Undergraduate Certificate in Mediterranean Studies

The Mediterranean Studies program provides Pitt students the support and organizational structure they need to examine issues and themes across the Mediterranean world over a broad chronological span, from Antiquity to the present, and to explore the Northern African and Middle Eastern region. Consequently, the certificate is offered by the Center for African Studies in collaboration with the European Studies Center, the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and the Global Studies Center. Through coursework and language study, this interdisciplinary certificate program allows students to contextualize the ideas, history and politics of Mediterranean cultures past and present, and examine their influence both in and outside of the region.

Academic Requirements
Certificate requirements have three components: Language proficiency, Mediterranean Studies courses, and a digital portfolio.

  1. Language Proficiency
    A student must complete two years of study (four semesters) in a North African language. Students may request placement tests through the language department or waive the requirement if they already speak one of these languages.
  2. Mediterranean Studies Courses
    Five Mediterranean Studies content courses (15 credits) are required. Two of the courses may overlap with the student’s major or other credentials, and the remaining courses must be from at least two departments outside the student’s major. Courses must be thematically relevant to each other.  
  3. Digital Portfolio
    Students will develop a brief digital portfolio where they can reflect on their studies, explain the connection between the classes used to complete the requirements, and present examples of their work. Students may include papers or projects developed as class assignments, observations from study abroad, and insights gained from pre-professional experiences such as work internships and extra-curricular activities. The portfolio can also serve as part of an online resumé, highlighting a student’s experiences, skills and interests.

Students may self-design the certificate according to their interests. Studies of the Mediterranean region invite comparative studies in Religious Studies, History, Political Science, Economics, and Philosophy, among many other departments. Students can study the origins of three of the world’s major religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - and trace their subsequent spread and related diasporas of peoples.  As a complement to the research priorities of the Department of History, Mediterranean Studies allows students to organize a transnational and comparative study of empires across time in a limited space, including in the Maghreb and Middle East. Thematically, students can pursue the study of conflict and conflict resolution through a comparative and geographically-conscribed lens that includes the French-Algerian War, the Arab Spring, and others.  Studies of migration (both historical and contemporary), as well as nationalism, can be included under the banner of Mediterranean Studies.  Other potential intersecting topics include international trade, energy and environmental studies, and resource management, as well as the history of mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy, and literary and cultural studies of the Maghreb and North Africa.

Certificate Advising
In order to obtain maximum benefit from the program, students should meet regularly with Advisor Anna-Maria Karnes. Anna-Maria advises on the completion of requirements, new and interesting courses, and opportunities that complement classroom learning, such as study abroad, internships and research opportunities. 

In addition, if your interests in the Mediterranean region intersect with other UCIS academic centers, please contact the advisors in those centers as well.