• <a href="/live/image/gid/599/width/650/86490_MENA_main_image.jpg" class="lw_preview_image lw_disable_preview" tabindex="-1"><picture class="lw_image lw_image86490"><source media="(max-width: 500px)" type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/599/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86490_MENA_main_image.rev.1607648999.webp 2x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(max-width: 500px)" type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/599/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86490_MENA_main_image.rev.1607648999.jpg 2x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(min-width: 501px)" type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/599/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86490_MENA_main_image.rev.1607648999.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(min-width: 501px)" type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/599/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86490_MENA_main_image.rev.1607648999.jpg 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/599/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86490_MENA_main_image.rev.1607648999.jpg" alt="Gain knowledge of the historical, cultural, political, and linguistic processes that have forged the region in its global contexts." data-max-w="1424" data-max-h="1365" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a> <div class="hero-split_image_caption collapsable-caption">Gain knowledge of the historical, cultural, political, and linguistic processes that have forged the region in its global contexts.</div>

Why Choose a Minor in Middle East and North African Studies?

The Middle East and North African minor is readily compatible with majors across the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. Both quintessentially ancient and utterly modern, the MENA region presents a unique opportunity to explore some of the most enduring and urgent developments in human history. As the site of several of humanity’s earliest major civilizations and some of today’s most important cultural, political, religious, and social happenings, the Middle East and North Africa provoke us to address questions central to a liberal arts education and to understanding our complex world.

What You’ll Study

The scope of our interdisciplinary program includes not only the societies located in the Middle East and North Africa, but also the many peoples, places, and events directly shaped by developments there, such as interactions between the Ottoman Empire and Europe, Islamicate influences in southern Asia, U.S. foreign policy, and sociocultural connections to sub-Saharan Africa. Most of our students enroll in Arabic language courses and also pursue a range of electives across the humanities and social sciences.

Many of our students earn course credit on overseas programs. In addition to general cultural programs that are open to all students, the Morocco program allows our students to study Modern Standard Arabic, learn with expert Moroccan faculty, stay with local families, and travel widely throughout the country.

Outside the classroom, the annual Middle East and North African Studies Symposium is organized by a committee of students with support from faculty and staff. This multiday interdisciplinary event celebrates the cultures of the region with guest speakers, student and faculty presentations of academic and artistic work, a film series, and a MENA-themed dinner. Our program also regularly hosts distinguished visitors, such as our 2018–19 Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Professor Rasha Soliman, an archeologist and Egyptologist from Cairo. Our faculty and students participate in many events organized by the Portland State University Center for Middle East Studies, located nearby in downtown Portland.


Complement Your Education With One of These Majors

The most popular majors for our Middle East and North African studies minors are history, international affairs, and political science.

What Students Are Saying About Lewis & Clark

  • Claire Baco BA '25

    I chose to minor in Middle East and North African studies because I value intercultural knowledge as an important aspect of being a global citizen, and I think it’s important to understand cultures which are different from our own.

    Claire Baco BA ’25
    Economics | Middle East and North African Studies and Data Science (double) | Shingle Springs, California
    More about Claire
  • Jade Weihz BA '23

    The classes are very interdisciplinary in Middle East and North African studies. You take classes from multiple departments from professors who love to teach about the subject.

    Jade Weihz BA ’23
    International Affairs | Middle East and North African Studies | Phillipsburg, New Jersey
    More about Jade
  • Jana smiling outside wearing a black turtleneck top and a necklace.

    Since I already speak Arabic, it was possible to pursue this minor while double majoring in international affairs and world languages. I like how the MENA classes connect to my two majors.

    Jana Qasem BA ’26
    International Affairs and World Languages (double) | Middle East and North African Studies | Tigard, Oregon
    More about Jana

What Can You Do With a Minor in Middle East and North African Studies?

Our alumni use the topics explored and skills cultivated in their Middle East and North African studies minor to help prepare them for an array of pursuits and careers in a complex and fast-changing world. They have gone on to work with the Peace Corps in Morocco, study advanced Arabic in Cairo, and undertake graduate studies in MENA and other fields.

Dedicated Faculty

Our expert professors are your expert mentors. You will learn directly from faculty (no graduate assistants here!) that are nationally recognized in their fields of study and who love to work with and learn from their students. Your professors will inspire you to be a thoughtful and passionate participant in a diverse world. Your small classes will support you as you explore new ideas, find your voice, and speak your truth.

Meet the Professors

Invest in Yourself

A private liberal arts education is often more affordable than you think. Last year, Lewis & Clark distributed over $74 million in assistance from institutional, federal, state, and private sources. Additionally, we’re so confident that our first-year students will graduate with their bachelor of arts degree in four years that if you don’t, we’ll cover the extra semester of tuition.

Find Your People

Students can join a variety of student-run organizations. Don’t see what you’re looking for on the club list? Start something new and build your own community of peers!

Where Lewis & Clark Will Take You

  • Emily, smiling while wearing construction gear, holding a 19th century pipe head found during an expedition in Australia.

    Lewis & Clark not only provided me with the tools to succeed in the career that I want, but also gave me access to the opportunities I needed to get started.

    Emily Hayes-Rich 2019
    History | Middle East and North African Studies (MENA) | Pojoaque, New Mexico
    More about Emily
  • Amelia Madarang BA '22

    Since graduation, I have been in Hualien, Taiwan, as an English teaching assistant with Fulbright Taiwan.

    Amelia Madarang BA ’22
    Political Science | Middle Eastern and North African Studies
    More about Amelia

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