road Art and Archaeology [3]
Art and Archaeology of Middle Eastern Christianity [4]
Art and Archaeology of Ancient Syria [4]
Art and Archaeology of Ancient Turkey [4]
Arts of Iran and Central Asia [4]
Minoan and Mycenaean Art [4]
History of Ancient Israel [4]
Aspects of Biblical Religion [4]
Biblical Poetry [4]
Topics in History and Cultures of Israel [4]
Literature and History in the Hebrew Bible [4]
History and Historiography in the Hebrew Bible [3]
Modern and Contemporary Jewish Thought [4]
The Hero in the Bible and the Ancient Middle East [3]
Modern Jewish Literatures [4]
Topics in Islamic Thought and Institutions [3]
Modern and Contemporary Islamic Thought [3]
Shi'ite Islam [3]
Sufism: The Mysticism of Islam [3]
Islam [4]
The Rise of Islamic Civilization [4]
Emergence of the Modern Middle East [4]
The Modern Middle East from WWI to the Present [4]
Arabic Literature in Translation [3]
Arabic Literature in Translation [3]
Middle Eastern Women Writers [4]
Cultural Encounters in Modern Arabic Literature [3]
Synagogues, Cathedrals, and Mosques: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain [4]
Narratives of Identity in Israeli and Palestinian Fiction [4]
The Thousand and One Nights in World Literary Imagination [3]
Sociolinguistics of the Middle East [4]
Reel Arabs: Film and Fiction in the Middle East [4]
Middle East: Post-Colonialism, Migration, and Diaspora [4]
Middle East, Empire, and Orientalism [4]
Religions of Ancient Iran [3]
Topics in Persian Art and Culture [4]
History of Persian Literature [4]
Persian Literature in Translation [4]
Film and Fiction of Iran [4]
Islamic History and Historiography (600-1050) [3]
Topics in the History of Central Asia and the Turks [3]
Law and Society in the Early Modern Middle East [3]
Turkish Literature in Translation [3]
History and Culture of Afghanistan [3]
The Quran and Its Interpretation [4]
The Assyrians and Other Religious Groups in the Middle East [4]
Magic, Religion, and Science: The Ancient and Medieval Worlds [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Ancient Middle Eastern Studies [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Egyptian Studies [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Jewish Studies [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Islamic Studies [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Arabic [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Hebrew [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Iranian/Persian [4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Ancient Middle Eastern Studies [2,4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Arabic [2,4]
Middle Eastern Archaeological Field School [6]
Directed Group Study for Upper Division Students [1-4]
Supervised Independent Study and Research [1-4]
1) MELC 18 may count as an upper division course for the major or minor.
Total Units15-20
 
 

College Requirements

Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For a detailed lists of L&S requirements, please see Overview tab to the right in this guide or visit the L&S Degree Requirements webpage. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages. 

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley and must be taken for a letter grade. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and American Institutions requirements are based on the principle that all U.S. residents who have graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Berkeley Campus Requirement

American Cultures

All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this campus requirement course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses are plentiful and offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer/data science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course taken for a letter grade.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work taken for a letter grade.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College of Letters and Science requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses in sequential order by the end of their fourth semester for a letter grade.

College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes at Cal for four years, or two years for transfer students. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you graduate early, go abroad for a semester or year, or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an L&S College adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your B.A. degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

Student Learning Goals

Learning Goals for the Major

  1. Proficiency in speaking, listening, and writing in the designated language.
  2. Knowledge of the major literary genres and corpora relevant to the designated language.
  3. Knowledge of the main historical and cultural periods and geographies relevant to the designated language.
  4. Familiarity with the entire area of the Middle East from ancient to modern times.
  5. Awareness of the importance of the Middle East in today’s global society.
  6. The ability to formulate a well-organized argument supported by evidence.
  7. The ability to critically read and analyze scholarship in the field.
  8. The ability to write and to communicate orally.

Major Map

Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:

  • Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study

  • Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success

  • Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression

  • Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world

  • Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley

Use the major map below as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.

View the Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures Major Map PDF.

Courses

Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

Contact Information

Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

250 Social Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-3757

Fax: 510-643-8430

bmelc@berkeley.edu

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Christine Philliou

philliou@berkeley.edu

Faculty Advisor for Middle Eastern Ancient Worlds

Benjamin Porter

240 Social Sciences Bldg.

bwporter@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Major Advisor

Rania Shah, MA

250 Social Sciences Bldg.

Phone: 510-642-3758

rania.shah@berkeley.edu

Faculty Adviser Middle Eastern Modern Worlds

Wali Ahmadi

284 Social Sciences Building

ahmadi@berkeley.edu

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