Middle East Studies, Minor


Department of Philosophy

Sergio La Porta, Chair
Music Building, Room 102
FAX: 559.278.6484

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in Philosophy, B.A.
BA in Philosophy - Religious Studies Option, B.A.
BA in Philosophy - Prelaw Option, B.A.
MN in Philosophy, Minor
MN in Peace & Conflict Studies, Minor
MN in Middle East Studies, Minor

Courses Offered

The Department

Philosophy is one of the fundamental domains of human thought. It grows out of basic life questions, including questions of ethics, religion, politics, and science. The study of philosophy has had an historic role in the core of sound education, because it helps sharpen skills of careful, independent thinking and aids people of all ages in defining their most important values and beliefs. The examination of great philosophical ideas, and the emphasis on clear reasoning and personal development that are involved in philosophy serve as a strong foundation for life, regardless of one's career objectives.

The Department of Philosophy offers students the following opportunities for a rich and rewarding undergraduate experience: the traditional B.A. philosophy major, the prelaw option, the religious studies option, and the philosophy minor. The department provides ample opportunity for individual attention and student participation in its activities, e.g., student Philosophy Club, symposia, colloquia, etc.

The Prelaw Option emphasizes analytical skills, ethics, and values courses. Law schools seek a broad general education background and do not recommend any specific major. Students who enjoy philosophy and are interested in law should find this option an excellent way to combine their interests.

The Religious Studies Option offers objective methods for exploring the vast and complex human experience known as religion. This study is done with an appreciation for the variety and diversity of religious beliefs and expressions. This option provides students with an academic approach to religion in personal, social, historical, and global contexts.


Middle East Studies Minor - Requirements

The Minor in Middle East Studies is a broad, interdisciplinary program designed to provide students from all disciplines with an introductory foundation of knowledge about different subjects related to the Middle East. Students will select from a variety of courses offered throughout the university that study the linguistic, social, cultural, artistic, literary, historical, political and economic factors that define this region of the world. Upon completion of the minor, students will be able to communicate in one of the languages spoken in the region, have a broad contextual understanding of the region, and be afforded the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge in one or more areas of study related to the region. The minor is composed of 21-23 units. These include 3 units of a required lower-division introductory course MES 10; 6-8 units of lower-division courses in Middle Eastern languages selected from Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, and Persian; and 12 upper-division units selected from courses offered by the departments participating in this program. Courses taken for the minor may count toward fulfilling General Education requirements, but not toward fulfilling the student's major. Students in the minor must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Required Course (3 units)
MES 10 (fulfills G.E. Area D3)

Lower-division Language Requirement (6-8 units)
Select from: ARAB 1A-1B; ARM 1A-1B; HEBR 1A-1B; PERS 1A-1B (some courses fulfill G.E. Area C2)

Electives (select 4 courses) (12 units)
ANTH 135; ECON 183; ENGL 179, ENGL 193T; HIST 107, HIST 109T, HIST 110; MUSIC 171; PHIL 139, PHIL 158; PLSI 144T; SSCI 150T

Total (21-23 units)

Other courses can be used to fulfill electives upon approval by minor adviser.


The department has a diverse and well-trained faculty with special interests ranging from logic and scientific method to existentialism and philosophy of religion. All members of the department share the conviction that the best way to teach philosophy is through an intense but sympathetic interchange between the teacher and the student.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.