2022-2023 University Catalog 
    Jun 16, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

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Associate Professor Khan (Director), Mundy, Spadola
Senior Lecturer Abdal-Ghaffar, El-Saeid

Program Faculty Abbas, Bonet, Julien, Kaimal, Monk, Rutherford
Affiliated Faculty Aqeel, Murshid

This multidisciplinary program focuses on the Middle East and North Africa while also studying the wider Islamic world. It provides students with an understanding of the origins and development of the Islamic faith in its heartland, as well as an awareness of the global, multi-cultural character of modern Islam. Program courses train students in art, literature, history, culture, politics, and political economy of the Middle East, North Africa, and the Islamic world.

The Islamic world spans the Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia. The world’s nearly 2 billion Muslims comprise one-quarter of the world’s population and include numerous linguistic and ethnic groups such as Arabs, Iranians, Turkic peoples, Kurds, Baluchis, Malays, and others. The Islamic world is the source of rich religious and intellectual traditions that share deep roots with Western traditions and have evolved over a long history of interaction with the West. It also plays an important role in global peace, security, and prosperity. These demographic, cultural, and strategic considerations ensure increasingly deep and dynamic relations among peoples of the Islamic world and the Euro-Atlantic West. The Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program (MIST) program equips Colgate students with the knowledge and conceptual tools needed to forge and understand these connections.

The themes addressed by the program include Islam’s textual foundations and interpretive traditions; the developement and historical spread of diverse Muslim societies; political institutions, and artistic and literary traditions; European colonialism and its impact on the cultures, economies, and polities of the region; the rise of modern nationalism and its relationship to tribal, religious, and ethnic identities; the emergence and impact of political Islam and Islamic revivalist movements; the Arab-Israeli conflict; democratization and revolutionary movements; and United States foreign policy toward the Middle East, North Africa, and the Islamic world.

GPA Requirements

Courses taken at Colgate, on a Colgate Study Group, or an Approved Program must have a grade of C or better to count toward the major or minor.

Honors and High Honors

Students interested in pursuing honors can find the additional requirements on the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Major  major page.

Study Abroad

The MIST faculty and the off-campus study office have identified a small number of programs that we highly encourage students to attend for a summer or a semester. Up to three course credits toward the major may be earned through study in off-campus programs. Approved off-campus language courses may also count toward the major and are not included in the three-credit limit. Consult with MIST faculty for further details.


Award for Excellence in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies — awarded to the graduating senior who has excelled in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies.

The Prize for Excellence in Arabic — awarded by the faculty of Arabic to students who demonstrate excellence in studying Arabic language and culture.


The courses listed below are offered by the MIST program. As an interdisciplinary program, select courses from other departments/programs may also count toward the MIST major and minor requirements. Use the major/minor links below to find other courses that count toward these requirements. 

Majors and Minors



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