Modern Middle Eastern Studies

BAAS Course Block in Modern Middle Eastern Studies

About the Modern Middle Eastern Studies course block

Given today’s interconnected, geopolitical environment, an in-depth understanding of the cultures, history, and politics of the contemporary Middle East has never been more important. Through interdisciplinary study across fields such as history, gender studies, religious studies, politics and economics, the Modern Middle Eastern Studies course block is designed to enhance your understanding of the Middle East as a complex, diverse region. You examine how history helped shape the contemporary Middle East and develop skills necessary to interpret primary texts and academic research to explore key issues in areas such as politics, policy, economic development, and international relations.

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree courses in the Modern Middle Eastern Studies course block are offered on an accelerated (8-week) schedule. Courses in the block are largely asynchronous with some optional synchronous sessions to be scheduled by the instructors.

You have the option to enroll in any or all of the courses within this course block without committing to the degree, enjoying the flexibility and expertise offered by Penn LPS Online to suit your schedule and interests. All Penn LPS Online courses offer academic credit.*

Please note: Students completing this course block while enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) degree are awarded a Certificate in Modern Middle Eastern Studies upon completion of the degree. If you are enrolled in the BAAS program and don't complete the degree requirements to graduate, you are not eligible to receive this certificate.

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

The Modern Middle Eastern Studies course block prepares you to:

  • Understand key themes and issues in Middle Eastern history from the medieval era to the present, with an emphasis on encounters and exchanges between the Middle East and the West
  • Interpret key texts in Middle Eastern history, from the perspectives of gender, religion, politics, and economics
  • Study the complex issues surrounding oil and politics in the Middle East, incorporating the perspectives from multiple disciplines, including history, economics, and politics
  • Explore the diverse history of religion in the Middle East, from ancient societies to the present, and how this history informs contemporary Middle Eastern cultures, politics, and societies

Meet the Faculty

John Ghazvinian

John Ghazvinian

Faculty Director, Penn LPS Online Certificate in Modern Middle Eastern Studies

Associate Director, University of Pennsylvania Middle East Center

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