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Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017

Israel Studies

Minor in 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.

Program Requirements

The minor consists of 15 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. Courses within ISRL cannot be counted for this requirement. 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: GVPT280 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 (6 Credits)

JWST142 Introduction to Modern Israel

ISRL289I Fundamental Questions of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

ISRL448A: Israeli Politics and Government

ISRL448B: Israeli Society

ISRL449 Advanced Topics in Israel Studies

*HEBR111, 112, 211, 212
*ARAB104, 105, 107, 204, 205, 207, 304, 305
JWST304 Critical Approaches to Israeli Culture
HEBR313 Conversation and Composition I
HEBR314 Conversation and Composition II
HEBR381 Introduction to Hebrew Cultural Studies (taught in Hebrew)
HEBR382 Israeli Media (taught in Hebrew)
JWST478 Readings in Modern Hebrew (if topic appropriate: must be approved)
JWST471 Modern Hebrew Literature in Translation
JWST249 Special Topics in Israel Studies
JWST349 Special Topics in Israel Studies
JWST449 Advanced Special Topics in Israel Studies
JWST488 Independent Study in Israel Studies

* No more than 3 credits of language instruction below the 300 level may be credited 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.


·         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 go to:  www.arhu.umd.edu/undergraduate/academics/minors

Students should also contact Prof. Paul Scham, Israel Studies Advisor
4141 Susquehanna Hall
College Park, MD 20742
Or visit:  www.israelstudies.umd.edu

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