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Middle East and North Africa Studies Minor

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is one of the most volatile regions in the world and plays a central role in global politics today. With its great diversity of peoples, languages and cultures, it is also home to the fastest growing religion in the world. Add to that immense socio-economic and political transformations, the highest percentages of youth in the world, and massive financial and strategic mineral resources, it certainly is one of the most crucial areas of global studies today.

Drexel’s minor in Middle East and North Africa Studies provides students with the necessary tools to understand and critically engage with the MENA region. Students will be able to specialize in MENA by taking social science and humanities courses, in addition to developing language skills. The minor will cover a wide range of topics such as development, social movements, gender studies, labor, geopolitics, security, religion, law and culture. Coursework in the MENA minor will cover the Arabic-speaking countries, in addition to Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Israel.

Requirements and Courses

To complete the MENA minor, students are required to complete the Introduction to MENA course and take elective as well as Arabic language courses. Mandatory credits in Arabic allow students to develop competency in the language, essential for understanding the culture and politics of the region. At the same time, the elective credits allow students the flexibility to explore the questions that they are most interested in.

Students are eligible to receive an Intermediate Language Proficiency Certificate after completing the 200-level of Arabic. Study abroad, special topics and GST courses focused on the Middle East or North Africa will be considered for elective credits. Students must receive permission from the department.


There are many benefits to minoring in Middle East and North Africa studies. Students can expect to:

  • Develop an interdisciplinary understanding of the contemporary issues in the MENA region.
  • Develop skills to critically engage with material related to MENA.
  • Critically identify common stereotypes about people and politics in MENA.
  • Learn different approaches to studying MENA by highlighting the benefits and problems of each approach.
  • Develop a better understanding of major international geopolitical and security questions as they relate to the MENA region.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the relationship between the U.S. and the MENA region.
  • Gain exposure and familiarity with the diverse cultures, ethnic groups and religions in the MENA region.
  • Develop cross-cultural communication skills that enable an understanding of local practices and customs.
  • Develop competency in Arabic that will enable a better understanding of the culture and politics in MENA.
  • Gain a greater opportunity to study abroad programs in MENA.
  • Develop an understanding of the political and economic challenges that countries in the Global South face.
  • Develop general social scientific and humanities skills for analyzing political, social and economic dynamics. These skills could be helpful for understanding other regions in the world.


The MENA minor complements any area of academic study. Students pursuing the minor should be interested in:

  • Deepening their understanding of social economic and political questions.
  • International relations and major geopolitical and security questions.
  • Learning about diverse cultures and religions.
  • Economic and business opportunities in MENA.
  • Exposure to diverse legal frameworks and schools of thought.

Learn more about the Minor in MENA Studies in the Course Catalog


Interested in supplementing your degree with a Middle East and North Africa Studies Minor? Apply now, or visit our campus to learn more about life at Drexel University.

Prospective Students

Please email or call us at 215.895.1805 with any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!