All MDES majors must demonstrate fourth semester competency in a Middle Eastern language. This can be achieved through placement, transfer credits from other institutions (subject to approval by MDES language faculty), from study abroad or through successfully completing the level IV Arabic (ARAB 252 ), Persian (IRAN 250 ) or Hebrew (HEBR 315 ) courses at USC. These three courses count as upper-division courses for the purposes of requirements for this degree.
Students majoring or minoring in any of the programs offered by the Middle East Studies Program are strongly encouraged to study in the Middle East in one of USC's study abroad programs. With departmental approval, relevant courses taken abroad may be counted toward the Middle East Studies major and minor, Iranian Studies minor and Arabic minor. USC currently has programs at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Jerusalem, Israel; the Princess Sumaya University for Technology in Amman, Jordan; and the AMIDEAST Center in Rabat, Morocco.
Candidates for the BA in Middle East Studies may receive a designation on their transcripts of departmental honors. Admission to the honors program is required.
Prerequisites: 3.33 overall GPA; 3.5 GPA or better in courses in the major; a minimum grade of B+ in MDES/HIST 180 ; completion of at least one upper-level MDES courses (400 level) requiring a seminar paper, at the time of admission; submission of an application form to the MDES undergraduate faculty adviser. Prior approval of the thesis adviser and/or program director is required for any modification of these requirements.
Required for departmental honors: The student must maintain the GPA requirements stated above and successfully complete the MDES 492 Honors Thesis. In semesters when MDES 492 is not offered, students may, with program approval, substitute MDES 490 (independent study) as constituting an honors seminar equivalent.