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Undergraduate Catalog 2013-2014

Israel Studies

Israel Studies 


Students doing a Minor in Israel Studies will study the history, culture and political structure of Israel and its place in the Middle East.  Students from all majors are encouraged to apply.


The minor consists of 18 credits, and is organized around the following requirements:

Required Core Courses (9 Credits)



History of Zionism and the State of Israel 


3 credits




Seminar in Israel Studies – seminar topics change each semester


3 credits


Middle East Studies Course**


One course in the area of Middle East Studies
(see following list)


3 credits


To fulfill the Middle East Studies requirement, students must take one of the courses listed below or a comparable course. This list is not complete:  other courses may be substituted with the approval of the Advisor. Students may also take one additional course from this list as an elective for credit toward the Minor.


The Arab World Today through Readings in Translation



Islamic Civilization



 Crisis and Change in the Middle East

 prereq: one prior History course


History of the Ottoman Empire



Contemporary Middle Eastern Politics

 prereq: GVPT 280 or 282


*A comparable course at another university may substitute for this; consult the Minor Advisor

** Other courses in Middle East Studies at UMD or elsewhere may be substituted for those on this list in consultation with the Advisor.   HIST, COMM, GVPT, and SLLC all regularly offer special topics courses on the Middle East.


Elective Courses (9 Credits)

·         ISRL142: Introduction to Modern Israel

·         ISRL289i: Fundamental Questions of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

·         ISRL448A: Israeli Politics and Government

·         ISRL448B: Israeli Society

·         ISRL Winter/Summer Study Abroad Courses

·        ISRL488: Independent Study in Israel Studies

·         HEBR111 / HEBR112 / HEBR211 / HEBR212 / HEBR313 / HEBR314: Hebrew language* 

·         ARAB104/ ARAB105 / ARAB107 / ARAB204 / ARAB205 / ARAB207 / ARAB304 / ARAB305: Arabic Language*

       * No more than 3 credits of language below the 300 level can count toward the minor.

·         Special Topics in Israel:  (Topics change on an annual/semester basis, generally taught by distinguished visiting faculty.)

- ISRL249: Special Topics in Israel Studies

- ISRL349: Special Topics in Israel Studies

- ISRL449: Advanced Topics in Israel Studies

     Special Topics in recent years have included:  The Arab-Israeli Conflict through Film; Introduction to Israeli Cinema; Immigration & Ethnicity in Israel; Israel Politics and Society; Women and Gender in Israel; Public Culture in Israel;  Israel Society as Seen Through Literature & Culture; Cultural Diversity and Multiple Identities in Contemporary Israeli Society; Society Politics and Mass Media in Israel; The Theater of Terror: Modern Terrorism and Mass Media; Israeli Politics for Young Leaders, and MORE!

Other appropriate courses may be taken as electives if approved by the Israel Studies Advisor.


Students applying for the program must:

·          Have completed at least 30 credits hours of undergraduate study

·          Be fulltime students.


  • Coursework must include at least 9 upper level credits, of which 6 of those credits MUST be taken at University of Maryland.  These include credits earned in UM Study Abroad programs.
  • A student may use a maximum of 6 credits (two courses) to satisfy requirements for BOTH a major and a minor.  Courses completed for one minor, may not be used to satisfy the requirements for another minor.
  • No courses with an earned grade below “C-” may count towards the minor.
  • An overall GPA of 2.0 in the minor is required for graduation.
  • Up to 2 courses may be taken at another university if the courses are approved by the Israel Studies Advisor. These would include credits earned in non-UM Study Abroad Programs.

To make an appointment to explore or declare a minor, please contact:

Prof. Paul Scham, Israel Studies Advisor


4141 Susquehanna Hall

College Park, MD 20742

Or visit: www.israelstudies.umd.edu

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