Courses and Programs at OSU

The Middle East Studies Center (MESC) at The Ohio State University promotes learner-centered teaching, scholarly exchange, and intercultural experience related to the Middle East. MESC combines efforts with Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC), the Undergraduate International Studies Program (UISP), and the Middle East Studies Library Collection, to support students, faculty and staff. You can learn about the Middle East in numerous departments at Ohio State, with many of the courses offered fulfilling your core requirements. Ohio State University courses and programs in Middle East languages and cultures offer several majors and minors, as well as selected graduate degree programs.  Other degrees may be tailored to focus on the Middle East.  Researching the faculty in different departments working on topics related to the Middle East may help you find the best fit. Browse these faculty members who offer courses with content related to the Middle East. 

Courses and Programs Abroad

A number of Middle East-related study abroad courses and programs are offered by OSU when travel restrictions aren't in place (search by region, Middle East and North Africa). For students who do not require OSU credit (credit can be transferred as "K" credit), it is also possible to utilize a non-OSU program. The countries in the Middle East most frequently travelled to for study or research-related purposes by OSU students and faculty are Israel and Morocco; Tajikistan (a Central Asian county which is predominantly Persian-speaking) and the United Arab Emirates have also been fairly common. Countries under a State Department Travel warning are discouraged. See U.S. Department of State's website for further information.

Gain Work Experience 

The Middle East Studies Center facilitates student development through a set of activities designed to provide work experience relevant to the job market, train students in academic research skills, and help students to explore career options. These activities each contribute to a student's job-readiness, and can be combined or selected separately based on student need/interest. Activities which are more academically oriented are not considered separate, but conducive to honing research skills which are highly marketable in today's economy. We encourage students to develop a robust eportfolio of curricular and co-curricular achievements that demonstrate they offer research skills, intercultural awareness and a set of valuable technical skills.
We offer internship and volunteer opportunities for work experience pertinent to international fields. Our interns and student associations form our "Engagement Team" and collaborate to create videos, blog posts and educationally valuable image collections. Media production activities are prominent throughout all of the student roles.
We also provide the opportunity to get to know, and collaborate with students at Istanbul University to create media. Students who maintain substantive conversations, and succeed in creating media with their colleagues across the ocean will earn Global Community Building and Global Media Project Buckeye Badges. Badges allow students to display their achievements to future employers in e-portfolios, social media or electronic CVs.
All OSU students are eligible to participate in international career events we host with the other area studies centers, as well. Often our interns help us prepare for these events by conducting research on current job market trends, how to prepare for study abroad, where to obtain funding, what sorts of international work experience opportunities are available, etc. MESC Career Development Opportunities for students: 
  • Internships: Being a part of the MESC engagement team. Minimum requirements include: commitment to weekly team meetings; and event support on occasional evenings and weekends. We facilitate students' learning by connecting them to resources such as to obtain technical skills, and include aspects of professional development in the weekly team meetings. Students who are able to make a ten-hour-per-week commitment will meet one-on-one with the Assistant director to get feedback on their performance. Students able to make a bigger commitment may take on projects in any of the following activities: 
  • Blog posts for the Center's "Breaking Down the Headlines" blog. Researching and composing blog posts, with engaging, properly-cited images. This is the primary responsibility of our Academic Intern.
  • Video production. Footage captured at our events is transformed into an educational video, and posted on our YouTube channel.
  • Image galleries. Images curated for educational purposes are displayed in web galleries.
Interns who successfully complete a tier 2 internship may be eligible for a paid internship, or to become a lead intern. Tier 2 internships may be for academic credit for students pursuing a degree in International Studies - these are our Academic Interns*.

Start an e-Portfolio for Academic and Career Success

Capture the skills you are learning along with leadership and problem-solving experience in an e-portfolio. We encourage you to develop your intercultural learning via the certificate program, as well. The Middle East Studies Center offers two Buckeye Badges: the Global Community Building and the Global Media Project Badge. Check out our career pages to learn about opportunities and career paths. 


Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS)

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) supports Title VI National Resource Center/Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) grants. MESC is not currently funded but we applied for funding in the coming grant cycle (2022-2026). Would you like to be considered for funding as part of a FLAS fellowship (should we receive the grant)? Please read the info sheet for graduate fellowships at, or undergraduate fellowships at to consider what the fellowship would require of you. The online application is here: Questions? Contact us at