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  Oct 20, 2017
 
 
    
Undergraduate Record 2017-2018

Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures


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Major in Middle Eastern Studies (MEST) or South Asian Studies (SAST)


Prerequisites

To meet the prerequisites for the Studies degree, the student must have completed at least one of the following options:

  • Option 1: Completion of an Intermediate level (2010/2020) Middle Eastern (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian) or South Asian (Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit) language with a grade of C or better in each semester.
    • For Hebrew, students may substitute Classical Hebrew (HEBR 2410/2420) instead of Modern Hebrew (HEBR 2010/2020).
    • For Sanskrit, any two 2000-level SANS courses will apply (instead of 2010/2020).
  • Option 2: Completion of an Accelerated (1060/2060) Middle Eastern (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian) or South Asian (Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit) language with a grade of C or better in each semester.

Requirements

A total of ten courses (30 Credits), as follows:

  • 2 courses (6 Credits) in one MESALC language at or above the 3000-level.

  • Fourth-Year Capstone Seminar Course (3 Credits).
    • For Middle East Studies, this class is MEST 4991: Middle East Studies Seminar.
    • For South Asian Studies, this class is SAST 4991: South Asian Studies Seminar.
  • 7 courses (21 Credits) based on the student’s regional concentration (Middle East or South Asia).
    • At least 1 literature course (including literaure in translation courses).
    • At least 1 history course.
      • History of the Middle East (HIME) for Middle East Studies.
      • History of South Asia (HISA) for South Asia Studies.
    • At least 3 of these courses must be offered by the same department.
    • At least 3 of these courses must be offered by different departments.

Other

  • A maximum of 12 study abroad and domestic transfer credits are allowed, with the permission of the major advisor.
  • USEM credits do not count toward major requirements.
  • Double majoring is encouraged, but students are reminded that 24 credits in each major must come from courses unique to that major. Only 2 courses may be shared.

GPA Requirements

Students in this major must maintain a satisfactory grade point average in major courses each semester. Satisfactory is defined as an average of C (2.0). Students not maintaining this grade point are subject to discontinuation from the major.

Minor in Middle Eastern Studies (MEST) or South Asian Studies (SAST)


Prerequisites

To meet the prerequisites of the Studies Minor, the student must have completed:

  • An Elementary level (1010/1020) Middle Eastern (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian) or South Asian (Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit) language with a grade of C or better in each semester.

Requirements

A total of six courses (18 Credits) focusing on one regional concentration of the student’s choice (Middle East or South Asia).

  • 3 courses (9 Credits) must be concentration courses in MESALC or any other department.
  • 1 course (3 Credits) must be a non-language MESALC course.
  • 2 courses (6 Credits) of the student’s choice, from regionally appropriate courses.
    • Language courses may be used to satisfy these 6 Credits only if the course is beyond the 2020 level.
  • No more than 9 Credits can be from any one department outside of MESALC.

Other

MESALC’s Director of Undergraduate Studies serves as the advisor for all MEST and SAST minors.

Major in Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures (MELL) or South Asian Languages and Literatures (SALL)


Prerequisites:

To meet the prerequisites of the Language & Literature degree, the student must have completed at least one of the following options:

  • Option 1: Completion of an Intermediate level (2010/2020) Middle Eastern (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian) or South Asian (Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit) language with a grade of B or better in each semester.
    • For Hebrew, students may substitute Classical Hebrew (HEBR 2410/2420) instead of Modern Hebrew (HEBR 2010/2020).
    • For Sanskrit, any two 2000-level SANS courses will apply (instead of 2010/2020).
  • Option 2: Completion of an Accelerated (1060/2060) Middle Eastern (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian) or South Asian (Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit) language with a grade of B or better in each semester.

Requirements:

A total of ten courses (30 Credits), based on one of the following options:

Option 1:

  • 4 courses (12 Credits) in one MESALC language above the 2020-level.
    • For Arabic, at least one of these courses must be ARAB 2250: Conversational Arabic.
  • 2 courses (6 Credits) in the same language at or above the 3000-level.
    • For Arabic, at least one of these courses must be ARAB 3672: Advanced Arabic Grammar.
  • 4 courses (12 Credits) in MESALC or MESALC-related courses.
    • At least two of these courses must be in regional concentration courses from at least two of the following departments: MESALC (non-grammar courses, usually numbered above 3000), Anthropology, Art History, History, Politics, and Religious Studies.
      • See course listings by area: Middle East, South Asia for possible courses. See the Student Information System for current listings.
    • For Middle Eastern Language & Literature, the remaining two courses must be selected from the following areas: Arabic (ARAB), Arabic in Translation (ARTR), Persian in Translation (PETR) or Middle East Studies (MEST).
    • For South Asian Language & Literature, the remaining two courses must be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor. These courses must be further regional concentration courses in MESALC or another department.

Option 2 (Advisor’s Discretion Needed):

  • 2 courses (6 Credits) in one MESALC language above the 2020-level.
    • For Arabic, at least one of these courses must be ARAB 2250: Conversational Arabic.
  • 2 courses (6 Credits) in one MESALC language at or above the 3000-level.
    • For Arabic, at least one of these courses must be ARAB 3672: Advanced Arabic Grammar.
  • 2 courses (6 Credits) in a second MESALC language of any level.
    • Biblical Hebrew may be used as a second language option for the Middle Eastern Languages & Literatures degree.
    • Tibetan may be used as a second language option for the South Asian Languages & Literatures degree.
  • 4 courses (12 Credits) in MESALC or MESALC-related courses.
    • At least two of these courses must be in regional concentration courses from at least two of the following departments: MESALC (non-grammar courses, usually numbered above 3000), Anthropology, Art History, History, Politics, and Religious Studies.
      • See course listings by area: Middle East, South Asia for possible courses. See the Student Information System for current listings.
    • For Middle Eastern Language & Literature, the remaining two courses must be selected from the following areas: Arabic (ARAB), Arabic in Translation (ARTR), Persian in Translation (PETR) or Middle East Studies (MEST).
    • For South Asian Language & Literature, the remaining two courses must be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor. These courses must be further regional concentration courses in MESALC or another department.

Other

  • A maximum of 15 study abroad credits and domestic transfer credits are allowed at the discretion of the major advisor.
  • USEM credits do not count toward major requirements.
  • Students may not declare a major in both the Language & Literature degree and the Studies degree.

GPA Requirements

Students in this major must maintain a satisfactory grade point average in major and related courses each semester. Satisfactory is defined as an average of C (2.0). Students not maintaining this grade point average may be discontinued from the major.

Distinguished Majors Program


The Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) offers students who major in either the Studies degree or the Languages & Literatures degree, the opportunity to graduate with distinction by pursuing an in-depth analysis of issues and topics related to their major.

Admission

Admission into the DMP occurs in the Spring semester of the student’s third year. Applicants must have declared either the Studies major or the Languages & Literatures major. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.4 or above in both their major GPA and general GPA. Applications should include the following:

  • A statement of interest explaining the student’s desire to enter the program and his or her general area of research interest, mentioning which faculty member(s) the student might approach as advisor(s).
  • A writing sample (ex: a strong paper written for a course).
  • One sealed letter of recommendation from a faculty member in the student’s concentration either sent directly to the Distinguished Major Program Coordinator or sealed and submitted by the student with the other application materials.
  • A copy of the student’s most recent transcript.

All materials must be submitted to the DMP Coordinator by February 15th. The DMP Committee will decide on admissions to the DMP shortly thereafter. Applicants will automatically be considered for the MASTERCARD Scholarship as well.

DMP Requirements

To qualify, students must meet all the requirements of their major in addition to the following:

  • Students must take 6 credits of concentration courses at the 4000-level or above.
  • Complete a Senior Thesis (MESA 4998 and MESA 4999):
    • MESA 4998 (0 credits) is offered during the Fall semester and consists of gathering sources and research materials.
    • MESA 4999 (6 credits) is offered during the Spring semester and consists of drafting, revising, and finalizing the thesis.
    • By the end of the Spring semester, students will receive a grade for both MESA 4998 and MESA 4999.
    • Note that these courses can count towards the distribution requirement of the student’s degree, but they are not a substitute for the capstone seminar.
  • Students are responsible for obtaining the agreement of two faculty members to serve as their thesis advisors. At least one of these faculty members must be from MESALC.
    • With the permission of the DMP Coordinator, one of the readers may be a faculty member from another University.
  • Students are encouraged to use primary language sources in researching their theses. The standards for GPA requirements, and program evaluation are outlined below.
  • The minimum length of the thesis should be 11,000-13,000 words (approximately 44-52 pages).

GPA Requirements

Students in the DMP must have a grade point average of 3.4 or better, both cumulatively and in the major, at the time of graduation.

Program Evaluation

Students who successfully complete the requirements of the DMP program with a minimum GPA of 3.4 will be evaluated for commencement honors of Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction. Honors are awarded by the Departmental Council on the basis of overall academic performance as well as the recommendation of the first and second readers of the thesis.

Study Abroad Programs


The Department of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures offers two study abroad programs: UVA in Morocco and UVA in India.

UVA in Morocco allows the student to complete a year’s worth of Arabic in 8 weeks, and is held over the summer at Al Akhawayn University. For more information about the UVA in Morocco program, click here.

UVA in India is conducted during the Spring semester at Jamia Millia Islamia University. For more information about the UVA in India program, click here.

Scholarships


The Mastercard Asian Studies Scholarship competition is held annually. This scholarship was established by Ms. Rebecca George and H. Eugene Lockhart Jr. to encourage the study of Asia. It is based on merit with a successful candidate showing excellence in language study and creative approaches to topics in Middle Eastern, South Asian, or East Asian studies or languages. The award will go toward the payment of tuition and fees. Middle Eastern or South Asian Studies or Languages & Literatures majors who apply for the Distinguished Majors Program will automatically be considered for the Mastercard Scholarship. A separate application is not required.

Centers and Programs


Learning, Design, and Technology (LDT) A resource containing many audio-visual materials which are used to help bring the culture surrounding our different languages alive for students. It is conveniently located in New Cabell Hall along with most MESALC classrooms and offices. The language laboratory is used to help students practice and reinforce their speaking and listening skills.

Center for South Asian Studies This interdisciplinary center coordinates research and teaching on South Asia, encompassing Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet. It sponsors a lecture series, as well as many other activities.

Asia Institute The Asia Institute promotes the interdisciplinary study of Asia by facilitating the research and teaching of UVA faculty and the education of hundreds of students. It assists the University’s schools and units in their Asia-related interests and initiatives.

Middle East Studies Program The Middle East Studies Program is an association of faculty who share a regional interest. The Program sponsors a lecture series, along with other activities.

The Jewish Studies Program Jewish Studies is an interdisciplinary program that introduces students to the history, languages, and literatures of the Jewish people; to the beliefs and practices of Judaism; and to the contributions of Jewish scholarship to human civilization.

Additional Information


For more information, contact the MESALC Administrator, 142 New Cabell Hall, P.O. Box 400781, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4781; (434) 243-8076; mesa@virginia.edu; www.mesalc.virginia.edu.

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