Certificate in Middle Eastern Studies


CMES offers UA undergraduate students, upon completion of their degree, a Certificate in Middle Eastern Studies for completion of 18 credit hours of eligible UA coursework related to Middle East studies. All eligible courses must meet the requirement of at least 50% Middle East/North African content at the time they were taken and must result in a regular grade (A,B,C,D,E)*. A minimum of 9 eligible credit hours must be in non-language courses. An E-graded course will not count towards the minimum number of credit hours but will count towards the GPA. You must also have a minimum GPA of 2.5 for all the eligible coursework you took. A course taken more than once will only be considered eligible for the certificate one time unless the two courses are on distinctly different topics (e.g. special topics courses). Students are allowed to retake a course in which they performed poorly; the higher graded course will be used in certificate calculations.

Students with a major or minor in Middle Eastern & North African Studies.

A list of eligible courses and their descriptions is available here. Please note that the list is subject to change. If you believe one of your courses that is not on the list meets the requirement of 50% Middle East/North African content, please contact CMES. Course eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Students who believe they are eligible for the certificate should fill out and submit to CMES a free application listing all the eligible courses taken. This can be done during the final semester or after graduation. After CMES verifies student eligibility (after graduation), the student will be sent a link to a questionnaire. The certificate is not issued automatically; the questionnaire must be completed. The information provided helps CMES ensure the continuation of its federal funding. We use the information to generate statistics about University of Arizona graduates with interests in Middle Eastern Studies. Upon receipt of the completed questionnaire, CMES will mail the certificate and a letter of announcement to the address provided.**

For further information or to verify the eligibility of a course, please call us at 621-5450 or email Julie Ellison-Speight. To see examples of who has earned the certificate in the past, visit our new alumni page.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This is not an official university-approved certificate and will not be noted on your transcript; however, you may add it to your resume/CV. Earning a Certificate in Middle Eastern Studies from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, a U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center, and one of only 11 in the country focused on the Middle East and North Africa, is a notable achievement.

* There is an exception for Spring 2020 when students could choose the Pass/Fail option for courses that normally receive regular grades. All of these P-graded courses will count towards certificate credit hours but not towards the GPA.

** During the pandemic, certificates and letters of announcement will be sent digitally. Paper certificates and letters will be mailed once the CMES office is fully open to the public.

Information for non-UA students:
If you are interested in studying the Middle East and wish to apply to the U of A, please visit the School of Middle Eastern & North African Studies or appropriate disciplinary department for information. Bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees are awarded by UA academic departments; the Center does not award degrees.


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