Middle East/South Asia Studies, Bachelor of Arts College of Letters & Science

The Major Program

Are you interested in languages and culture? Do you want a global education? Middle East/South Asia Studies is a unique major where you can learn about the interconnected regions of South Asia, Central and West Asia, and North Africa. This area encompasses many countries, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Students can explore these regions through a variety of courses: anthropology, art history, art studio, Asian American Studies, cinema, classics, comparative literature, English, gender studies, history, music, political science, religious studies, and sociology. As a ME/SA major, you will be able to learn a regional language (Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi/Urdu, Persian or Punjabi). Beyond coursework, ME/SA majors also have the opportunity to get involved in research, special projects with faculty guidance, and study abroad.
The Middle East/South Asia Studies major focuses on the comparative study of these regions and their historically intertwined cultures and societies. Students will receive a strong foundation in one regional language, with two years required in Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi/Urdu, Persian, Punjabi, or another language of this area. The two required ME/SA Studies courses lay a comparative foundation, and options for remaining requirements include coursework from a wide range of departments/programs in the College of Letters and Science.

Language Courses

To enforce Academic Senate Regulation 536 (ASR), a student who has completed a second or more advanced year of high-school-level course work in a foreign language in tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade shall be awarded credit for Course 1 (or its equivalent) in that language only if he or she takes the course on a Passed or Not Passed basis. Enforcement of this regulation occurs in the sixth week of the quarter. For more information, contact the Office of the University Registrar. Please note this UC Davis policy applies to Arabic 001, Hebrew 001, Hindi/Urdu 001, Persian 001, and Punjabi 001/001V.

Major Advisor

Consult the Middle East/South Asia Studies Advisor in 1287 Social Science & Humanities, 530-752-3576, or at Middle East/South Asia Studies.

Programs, Internships, & Career Alternatives

Many internship opportunities are available for the Middle East/South Asia Studies major and minor, consult with your advisor.

Middle East/South Asia Studies Abroad Program

For information, see Global Learning Hub and UC Davis Summer Abroad.

Preparatory Subject Matter
HIS 006Introduction to the Middle East4
HIS 008History of Indian Civilization4
Two years (or the equivalent) of Arabic, Hebrew, or Hindi/Urdu (other Middle East/South Asia Studies regional languages accepted with petition):0-27
Elementary Arabic 1
Elementary Arabic 2
Elementary Arabic 3
Intermediate Arabic 21
Intermediate Arabic 22
Intermediate Arabic 23
Elementary Hebrew
Elementary Hebrew
Elementary Hebrew
Intermediate Modern Hebrew I
Intermediate Modern Hebrew II
Intermediate Modern Hebrew III
Elementary Hindi/Urdu I
Elementary Hindi/Urdu II
Elementary Hindi/Urdu III
Intermediate Hindi/Urdu I
Intermediate Hindi/Urdu II
Intermediate Hindi/Urdu III
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal8-35
Depth Subject Matter
Middle East & South Asia
MSA 100Middle East & South Asia: Comparative Perspectives4
MSA 180Topics in Middle East & South Asian Studies4
Choose two:8
Peoples of the Middle East
Literatures of the Modern Middle East
History of Modern Israel
Middle Eastern History I: The Rise of Islam, 600-1000
Middle Eastern History II: The Age of the Crusades, 1001-1400
Middle Eastern History III: The Ottomans, 1401-1730
History of the Modern Middle East, 1750-1914
History of the Modern Middle East, From 1914
International Politics of the Middle East
The Arab-Israeli Conflict
Introduction to Islamic Thought
Introduction to Islamic Law
Gender in the Arab World
Choose 8 units:8
Performance, Embodiment, & Space in South Asia
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: India
Medieval India
Modern India
RST 170
Additional Electives from Core Course List
Additional Electives16-18
Note: With prior consultation with an advisor, students can petition in the Program Committee in advance to accept other elective courses toward the major program, including language courses.
Note: While some courses are identified as fulfilling more than one requirement, a given course can only fulfill one such requirement. 1
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal40-42
Total Units48-77

Restriction: No more than 6 units of MSA 092, MSA 098, MSA 099, MSA 192, MSA 198, MSA 199 may be offered in satisfaction of the major requirements. However, students must have completed at least 40 units of upper division course work in satisfaction of the major requirements.

Additional Electives

ANT 142Peoples of the Middle East4
ANT 145Performance, Embodiment, & Space in South Asia4
ARB 001Elementary Arabic 15
ARB 002Elementary Arabic 25
ARB 003Elementary Arabic 35
ARB 021Intermediate Arabic 214
ARB 022Intermediate Arabic 224
ARB 023Intermediate Arabic 234
AHI 001EIslamic Art & Architecture4
AHI 155The Islamic City4
ASA 150FSouth Asian American History, Culture, & Politics4
ASA 189ETopics in Asian American Studies: Comparative Racial Studies4
CLA 001Ancient Near East & Early Greece: 3000-500 B.C.E. 4
COM 053BLiterature of South Asia4
COM 053CLiteratures of the Islamic World4
COM 166Literatures of the Modern Middle East4
HEB 001Elementary Hebrew5
HEB 002Elementary Hebrew5
HEB 003Elementary Hebrew5
HEB 021Intermediate Modern Hebrew I4
HEB 022Intermediate Modern Hebrew II4
HEB 023Intermediate Modern Hebrew III4
HIN 001Elementary Hindi/Urdu I5
HIN 002Elementary Hindi/Urdu II5
HIN 003Elementary Hindi/Urdu III5
HIN 021Intermediate Hindi/Urdu I4
HIN 022Intermediate Hindi/Urdu II4
HIN 023Intermediate Hindi/Urdu III4
HIS 102QUndergraduate Proseminar in History: India5
HIS 102RUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Muslim Societies5
HIS 113History of Modern Israel4
HIS 190AMiddle Eastern History I: The Rise of Islam, 600-10004
HIS 190BMiddle Eastern History II: The Age of the Crusades, 1001-14004
HIS 190CMiddle Eastern History III: The Ottomans, 1401-17304
HIS 193AHistory of the Modern Middle East, 1750-19144
HIS 193BHistory of the Modern Middle East, From 19144
HIS 196AMedieval India4
HIS 196BModern India4
MSA 092Internship1-12
MSA 098Directed Group Study1-5
MSA 099Special Study for Undergraduates1-5
MSA 180Topics in Middle East & South Asian Studies4
MSA 192Internship1-12
MSA 198Directed Group Study1-5
MSA 199Special Study for Advanced Undergraduates 1-5
MUS 129BMusics of Africa, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent4
MUS 148Hindustani Vocal Ensemble2
POL 135International Politics of the Middle East4
POL 136The Arab-Israeli Conflict4
RST 021The Bible & Its Interpreters 4
RST 023Introduction to Judaism4
RST 060Introduction to Islam4
RST 065CThe Qur'an & Its Interpretation4
RST 068Introduction to Hinduism4
RST 160Introduction to Islamic Thought4
RST 161Modern Islam4
RST 162Introduction to Islamic Law4
RST 170 (Discontinued)4
WMS 184Gender in the Arab World4