Middle East Studies Major

The Middle East studies major, which helps students understand the forces that shape this dynamic region, uses an exploration of religion, politics, economics, culture, history and geography. All Elliott School students must also complete the General Bachelor of Arts requirements in addition to their major requirements.

What You'll Study

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This major builds upon the same multidisciplinary core found in the international affairs degree and moves quickly to focus on topics central to the Middle East. After four years of study, successful students will have proficiency in a modern regional language and the basic intellectual tools they need to understand the region's history and contemporary dynamics. Students are encouraged to study in the Middle East through one of GW's formal partnerships with a regional university or their own self-designed study-abroad program.



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Study Abroad

With more than 70% of Elliott students studying abroad, there are an abundance of programs and countries that you can choose to enhance what you’ve learned in D.C. Our students have traveled across remote areas of China, through major cities like Hong Kong, Seoul, and Taipei, and in other areas of the region and world to enhance their knowledge.

Find a study abroad program


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While study abroad enhances understanding, you don’t have to leave D.C. to get global experience. Our campus is just blocks from the White House and State Department, a metro ride away from Capitol Hill and close to embassies who call the city home. With GW students finding more than 12,000 internship opportunities each year, you can find something that helps you meet your goals.

Find an Internship


"Through the Institute Middle East Studies Summer Language Grant, I traveled to Jordan for Arabic language courses. There, I lived with a Palestinian family. This experience provided me with invaluable language skills and brought me closer to Jordanian and Palestinian culture.”

Amber Herrle
B.A. Middle East Studies