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Peter Magee
Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology
610-526-5385

Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Ave.
Bryn Mawr. PA 19010-2899

Program Requirements and Opportunities

The information listed below is a direct excerpt from the 2014-15 Course Catalog.

Published annually, the Course Catalog sets out the requirements of the academic programs--the majors, minors, and concentrations. Each Bryn Mawr student must declare her major before the end of her sophomore year. Students may also declare a minor or a concentration, but neither is required for the A.B. degree. Students must comply with the requirements published in the Course Catalog at the time when they declare the major, minor and/or concentration.

The Course Catalog also sets out the College requirements. Students must comply with the College requirements published at the time they enter Bryn Mawr College.

2013-14 Catalog
2012-13 Catalog
2011-12 Catalog
2010-11 Catalog



Students may complete a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies.

Courses on the Middle East may contribute to majors in other fields or serve as electives. In addition, students may complete a concentration in Middle East Studies.

The Middle Eastern Studies Program focuses on the study of the area from Morocco to Afghanistan from antiquity to the present day. Bryn Mawr students can investigate the history, politics and cultures of the Middle East through coursework, independent study, study abroad, and events here and at neighboring institutions. In conjunction with courses at Haverford and Swarthmore, the Advisory Committee from Bryn Mawr College co-ordinates courses and works with colleagues from Haverford and Swarthmore College on tri-college curricular planning.

The members of the Middle Eastern Studies Committee can help students who are interested in Middle Eastern topics plan coursework and independent study.
There are two tracks to Middle East Studies Concentration; one requires study or competence in a Middle Eastern language, the other does not.

Track 1

The first track consists of six courses in the Humanities or Social Sciences that focus on the ancient or modern Middle East distributed in the following manner:

  1. A basic course that offers a broad introduction to the region and its peoples.  This may be a social science or humanities course at the 100 or 200 level.  Basic courses generally available include:  POLS B283 Politics of the Middle East and North America (Bryn Mawr), ANTH H253 Anthropology of the Middle East (Haverford), and SOAN 009C Cultures of the Middle East (Swarthmore).  A basic course should be chosen with the student's advisor.  The instructor in the basic course may recommend a basic text for the student to use as a reference for continuing study;
  2. Three elective Middle Eastern topic courses, including at least one at the 300 level in a specific area to be chosen in consultation with the student's advisor.  This area might be defined in terms of conceptual, historical, or geographical interests and, in many cases, will be connected to work in the student's major;
  3. Two additional Middle Eastern topic courses, at least one of which must be in either the humanities or social sciences if a student's work in (1) and (2) does not include one or the other of these;
  4. Of the six courses one must be pre-modern in content;
  5. Of the six courses only three may be in the student's major.

Track 2

The second track consists of language study and other courses. Students opting for this track must take the equivalent of two years of study of a modern Middle Eastern language or pass a proficiency exam in one of these languages, whereby they may also meet the standard set for the A.B. degree for the foreign language requirement. Four additional courses distributed as follows are required for the concentration:

  1. A basic course that offers a broad introduction to the region and its peoples. This may be a social science or humanities course at the 100 or 200 level. Basic courses generally available include: POLS B283 Politics of the Middle East and North Africa (Bryn Mawr), ANTH H253 Anthropology of the Middle East (Haverford), and SOAN 009C Cultures of the Middle East (Swarthmore). A basic course should be chosen with the student's advisor. The instructor in the basic course may recommend a basic text for the student to use as a reference for continuing study;
  2. Three elective Middle Eastern topic courses, which meet the following conditions;
  3. One course must be in the social sciences;
  4. One course must be in the humanities;
  5. At least one course must be at the 300 level to be selected after consultation with the student's adviser so as to expose the student to in-depth study of the Middle East with a geographic, conceptual, or particular historical focus;
  6. At least one course must be pre-modern in content;
  7. Of the four courses, only two may also form a part of the student's major.

For Arabic and Hebrew languages, please see those sections.

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