The Middle East Studies Center (MESC) is an area studies center of the Office of International Affairs. It was designated by US Department of Education as an Undergraduate Title VI National Resource Center (NRC) in 1988, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005, and 2009 cycles, for a total of 28 years. MESC promotes learner-centered teaching, scholarly exchange, and intercultural experience related to the Middle East. MESC combines efforts with Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC), the Undergraduate International Studies Program (UISP), and the Middle East Studies Library Collections (MESLC), to support students, faculty and staff. 


  • Interdisciplinary courses about the Middle East, North Africa and Central, in multiple disciplines;
  • Curricular materials for teaching about the Middle East
  • Seeding faculty lines in positions focused on the Middle East. 
  • Seeding courses and professional development programs for pre- and in-service teachers focused on the Middle East. 
  • Training, on campus and through site visits, and instructional resources for teaching about the Middle East, targeting teachers, military personal and the general public. 
  • Instruction of critical languages at intermediate and advanced levels in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Uzbek, and Urdu.  In addition, a comprehensive Hebrew program is offered at all levels, and Pashto courses and instructional materials have been developed. Our graduates in these languages are recruited by multiple branches of the U.S. federal government, and businesses in the private sector. 
  • Fellowships for an average of 20 graduate students per year, and now also several undergraduates per year.  Many of these graduates go on to be professionals focused on the Middle East or communication with the Middle East. 
  • One of the nation’s best Middle East library collections, including numerous titles in the languages of the Middle East.
  • International faculty exchange programs with institutions in the Middle East resulting in new research. 
  • Domestic faculty exchange through participation and organization of academic conferences and colloquia. 
  • Teach-ins and other academic engagement events
  • Breaking Down the Headlines blog, and related public engagement events
  • Serving as platform for information on jobs, calls for papers, funding opportunities and other relevant information for members of the Middle East Studies community on Ohio State campus.