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Classical, Middle Eastern, and Asian Languages and Cultures

Hebrew and Middle Eastern Studies (Islamic Culture, Sephardic and Israeli Culture)

Contact for Arabic language program: Kirsten Beck
Contact for Hebrew language program: Oded Nir
Contact for Middle Eastern Studies: R. Shareah Taleghani​

Major programs are available in Hebrew and Middle Eastern Studies. Arabic and Hebrew may be studied for a minor in that language or as part of a major. Aramaic and Biblical Hebrew may be studies as part of a major in MES or Hebrew.


Degree requirements for a BA in Hebrew

Required: 30 credits beyond HEBRW 101 and 102. Students must consult the advisor for placement in the language program and to determine the distribution of credits for the major. HEBRW 203 and 204 may be applied to the Hebrew major only if students have been placed into these courses by the department. All students are required to take a minimum of 18 credits in courses in Hebrew numbered above 300. The remaining credits may include additional courses in Hebrew, courses in Arabic or Yiddish, or courses in Hebrew, Jewish, Israeli, or Mideastern literature or culture given in English. At least 12 credits must be taken at Queens College. Students must attain an average of at least 2.0 in the courses composing their major. (30 credits)


Degree requirements for a BA in Middle Eastern Studies

Foreign language:

  • Both A and B must be satisfied:
    • Two semesters of college-level Arabic (at an appropriate level depending on proficiency).
    • Two semesters of Hebrew, Farsi, Turkish, or two more semesters of Arabic. 

Introductory courses:

  • MES 160 and MES 255; or, one of these two courses and one of the following history courses: HIST 146–149. (6 credits)

Core courses:

  • Four of the following: HIST 204, 256 or 298, MES 155, 240, 250 or 260, PSCI 240, or one more introductory course (listed above) not already taken. (12 credits)


  • Three additional courses chosen in consultation with an advisor within the department's offerings in Arabic, Hebrew, or Middle Eastern Studies, or college-wide courses relevant to the Middle East. (9 credits)

Senior Seminar:

  • Either A or B must be satisfied:
    • MES 380
    • With permission of an advisor, a 300-level course or seminar on a Middle Eastern topic in another department (for example, HIST 339). (3 credits)

Requirements for a Minor in Arabic

Required: 15 credits beyond ARAB 102, of which 6 credits will normally be in language study (ARAB 203 and 204); the others will be in courses taught in English relevant to the history and civilization of Islam and the literature and culture of the Arab world. Programs should be arranged in consultation with the area coordinator or the chair. 


Requirements for a Minor in Hebrew

Required: 18 credits in Hebrew beyond HEBRW 102. For details, please consult the coordinator or the chair. At least three of these courses must be taken at Queens College. (18 credits)


 Office Information


Due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus, there are currently no regular in-person office hours. For all matters, please send an email to the department, or leave a phone message.

Faculty can be reached by email and are holding office hours by phone or videoconference. See faculty contact information.

Yunzhong Shu
Department Chair
Location: Queens Hall, Room 215
Phone: 718-997-5570
Fax: 718-997-5577

Faculty and Staff Information 


Open House March 31 

The Middle Eastern Studies MA program at the CUNY Graduate Center invites prospective student to a virtual open house on March 31.

More Info · RSVP Required​

Language Placement

Upcoming Language Placement Exams

Spring 2021

Arabic: Please ​contact Professor Kirsten Beck, the Arabic language coordinator, ​at

Chinese: Please contact Professor Xiao Li, the Chinese language coordinator, at

Ancient Greek: Please contact Professor Raymond Capra, the Ancient Greek language coordinator, at

Hebrew: Please contact Professor Oded Nir, the Hebrew language coordinator, at

Japanese: Please contact Professor Mari Fujimoto, the Japanese language coordinator, at

Korean: Please contact Professor Seongyeon Ko, the Korean language coordinator, at

Latin: Please contact Professor Raymond Capra, the Latin language coordinator, at

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