Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Minor

The Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies minor is designed for students who are interested in deepening their knowledge of the languages, geography, religions, cultures, history, and politics of the Middle East and the Islamic world. Students seeking employment in government or non-governmental organizations which operate in the Middle East will be particularly well-served by this minor program, as will students who are preparing for careers in education, law enforcement, and other fields.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will understand the major tenets of Islam and how it shapes the history and politics of the Muslim world.
  • Students will assess the role of religion in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as well as South and Central Asia.
  • Students will apply social science concepts and research methods to further their understanding of world religions, especially Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
  • Students will identify the defining characteristics of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as a distinct world region, including its diverse physical geography, cultural traits, social systems, political structures, and history.

About Academic Minors

Farmingdale State College students are invited to enhance their studies with an "Academic Minor." A minor is a cluster of thematically related courses drawn from one or more departments. In addition to department based minors (e.g. computer programming & info systems), interdisciplinary minors are also available (e.g. legal studies).

Academic minors are approved by the College-Wide Curriculum Committee and the Provost. Students must make application for an academic minor through the department offering the minor in conjunction with the Registrar's Office Specific course work must be determined in consultation with a faculty member in the department offering the minor. A statement of successful completion of the academic minor will appear on the student's transcript at the time of graduation.

  • A minor is considered to be an optional supplement to a student's major program of study.
  • Completion of a minor is not a graduation requirement and is subject to the availability of the courses selected. However, if the requirements for a minor are not completed prior to certification of graduation in the major, it will be assumed that the minor has been dropped. Consequently, the student will only be certified for graduation in their primary major.
  • Only students in 4 year baccalaureate programs can apply for a minor.
  • A minor should consist of 15 to 21 credits.
  • At least 12 credits must be in courses at the 200 level or higher.
  • At least 9 credits must be residency credits.
  • Specific requirements for each minor are determined by the department granting the minor. 
  • Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 in their minor.  Some minors may require a higher GPA.
  • Students are prohibited from declaring a minor in the same discipline as their major (e.g. one cannot combine an applied math minor with an applied math major). Academic minors may not apply to all curricula.
  • Students are permitted to double-count courses.
  • Students are only permitted to take more than one minor with appropriate written approval of their department chair or curriculum Dean.

Admission to Farmingdale State College - State University of New York is based on the qualifications of the applicant without regard to age, sex, marital or military status, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability or sexual orientation.

History, Politics and Geography | Dr. Jeffery S. Gaab, Chair | hpg@farmingdale.edu | 934-420-2739

Fall 2020

Subject to revision

ARA 131 Arabic I 3
ARA 132 Arabic II 3
ARA 233 Arabic III 3
ARA 234 Arabic IV 3
HIS 117 World Civilization I 3
HIS 118 World Civilization II 3
GEO 211 The World and Its Peoples 3
HIS 212 Modern World 3
HIS 215 The World of Islam 3
HIS 216 History of Central Asia 3
HIS 217 From Constantine to Columbus 3
HIS 233 Comparative Religions and Cultures 3
POL 267 Politics of the Muslim World 3
POL 370 International Relations 3
POL 371 Geopolitics 3
POL 392 Religion and Politics 3
MLG 308 Arabic Culture and Civilization 3
MLG 309 Arabic Cinema 3
HIS 318 Israel: A History of the Jewish State 3
HIS 341 Terrorism and the Modern World 3
RAM 303 Research Experience 3
Notes:
At least 12 credits (4 courses) must be in courses at the 200-level or higher. At least 9 credits (3 courses) must be taken at Farmingdale State College.

ARA 131 Arabic I (Elementary)

A beginning course in Arabic emphasizing the gradual development of the four language skills: listening, speaking reading and writing with stress on communicative competence and cultural awareness.

ARA 132 Arabic II (Elementary)

A continuation of ARA 131 or for students who have had 2 to 3 years of high school Arabic. This course emphasizes the gradual development of the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing with stress on communicative competence and cultural awareness. Prerequisite(s): ARA 131

ARA 233 Arabic III (Intermediate)

For those students who have taken ARA 132 or four or more years of high school Arabic. This intermediate course further emphasizes the development of the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing with stress on communicative competence and cultural awareness. A literary and cultural reading will be introduced. Prerequisite(s): ARA 132

ARA 234 Arabic IV (Intermediate)

For those student who had taken ARA 233 or four or more years of high school Arabic. This course emphasizes structural review, intensified practice in oral expression with increased emphasis on reading and writing skills. Continued attention will be given to contemporary Arabic culture. Selections from Arabic authors will be read. Prerequisite(s): ARA 233

HIS 117 World Civilization I

A survey of major non-Western civilizations and their interaction with one another, as well as with the European West from antiquity through the Early Modern Period. The course will explore ancient polytheistic traditions, the foundations of major world religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam), and the rise of Christianity as a global faith. It will also address non-Western social, political, and economic systems in East Asia, South Asia, the Muslim World, Sub-Saharan Africa, and pre-Columbian America. Note: Students completing HIS 117 and HIS 118 may not receive credit for HIS 126.

HIS 118 World Civilization II

A survey of the developing world and its interaction with the West since 1700, the course will explore the chaotic effects of the non-Western world's interaction with European imperial powers, the United States, and Soviet Union, focusing on social, economic, cultural, and political change in East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. The major themes of the course will center on imperialism, nationalism, modernization, the World Wars, and the Cold War. Note: Students completing HIS 117 and HIS 118 may not receive credit for HIS 126.

GEO 211 The World and Its Peoples

This course is an exploration of the rich diversity of cultures and societies of the contemporary world, as well as an introduction to world geography and how it has shaped major developments in global history. Critical readings of recent ethnography will be used to examine themes such as ethnicity and migration, rural life and traditionalism, and family and kinship. Students will also be familiarized with the growth of cities, demographic changes, the development of a leisure culture, and attitudes towards work as we survey the major world regions (Southern Asia, the Pacific Rim, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, the Americas, Europe, and Oceania). Furthermore, we will examine the interaction between humans and their physical environment, interrogate the role of language on national identity among peoples, and trace the evolution of world religions.

HIS 212 Modern World

Analyzes the impact of technology on the major political movements and governmental systems of the modern world since 1900. The course will examine the effects of technology on war, culture, ideology and the future.

HIS 215 The World of Islam

An examination of the birth and development of Islam from its beginning to the present. Special emphasis will be placed on the inter-connection of Islam with Judaism and Christianity and the common basis of monotheism. Topics to be discussed include the Ottoman and Mogul Empires, trade and commerce, urbanization, intellectual movements and class formation in the Islamic world.

HIS 216 History of Central Asia: From Genghis to Borat

A study of the history, peoples, cultures, religions, customs, and contemporary politics of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan), as well as the relationship between the region and its neighbors China, Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

HIS 217 From Constantine to Columbus: Western Civilization in the Middle Ages

This course will examine the development of the major cultural, social, and political movements and institutions of Western Civilization in the period before Columbus. Through both lecture and discussion formats, students will examine the preservation of Greek and Roman learning; Christian civilization and its relation with Islamic culture; the rise of cities, international trade and national capitalism; European learning and the emergence of the university; the rise of the nation-state and the origins of secularism. By the end of the course, students will be able to identify the roots and explain the development of cultural, social, and political institutions that are unique to the Western world.

HIS 233 Comparative Religions and Cultures

A survey of religions of the East and the region of the Mediterranean, with discussion of their impact on the lives of individuals, and on cultures and other societies through the interrelationship of value systems.

POL 267 Politics of the Muslim World

This course provides an introduction to the global politics Islam, including regional issues in the Arab world, Central Asia, and South Asia, as well as the impact of Islamic politics on parts of the globe where Muslims represent a significant minority (Europe, Russia, China, and sub-Saharan Africa).

POL 370 International Relations

This course examines how the international political system was established and how it has changed since the Peace of Westphalia. Focusing on the role of states, complemented by a thorough analysis of non-state actors, students will investigate how the global system works and how the process of globalization is remaking the political and economic world. The art and purpose of diplomacy will also be explored. Prerequisite(s): Any 100-level or higher HIS or POL course.

POL 371 Geopolitics

This course examines the strategic, political, and cultural developments and concepts associated with geopolitical from late 19th century through the current era. Combining knowledge of international relations and world geography, students will examine how states and nations interact in an increasingly globalized world. Special topics will include the geopolitics of space, energy, religion, and the environment. Popular media's impact on geopolitics understanding will also be explored. Prerequisite(s): Any 100-level or higher HIS or POL course.

POL 392 Religion and Politics

This course examines the complicated and often fractious relationship between religion and politics. Following a brief introduction to the world's major religions, we will explore how politics and faith interact around the globe. Following a geographic approach, we will focus first on the United States before investigating the politics of religion in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. The themes of theocracy, sectarian conflict, fundamentalism, Islamism, secularism, and so-called "religious terrorism" will be investigated. Prerequisite(s): Any 100-level or higher POL or HIS course.

MLG 308 Arabic Culture and Civilization

This course examines Arabic culture and civilization through an analysis of historical, educational, social and climatic factors. The course will focus on issues arising out of intra-cultural and intercultural communication with today's economic and socio-political currents focusing on American and Arab relations. Prerequisite(s): EGL 102

MLG 309 Arabic Cinema

This course examines a diverse body of motion pictures produced in the Arab world. Through films, critical readings and in class discussion, students will acquire and develop an understanding of Arabic culture and a great appreciation for the art history of Arab Cinema from across the 22 Arab nations. Prerequisite(s): EGL 102

HIS 318 Israel: A History of the Jewish State

This course provides a comprehensive history of the modern state of Israel. Beginning with Zionism and the settlement of Jews in Ottoman Palestine, we will explore the complex and troubled history of the country up to the present day. Special focus will be placed on the Palestinian issue, the Arab-Israeli conflict, terrorism and counterterrorism, and geopolitics in the Middle East. In addition to the history and politics, we will also explore culture, society, and economics in contemporary Israel. Prerequisite(s): Any 100-level or higher HIS or POL course.

HIS 341 Terrorism and the Modern World

This course traces the global impact of terror and terrorism since the first use of the term in 1795. Much of the course focuses on the use of political violence by non-state actors and revolutionary organizations operating both at a domestic and international level. We will compare and contrast the various "waves" of terror which have gripped the globe since the late 1800s and analyze the similarities and differences between groups such as the IRA, the Ku Klux Klan, and al Qaeda. We will also explore state-based terror, specifically the use of fear, surveillance, and the secret police by various regimes in the 19th and 20th centuries. The role of media as an enabler of terrorism and terrorists will also be an important theme throughout the semester. Prerequisite(s): Any 100-level or higher HIS course or EGL 102.

RAM 303 Research Experience

This hands-on research experience with a faculty mentor is the culminating experience for students enrolled in the Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM) program. Students will be placed in research experiences on the Farmingdale Campus or off-campus in major universities, research laboratories, businesses, industry, government, horticultural gardens, and other settings that fit their academic interests and career goals.