The Five College Middle Eastern Studies Certificate provides the opportunity for serious study of the Middle East at Amherst College. Because of the wide range of courses available through the Five College consortium, students may design a program that will meet their intellectual, academic and prospective professional needs in conjunction with an advisor from their home institution.
The program is administered by the Five College Middle Eastern Studies Committee, which includes faculty advisors from each participating campus. In addition to exploring the range of courses offered at the Five Colleges, students are encouraged to spend time in the Middle East, learning Arabic and other languages and immersing themselves in the culture of the area. Plans for study abroad should be designed in consultation with the student's advisor. Courses from outside the Five Colleges can be counted toward the certificate requirements on the recommendation of the campus advisor and the approval of the committee. Students must receive a grade of B or better in every course counted toward the Certificate.
1. Knowledge equivalent to at least two years of college-level study of a Middle Eastern language, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, Persian and Armenian. Classes in Arabic and Modern Hebrew are currently taught in the Five Colleges. Additional courses in Arabic and in other languages are offered through the Five College Mentored Language Program. This requirement may be fulfilled through course completion or by examination.
2. Two introductory courses providing an overview of Middle Eastern history. One course must be in the premodern period (600–1500 CE) and one course must be in the modern period (1500–present).
3. Five courses from the following categories. Students must take at least one course from each of the groups.
- Group one: religion and philosophy
- Group two: literature, art, and language study beyond what is required to satisfy the language requirement above
- Group three: history and social sciences
Further information about this certificate is available at https://www.fivecolleges.edu/middleeast. The Amherst faculty advisor for 2020-21 is Professor Monica Ringer of the History Department.