Middle East Studies minor

Middle East Studies (MES) focuses on the global region stretching east-west from Morocco to Oman, and north-south from Turkey to Sudan. It encompasses the geographic region, its diverse cultures, and its history to the present.

The history and art of this region helped build modern Western civilization and the area today is central to issues of global peace and prosperity.

Decorative design.

Our Program

MES Program Coordinator
Professor Chad Lingwood

D-1-112 Mackinac Hall


[email protected]

Why Study the Middle East?

Courses in the MES minor introduce students to the "heritage, problems and perspectives" of Middle Eastern cultures, helping them better understand their own culture. Michigan, for example, is home to the nation's largest Arab American community. Students come from anthropology, business, communications, geography, history, and international relations - indeed, from all those disciplines where there is increasing interest in the non-Western world. For example, for aspiring teachers, knowledge of Islamic civilization provides tools for understanding - and teaching about - areas far removed from the Middle East, such as South Asia, Indonesia and sub-Saharan Africa. Among the many local firms with Middle East trade links, business majors who can demonstrate some understanding of regional customs, cultural practices and language, can gain advantage.

The MES program prepares students for a variety of career options, including those in:

  • Education
  • Government and diplomacy
  • International business
  • International relations
  • Non-governmental organizations

The State & National Model Arab League


MES minor students are encouraged to participate in the Model Arab League simulation, held each February. It is the cornerstone of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations' youth development program and provides the opportunity to debate real-world issues with like-minded students.

GVSU's Middle East Studies program has hosted the Michigan collegiate-level Model Arab League for many years, growing it to become one of the largest in the country. Students who participate in the state-level Model Arab League are also eligible to attend the National Model Arab League in Washington, D.C. each spring.

Students can join the Model Arab League by signing up for MES 370: Contemporary Issues in the Middle East, offered each winter semester.

Upcoming in Middle East Studies

Event Calendar

There are no upcoming Event Calendar at this time

View More Event Calendar


students share a high five while seated at a long table, one student smiles in the middle

Food and questions from around the world: For the Culture Quiz Bowl

Students and a few faculty and staff members flexed their Black history and cultural knowledge at the second quiz bowl.

Feb 28, 2024

A group of students dances during Grand Valley's "The Blackout: Black Student Organization Showcase".

'We're creating Black history': GVSU students reflect, celebrate at kickoff Black History Month event

The Blackout: Black Student Organization Showcase was the first of several events being held as part of Black History Month at Grand Valley.

Feb 9, 2024

faculty member in academic regalia holding an award

Outstanding faculty members will be recognized at awards convocation

The campus community is invited to attend the February 15 ceremony at the DeVos Center.

Feb 6, 2024

The Cook Carillon Tower surrounded by snow-covered trees.

Grand Valley to celebrate Black History Month through series of events in February

GVSU's Office of Multicultural Affairs will host a variety of educational events allowing students to connect with Black student groups and organizations.

Jan 29, 2024

View More News

Page last modified August 10, 2023