This information is part of the Colgate University catalog, 2023-24.

Major Requirements

The major consists of 11 courses, only two of which may be shared with a second major such as international relations, religious studies, peace and conflict studies, history, or anthropology.

Gateway Course

A MIST-related CORE Communities and Identities course:


Proficiency equivalent to four semesters of study in a single MIST-related language.

Students who wish to fulfill the language requirement through study abroad must consult with the director to determine suitable programs and the procedure for transferring credit. In some cases, students are required to successfully complete a language proficiency exam upon their return to campus.

Students who place out of two or more language courses must still complete a total of at least nine MIST courses to fulfill the requirements of the major. Students pursuing honors are strongly encouraged to undertake additional language study.

This requirement is normally met through completion of four of the following courses in a single language:

Additional Courses

Students must complete five additional courses selected from among those listed below, of which two must be at the 300- or 400-level. Students must complete at least one course in each group (A, B, and C) at Colgate. Students may count no more than two courses from any one group toward the major. Two affiliated electives may be counted towards the major.

Group A: Arts and Humanities
Group B: Historical Perspectives
Group C: Social Sciences

Affiliated Electives

Capstone Course

The capstone course, normally taken in the fall of the senior year, consists of a 400-level MIST designated seminar, , or a relevant seminar in another major with permission of the seminar instructor and their program or department. This capstone course entails the completion of a substantial research paper on a topic relevant to the MIST major. Students seeking to count a single capstone course for two majors or seeking to take a seminar that is not MIST designated or is not taught by MIST faculty must have their capstone approved by their MIST academic adviser and the MIST program director.

Honors and High Honors

To be eligible for honors, students must earn a grade of A- or better in the capstone course taken in the fall of their senior year and write a thesis in the spring. The thesis is normally an extension of work done in the capstone course.

For honors, the thesis must be judged by a committee of two MIST faculty members from different disciplines and earn a grade of A- or better.

For high honors, the thesis must be judged by a committee of three MIST faculty members (or 2 MIST and a third faculty member approved by the director) from two or more different disciplines and earn a grade of A or better. An overall minimum GPA in the major of 3.50 is required for honors and 3.70 for high honors.

Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program

For more information about the department, including Faculty, transfer credit, awards, etc., please visit the  catalog page.