The Middle East Studies Program offers a comprehensive approach to study of the region. It covers topics such as failing states, petrostates, political transitions, economic development, state-to-state conflict and nuclear proliferation, as well as religions, ethnicity and tribalism.
SAIS graduates are in great demand by employers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Economics knowledge, analytical abilities, regional expertise, diplomatic skills, language proficiency and the capacity to apply theory to real-world problems give our students a distinct professional advantage.
“In an era in which ‘area studies’ is disappearing from American academia but remains vibrant in European universities, SAIS confirms its international orientation by remaining committed to strong regional programs. With politically loaded narratives dominating discourse about the Middle East—in and out of academia—the Middle East Studies Program strives to provide students with context and background so their regional expertise is based on scholarship.”Camille Pecastaing, -Middle East Studies
Language and Internship Resources
First-year students concentrating in Middle East Studies (MES) are encouraged to spend their summer break studying Arabic somewhere in the region and conducting research for their thesis. Traveling in the region also presents the opportunity to make contacts through local internships.
MES Lecture Series
The MES Program complements its academic courses with a series of brown bag lectures, bringing in a wide variety of Arab and Israeli scholars, politicians and journalists to discuss and debate a broad range of issues which enlighten students on Middle East issues.
The MES Program has a history of running student-led trips to the region each year over winter intersession. Past trips have been sponsored and funded by the governments of the countries that students visit.
The program's student social chair coordinates events for students to get to know one another better and build stronger networks. Activities vary and have included culturally themed dinners, movie nights and student-led presentations on research and travels in the region.