Language Study

Language study is an integral part of MEIS, as fluency in a foreign language allows us to understand a culture on its own terms.  We encourage students to take at least two semesters, and possibly more, of a language spoken in the Middle East, North Africa and countries of significant Muslim populations. Currently, San Francisco State University offers four semesters of Hebrew, Persian and Arabic, in addition to a variety of conversation classes. Please speak to an MEIS advisor about the best ways to integrate language studies into the rest of your planned course of studies at SF State.  Also know that you may apply to summer classes — and some fellowships — both in the United States and abroad.


Currently efforts are underway to create a full-fledged Arabic Program consisting of language, literature, and film classes to expose students to the wide variety of literary and artistic production in the Arab world, past and present.

Course offerings in the Arabic Program include:

  • Arabic 101: First Semester Arabic
  • Arabic102: Second Semester
  • Arabic Arabic 103: Third Semester
  • Arabic Arabic 200: The Art of Calligraphy
  • Arabic 206: Intermediate Conversation
  • Arabic 260: Arab Culture and Identity in English
  • Arabic 300: Reading Qur'anic Arabic
  • Arabic 450: Contemporary Arabic and Arab American Literature (also RRS 450)
  • Arabic 600: Modern Arabic Literature and Film in English

For more information, please visit the Arabic Program website.

Quran text in Arabic


Students at SF State enjoy numerous courses associated with the Jewish Studies Program. Many courses that qualify for the Jewish Studies major also fall within the MEIS minor.

Courses offered include:

  • JS 151: First Semester Modern Hebrew
  • JS 152: Second Semester Modern Hebrew
  • JS 201: Third Semester Modern Hebrew
  • JS 202: Fourth Semester Modern Hebrew

For a complete list of courses offered, please visit the Department of Jewish Studies website. Please check back for updates.

Jewish star and old testament papers rolled up


Students who minor in MEIS may choose to count towards their degree courses taught as part of the Persian Studies Program at SF State. Persian Studies is an academic resource for studying and appreciating Persian cultural heritage via courses in language, history, and culture.  For a full description of this program, which offers a separate minor, please go to the Persian Program website.

  • PRSN 101-104: Persian Language
  • PRSN 206: Basic Persian Conversation
  • PRSN 250: Intermediate Persian
  • PRSN 260: History and Cultures of Iran (also IR 260)
  • PRSN 320: Iranian Cinema (also CINE 320)
  • PRSN 350: Advanced Persian
  • PRSN 415: Iranian Media in English (also IR 415)
  • PRSN 503: Religions in Iran (also PHIL/RELS 503)
Statue of Ferdowsi