Interdiscplinary Scholarship

CMES serves the study of the Middle East across the various departments and schools of the University of Chicago. By supporting research through conferences, symposia, associate memberships, public programming, and publications, CMES brings together scholars in various fields to address important questions within our area of geographic focus. In addition to programs and activities formally sponsored by CMES, the center works with other departments and units of the University to promote research projects, courses of study, and co-curricular activities with a Middle East focus.


The Center helps educate the next generation of scholars of the Middle East through its own Master of Arts Program in Middle Eastern Studies, which prospective students apply to directly, or are referred to during an application to the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures or another department's Ph.D. program. Doctoral students working on the Middle East are also part of the CMES academic community, attending our lectures and conferences, working as preceptors for the MA thesis course, coming to the Center for advice or mentorship about funding, the field of Middle East studies, and the academic job market.

Language Studies

The University of Chicago is renowned for its breadth and depth of course offereings in Middle Eastern languages.  With support from CMES, the university currently offers Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and Uzbek, in addition to a wide variety of ancient languages. As a U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center, CMES supports instruction in less- and least-commonly-taught languages. Through curricular support, language circles, language instructor training, and student services, the center contributes to the university's singular position in foreign language instruction. CMES supports regular language circles in Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Kurdish, Persian, and Turkish. Other languages in the Turkic family are offered based on demand. Further information on language course offerings can be found at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

Library Resources

The Middle Eastern Collection at the University of Chicago's Regenstein Library is one of the premier resources for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies in the world. The collection has a long and auspicious history dating back to the establishment of the University itself. The collection contains materials in all the principal languages of the region including Turkish, Arabic, Persian, and Hebrew, as well as virtually all scholarship originating in the former Soviet Union, North America, and Europe. It is dedicated to supporting the studies of graduate students, undergraduates, faculty, and the international academic community, and in its breadth embraces all disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences.


CMES's support for research and publishing includes the Chicago Studies on the Middle East book series and our original academic blog CMES Comments.