Middle East & South Asia

Exploring the complex cultural, historical, literary, and political context of the Middle East and South Asia, marrying the depth of perspective gained from sustained attention to particular world areas (MESALC) with the Global Studies Program's distinctive attention to critical global inquiry. 

Major Requirements

Major Requirements

The major in Global Studies Middle East & South Asia requires 30 total credits.

Download a copy of the GSMS Advising Sheet here.


  • GSMS 3010 The Global in Situ: Perspectives from the Middle East and South Asia
  • GSMS 4991 Capstone Seminar
    • To be taken the second semester of a student’s fourth year
  • Three (3) elective courses from the Global Studies course list, including GSGS, GDS, GSVS, GSSJ, GPH/PHS and other globally-focused classes around Grounds


  • Completion of one (1) 3020 or equivalent Middle Eastern (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian) or South Asian (Hindi, Urdu) language
    • GSMS recognizes that many additional languages are useful in studying and understanding the Middle East and South Asia (French, Spanish, Italian, etc), and that some students are heritage language speakers of these (and other) regional languages. Please come talk to the Track Director about your unique language pathway, as there are many ways to meet this requirement. 
  • Four (4) non-language courses that focus on the Middle East and/or South Asia
    • Courses in MESALC, Religious Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, and Media Studies among others
    • Two (2) of these course must be 3000 level or above


  • A maximum of 12 study abroad and domestic transfer credits are allowed, with the permission of the major advisor.
  • USEM credits do not count toward major requirements.
  • Students may declare a major in both Global MESALC and any other MESALC degree (Middle East Studies, Middle Eastern Language & Literature, South Asian Studies, or South Asian Language & Literature). 



See below for a sample of courses that students have taken to meet the above requirements. Please speak with the Track Director about additional options.


ENGL   3030    Global Cultural Studies

GDS     3010    Theory and Case Study I

GDS     3020    Theory and Case Study II

GDS     3100    Development on the Ground

GDS     3110    Engaged Learning for Global/Local Development

GDS     3113    A Buddhist Approach to Development

GDS     3114    Science, Tech and Development

GDS     4559    State, Society, and Development

GSGS   2210    Epidemics, Pandemics, and History

GSGS   3111    Epistemology, Methodology & Methods

GSGS   3115    Women's Work in South Asia                        

GSGS   3116    Social Movements and Development

GSGS   3559    Conceptions of the Global                             

GSGS   3559    Global Perspectives on Corruption

GSGS   3559    Binaries                      

GSVS    2150    Global Sustainability

GSVS    2210    Ethics and Global Environments

GPH     3825    Global Public Health: Challenges and Innovations


ARTR   3245    Arabic Literary Delights

ARTR   3290    Modern Arabic Literature in Translation

ARTR   3350    Introduction to Arab Women's Literature

ARTR   3559    Masterpieces of Classical Islamic World

HIME   1501    Intro Sem in Middle East Hist (Water, Energy, and Politics in the Middle East)

HIME   2002    History of Modern ME

HIME   2013    Palestine 1948            

HIME   4511    Islam and Capitalism

RELI     3900    Islam in Africa

RELI     2010    Classical Islam                        

RELI     2024    Jewish-Muslim Relations

RELI     5540    Seminar in Islamic Studies -- Arabic Philosophical Texts

RELB    2100    Buddhism

RELB    3300    Literature & Society in South Asia: Breaking the Cast(e)

RELG    2740    Hinduism Through its Narrative Literatures

RELG    3605    Religion, violence

RELG    5320    RELG    Research Seminar in Religion, Conflict, and Peace

MDST  3420    Media and Power in Iran

MESA  2300    Crossing Borders : Mid E&S Asia

MESA  2700    Recent Revolutions

MESA  3111    Film Festivals and Global Media Cultures MESA spotlight                            

MESA  3110    Sustainable Environments ME and SA           

MESA  3120    Islamic Mystical Writing

MESA  3559    Love and Rebellion in Iran

MESA  3559    Cinephilia & Global Modernity

MEST   3470    Language and Culture in the Middle East

MEST   3559    Islamic Calligraphy

PLCP    3410    Politics of ME and N Africa

SAST    1600    India in Global Perspective

SAST    3559    Knowing SA: Forms of Apprehension

SATR    3000    Women and Writing in India and Pakistan

SATR    3300    Breaking CASTE

WSG    4559    Gender and Nationalism in ME

** The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.