The Undergraduate Certificate in Middle Eastern and North African Studies (MENA) provides students with a thorough understanding of the languages, cultures, history, and societies of the region.

The Middle East has long played a critical role in global economics and politics. Often portrayed by the media as a place of endless conflict, the Middle East is incredibly complex and made up of numerous nations, each with its own political, religious, geographic, and economic structure and traditions. Student in the MENA certificate program explore this complex region by studying the area's literature, languages, history, politics, religion, and art.

The certificate may be of particular interest to students who plan to enter government service or global business, and complements a number of different majors including history, religious studies, political science, economics, business, geography, foreign languages, and anthropology. The program requires one year of either Arabic or Hebrew language courses.

Many students participate in a study abroad experience to build on their classroom learning.

Certificates are similar to minors in terms of credit requirements but draw on coursework from multiple fields of study rather than from a single department.


The Undergraduate Certificate in Middle Eastern and North African Studies is open to all students seeking a bachelor's degree from UWM, to students who previously received a bachelor's degree from UWM or any other accredited college or university, and to those who do not plan to pursue a college or university degree (non-degree students) but who have a strong interest in this subject. To be admitted to the University as a non-degree student, individuals must meet regular University admission requirements. Students currently involved in baccalaureate studies who successfully complete the requirements of the program will be awarded the certificate at the time of graduation. Students who already have a bachelor's degree and non-degree students receive the certificate upon completion of the program requirements. All students are required to complete an exit survey before the certificate is awarded.


The program requires one year of Arabic or Hebrew language courses and a historical survey course. Upper-level courses offer students the opportunity to explore Middle Eastern literature, history, politics, religion, and art in greater depth. Courses totaling 23 credits must be completed with a GPA of 2.750 or better. At least one half of the work for the certificate must be taken at UWM. The Committee for Middle Eastern and North African Studies administers the program and advises students.

In addition to taking courses related to the Middle East and North Africa, students have opportunities to meet and study with Middle Eastern scholars who regularly visit UWM through a number of institutional partnerships with Middle Eastern universities. Students also may take advantage of study abroad programs that offer credit for academic work in the Middle East and North Africa.

Following are the detailed requirements for the certificate. For the specific content and prerequisites of each course, click on the subject code and course number below.

Middle Eastern Language Sequence
Select one of the following sequences:8
First Semester Arabic
and Second Semester Arabic
First Semester Hebrew
and Second Semester Hebrew
Select one of the following:3
Islamic Civilization: The Formative Period, ca. 500-1258
The Modern Middle East in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Select 12 credits12
Total Credits23


At least 12 additional credits selected from the approved electives list, of which at least 9 must be at the 300 level or above. Students must include among their credits selected for section III at least one course in Hebrew studies and one course in Arabic studies.

ANTHRO 641Seminar in Anthropology: (with appropriate subtitle)3
ARABIC 111Cultures and Civilizations of the Muslim Middle East3
ARABIC 201Third Semester Arabic5
ARABIC 202Fourth Semester Arabic5
ARABIC 299Ad Hoc: (with appropriate subtitle)1-6
ARABIC 301Fifth Semester Arabic3
ARABIC 302Sixth Semester Arabic3
ARABIC 390Islam: Religion and Culture3
ARABIC 499Ad Hoc: (with appropriate subtitle)1-6
ARTHIST 315Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt3
ARTHIST 324Early Christian and Byzantine Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 327Caliphs, Emirs, & Kings: Art & Architecture of Medieval Spain3
CLASSIC/HIST 274Ancient Egyptian Civilization3
CLASSIC 390Egyptian Mythology3
ENGLISH 247Literature and Human Experience: (with appropriate subtitle)3
FRENCH 357Literature of the French-Speaking World in Translation: (with appropriate subtitle)3
FRENCH 431Seminar in Literature of the Francophone World: (with appropriate subtitle)3
FRENCH 432Seminar in French and Francophone Cultures: (with appropriate subtitle)1-3
HEBREW 201Third-Semester Hebrew4
HEBREW 202Fourth-Semester Hebrew4
HEBREW 301Modern Hebrew Literature I in Hebrew3
HEBREW 302Modern Hebrew Literature II in Hebrew3
HIST 280Islamic Civilization: The Formative Period, ca. 500-1258 13
HIST 282The Modern Middle East in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries 13
HIST 319The Era of the Crusades3
HIST 370Topics in the History of Religious Thought: (with appropriate subtitle, e.g., "Judaism in the Ancient World")3
HIST 386Africans in World History: Communities, Cultures, and Ideas3
HIST 387Colonization in Africa: A History of Resistance and Adaptation3
HIST 401Topics in Middle Eastern History:3
HIST 600Seminar in History: (with appropriate subtitle)3
INTLST 450Internship in International Studies (with appropriate subtitle)2-6
INTLST 550Senior Seminar in International Studies: (with appropriate subtitle)3
JEWISH 231Introduction to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible3
JEWISH 235The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible3
JEWISH 261Representing the Holocaust in Words and Images3
JEWISH 321The Holocaust and the Politics of Memory3
JEWISH 332Women in the Bible3
JEWISH 368Jewish and Christian Responses to the Holocaust3
PHILOS 461Islamic Philosophy and Mysticism3
POL SCI 329African Politics3
POL SCI 371Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict3

If not taken above.