The OU Board of Regents approved the creation of the Middle Eastern studies major within the School of International and Area Studies in their meeting on Wednesday.
The new major has been in the works for nine years. The school has secured $1.5 million in federal funding to begin the program, but the university will
have to support the program itself in two or three years.
Students will be required to study one of several different languages, including Hebrew and Arabic, take classes on the history, culture and politics of the
region, and will be required to study abroad in a Middle Eastern country.
"We wanted to see how students reacted to Middle Eastern studies, and they came flocking," said Joshua Landis, international
area studies professor. "So few people can speak Middle Eastern languages fluently, and there are a lot of job opportunities in this field."
Student will be able to enroll in the major once the School of International and Area Studiea finalizes the degree plan of the major. In the meantime, a new
summer study abroad program in Turkey will be available in 2010.