Middle Eastern and North African Studies (MENAS) Minor

Founding Director of the Center for the Middle East and North Africa Jennifer Derr, also an associate professor of history, led 12 students through Cairo, Egypt's history and daily life in the city. Students touring the Beit al-Suhaymi, Cairo, Egypt (photo by the Beit al-Suhaymi museum guards)

The Middle Eastern and North African Studies (MENAS) minor, administered by the Humanities Division in partnership with the Center for the Middle East and North Africa (CMENA), is dedicated to the study and research of the histories, politics, and cultures of the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa.


Through this interdisciplinary program, students declared in the MENAS minor will choose from a diverse set of courses across departments and divisions that combine language study with classes that explore the Middle East and North Africa through historical and contemporary lenses. Courses span the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts Divisions and draw on the varied and deep expertise of faculty in multiple academic departments. The objective of the MENAS minor is to promote substantive regional knowledge, understanding, and curiosity among students who are interested in positioning themselves as global citizens or who are considering graduate study on the Middle East, North Africa or the wider MENA region.

Once they have declared their major, students, in close consultation with their major advisor and the MENAS advisor, can pursue adding the minor.

The minor consists of a total of nine courses and students must complete courses from at least three different departments as part of the non-language course requirements for the minor. Minor requirements include:

ONE Year of Foreign Language Instruction

  • Minimum of three-quarters of language instruction in Arabic, Hebrew, or Persian

ONE Lower-Division Introductory Course

At least one specified lower-division introductory survey course from the following list:

  • HIS 41 The Making of the Modern Middle East
  • HIS 50 When Pharaohs Reigned: The History of Ancient Egypt
  • HIS 51 Pyramids of Earth: Religion and Symbol in the Ancient World
  • HIS 58 From Pirates to Refugees: The History of the Modern Mediterranean
  • HIS 74A Introduction to Middle Eastern and North African Jewish History, 1500-2000
  • LIT 81D The Prophet and the Qur’an

FIVE Upper-Division Electives

Students will complete a minimum of 25 credits–or five upper-division courses drawn from the Departments of History, Politics, Anthropology, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Feminist Studies, Literature, Languages, and Applied Linguistics, the History of Art and Visual Culture, and Film and Digital Media whose primary focus is the history, politics, artistic production, and/or cultures of the Middle East and/or North Africa.

Students can select from a list of pre-approved courses from at least three different departments as part of the non-language course requirements for the minor.

For the full list of elective offerings, please visit the MENAS Catalog page.

Please visit the CMENA webpage for more information on the research, programs, and activities, and affiliated faculty.

Overview of Advising Services

Students can connect with the MENAS minor advisor by sending an email or setting up an appointment on Slug Success.

🔶 Email Advising

  • Email advising is great for asking quick questions. Please email us at humadvising@ucsc.edu with your UCSC email account, and provide your full name and student ID number (SID).
  • Please allow 3-5 business days for a response.

🔶 Appointments

  • Schedule 30-minute appointments on Slug Success or the Navigate app. For help with Slug Success, please refer to these how-to guides.
  • Here is a direct link to MENAS Advisors Appointment Availability
  • Please provide more details in the "Comments" as to the reason for making an appointment
  • A confirmation email will be sent once your appointment is scheduled -- a Zoom link will be included if it is a virtual appointment.

How to Declare

There are four steps to declare the minor. Please read through the information below. You can declare the MENAS minor as long as you have declared your major.

  1. Complete the MENAS Minor Checklist.
  2. Complete the UCSC Academic Planning Form. Include courses for your major, minor, and general education requirements. If you need help with either form, please contact us at humadvising@ucsc.edu.
  3. Once both forms have been completed, set up a meeting with MENAS Minor Advisor on Slug Success. In the comments section, write that this is a Minor Declaration meeting.
  4. After your meeting with the MENAS advisor, log into MyUCSC and submit the Petition for Major/Minor via MyUCSC.

If you are not yet logged into MyUCSC, the petition can also be accessed by going to MyUCSC and navigating to the Student Homepage and selecting the Undergraduate Student eForms tile > Petition for Major/Minor

  1. The MENAS Advisor will then ensure that the minor is entered in AIS and will show up on your record. If the minor does not show up on AIS within a few weeks please contact humadvising@ucsc.edu.

Meet the MENAS Advisor

Advising is one way to make the most of your university experience. We encourage you to utilize advising as much as you need. Ask questions and seek advice. We are here to support you.


Advisor: Maya Woolfe (she/her), Assistant Director of Student Achievement
Email: humadvising@ucsc.edu

See Also