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Minor in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies


The Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (MEIS) minor provides students with the opportunity to acquire a broad and diverse knowledge of the Middle East and Islamic traditions, from an interdisciplinary perspective. It is designed to promote understanding of the region through a number of courses offered on the cultures, history, politics and religions of the Middle East. Based on the regional and disciplinary expertise of faculty in the School of World Studies, the MEIS minor aims to provide students with the necessary knowledge to disrupt hegemonic discourses and the tools to build bridges of mutual understanding.

The MEIS minor is committed to the following learning objectives:

  1. Develop nuanced and critical understanding of the Middle East and Islamic traditions by exploring the diversity and complexity of the region, its politics and people
  2. Build information literacy and critical thinking, reading and writing skills
  3. Integrate experiential learning with academic knowledge through community engagement
  4. Enhance Arabic language communication skills and cultural proficiency of the region
  5. Advance learner-centered environments that foster inquiry, discovery and innovation in a global setting

Students may choose courses from a variety of disciplines offered in the School of World Studies, as well as across the College of Humanities and Sciences and School of the Arts. In addition, there are several Arabic language and literature courses offered at different levels. The academic program is supplemented by activities that enrich students' experiences that range from speaker series, community engagement and faculty-led educational programs abroad. A complete overview of the program, required courses, and plan of study is available at VCU Bulletin.

Experiential Learning and Career Opportunities

VCU’s proximity to Washington, D.C. provides students with ample internship opportunities. Students in the minor will also have access to local outreach opportunities in Richmond involving Middle Eastern communities and at Islamic and cultural heritage centers.

The Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies minor prepares students for a number of careers in government agencies, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, international organizations, public health institutes and cultural centers. Students in the minor are well positioned to pursue graduate study. Students will also be prepared for study, travel and work in the Middle East and North Africa.

For more information contact one of our MEIS faculty: