Certificate in Middle Eastern Studies

CMES offers undergraduate students, upon completing their degree and 18 eligible credit hours, a Certificate in Middle Eastern Studies.


Students must complete 18 eligible credit hours and meet the following requirements to receive the certificate:

  • Eligible courses contain at least 50% Middle East or North African content at the time they were taken and must result in a regular grade (A,B,C,D,E).
    • Spring 2020 exception: 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.
  • 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.
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5 for all the eligible coursework.
  • 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.

Please see the complete list of eligible courses (subject to change). If you believe one of your courses that is not listed meets the requirement of 50% Middle East or North African content, please contact Thomas Kenney  (tkenney0511@arizona.edu). Course eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

How to Apply

If you meet the requirements listed above, download and submit the free application to Thomas Kenney (tkenney0511@arizona.edu), 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 Thomas Kenney (tkenney0511@arizona.edu). To see examples of who has earned the certificate in the past, visit our alumni page.

Important Information 

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.

  • **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.

Non University of Arizona Students

If you are interested in studying the Middle East and wish to apply to the University of Arizona, 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 academic departments; the Center does not award degrees.