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Middle East and North Africa Studies, B.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #51 (BCR) Boston, MA, United States
The interdisciplinary major in Middle East and North Africa Studies at Boston University provides a coherent grounding in the history, cultures, artistic production, and one or more of the languages of the MENA region.
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Middle East and North Africa Studies capitalizes on Boston University’s unusually strong offerings in four Middle Eastern languages (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish) and many aspects of Middle Eastern and North African culture and politics. It is designed to be flexible, easily tailored to each student’s particular interests and learning goals, whether those focus on a certain country in the region or a particular transnational issue. MENA Studies works well on its own, in combination with a minor, or as a double major with International Relations or a disciplinary major.

Graduating MENA Studies majors are well prepared for graduate study and for careers in government, local and international non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. Majors study one or more MENA languages for a total of at least six semesters; they also develop competence in both humanities and social sciences, and the mini-seminar CAS ME 101 helps them integrate these disciplinary approaches and understand the utility and limits of each. Every student builds a “MENA Portfolio” tracking his or her coursework, language learning milestones, study abroad experiences, and reflections. Seniors may present their research projects at an annual majors’ conference. Discussions with MENA faculty and fellow students help majors understand the disciplinary and other biases most prevalent in the region and how they are often replicated among scholars who study it. Majors thus have a continuous opportunity to explore, deepen, and perhaps revise their pre-existing beliefs and ideas about this contested region.

Study Abroad

BU sponsors four study abroad programs in the MENA region: Rabat, Morocco; Haifa, Israel; Istanbul, Turkey; and an exchange program at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon. It is strongly recommended that students take advantage of one of these programs or pursue another appropriate course of study in the region.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate substantive interdisciplinary knowledge of legal, political, economic, social, cultural, and historical factors influencing international affairs.
  • Display an in-depth understanding of an important functional subfield of the discipline and a major geographical region of the world.
  • Conduct theoretically informed and empirically based analysis of real-world conditions and events and present the results of that analysis persuasively in written and oral forms.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    120 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses included:

  • Islamic Art and Architecture
  • Muslim Societies: An Interdisciplinary History
  • Power and Society in the Middle East
  • Anthropology of Muslim Cultures and Politics
  • Special Topics in the History of Media
  • Turko-Persia in the Twentieth Century

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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General Requirements

  • Common Application or Coalition Application     
  • High School Transcript
  • Senior Year Grades
  • Counselor Recommendation and School Report Form   
  • Teacher Evaluation
  • Standardized Tests
  • Secondary School Records
  • Documentation of Financial Support
  • Copy of Data Page of Passport

Tuition Fee

  • International

    54720 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 54720 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    54720 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 54720 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Boston

  • 1560 - 3240 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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