Mediterranean Studies Certificate Offerings for Graduate Students
The Mediterranean Studies Program offers students the opportunity to study the region defined by its connection to the Mediterranean Sea and receive a credential – either a Certificate in Mediterranean Studies or a Certificate in Advanced Mediterranean Studies – certifying their completion of a set of relevant area studies coursework and achievement of a certain level of proficiency in a world language relevant to that region.
The Mediterranean Studies Program includes area studies that overlap with other programs within the University Center for International Studies, including European Union Studies, West European Studies, East European Studies, Eurasian Studies, African Studies, and Global Studies. Interested students should therefore also consider and pursue relevant opportunities not just in the European Studies Center, but also in other UCIS area studies centers – The African Studies Program and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. Students interested primarily in transregional and transnational themes and in exploring global processes at work in the region should consider a certificate from the Global Studies Center instead of or in addition to a Mediterranean Studies Certificate.
Description of the Program
The Mediterranean Studies program at the University Center for International Studies provides Pitt students and faculty with the institutional support and organizational structure to examine issues and themes across the Mediterranean world over a broad chronological span – from Antiquity to the present. The interdisciplinary certificates offered by the European Studies Center contextualize the ideas and ideals of Mediterranean cultures past and present and examine the influence of those ideas outside of the region. The regional designation of the Mediterranean allows for an exploration of the interconnectedness of North Africa, the Levant, Anatolia, Southern Europe, and the Balkans.
Area studies of the Mediterranean region invites 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: the Persian, Roman, and Ottoman Empires, and the modern European empires of France, Spain and Italy 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 Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as Turkish-Greek disputes over Cyprus, British-Spanish contests over Gibraltar, the wars in the Balkans, the World Wars, the French-Algerian War, and the Arab Spring, among others. Studies of migration (both historical and contemporary), as well as nationalism (Corsica, Cyprus, Macedonia, Lebanon, Israel, for example), 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 Medieval and Renaissance Europe and the Ottoman and Persian empires, among others.
The Mediterranean region is used as an organizing principle in research and academia, and this certificate allows students to construct a plan of interdisciplinary area studies coursework in a new and relevant way. In conjunction with other credentials and co-curricular experiences in a student’s academic plan, this new certificate program helps students prepare for international careers in administration, policy, diplomacy, and business and complements graduate studies in policy, cultural studies, and a host of traditional disciplines.
Students are able to obtain either a Certificate in Mediterranean Studies (typically most accessible to students enrolled in a terminal Masters degree program) or a Certificate in Advanced Mediterranean Studies (appropriate for students in Ph.D. programs). Regardless of which tier students choose to pursue, there are four certificate requirements:
- Language Proficiency
- Area Studies Courses
- A Research Paper
- Graduation with a graduate or a professional degree
Tier One: Masters-level Certificate
Tier Two: Ph.D.-level/Advanced Certificate
Language Proficiency: Two (2) years/ four (4) semesters of college-level instruction or equivalent proficiency in one language relevant to the Mediterranean region (see below).
Language Proficiency: Three (3) years/ six (6) semesters of college-level instruction or equivalent proficiency in one language relevant to the Mediterranean region (see below).
Area Studies Coursework: At least fifteen (15) credits of relevant coursework is required. Six (6) of these credits must be outside of the student’s major school or department. A list of some of the relevant courses is available below.
Area Studies Coursework: At least eighteen (18) credits of relevant coursework is required. Six (9) of these credits must be outside of the student’s major school or department. A list of some of the relevant courses is available below.
Research Paper: An interdisciplinary research paper of 15-25 pages that reflects the use of materials in a language used in the historical or contemporary Mediterranean region. The paper could be prepared for a course that is not counted toward the coursework requirement, but students are encouraged to conceptualize it with the certificate requirements in mind and to consult with the Center's Associate Director/Graduate Advisor while writing it. The paper will be evaluated by an ESC-affiliated faculty member.
Research Paper: An interdisciplinary research paper of at least 15-25 pages that reflects the use of materials in a language used in the historical or contemporary Mediterranean region. The paper could be prepared for a course that is not counted toward the coursework requirement or a chapter of the student’s dissertation, but students are encouraged to conceptualize it with the certificate requirements in mind and to consult with the Center's Associate Director/Graduate Advisor while writing it. The paper will be evaluated by an ESC-affiliated faculty member.
Students can demonstrate proficiency either through “seat time” (as demonstrated on their transcripts) or through a placement exam administered by the relevant language department. The required level of proficiency differs depending upon language. In the case of a language not taught at Pitt, a proficiency exam may be administered as an OPI through ACTFL or another pre-approved provider. The ESC has some funds to help students pay for approved language proficiency exams. (The ESC strongly recommends students take any opportunity to document their language proficiency based upon commonly-understood scales.)
A language is relevant to the Mediterranean region if it was historically spoken or written by a group of people living and working in the region or is currently spoken/written by people living in the region. Among the languages taught at Pitt that may be considered relevant to the region (depending upon a student’s interests) are: Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Greek (Modern or Ancient), Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Turkish, Hebrew, Arabic (Levantine, Maghrebi, and Egyptian/Central). Other languages will be considered based upon student interests and ability to identify opportunities for learning outside of Pitt.
Mediterranean Studies Courses
To be counted as a relevant Mediterranean Studies course, an individual course must have at least 25% of its content related to the region. This can be reflected in the syllabus or it can be achieved through student-directed selection of topics for required additional readings and writing assignments. Final designation of a course as relevant must be sought from the Graduate Advisor for the certificate program. In some cases, students may be approved to take an upper-level undergraduate course that has been modified to make it graduate level.
The courses listed below, then, provide an idea of the kinds of courses that can count toward the area studies coursework requirement, but it should not be seen as comprehensive.
For a list of courses that have been pre-approved for the current semester, go to Approved Courses (coming soon).
- CLASS 2019 and 2020 Global Issues Through Classics 1 and 2
- ENGFLM 2473 Cinema and Counter-History
- ENGFLM 2495 Theory/Technology/Media from Plato to Video Games
- ENGLIT 2851 Gender, Techniques, and Media: from Plato to Video Games
- FR 2761 French Studies, Gender Studies
- FR 2765 Comparative Francophone Culture
- GREEK 2220 Greek Seminar: Philosophers
- HAA 2025 History and Ethics of Collecting
- HAA 2111 Greek Art
- HAA 2131 Roman Art
- HAA 2232 Pagans and Chritians: The Early Middle Ages
- HAA 2303 Italian Renaissance Portraiture
- HAA 2411 Architecture and Enlightenment
- HIST 2043 Social Movements
- HIST 2540 European Empires in the World
- HIST 2709 Age of Revolution in Global Context
- HIST 2716 Empires in World History
- HIST 2729 Seas, Peoples, and Empires
- HIST 2734 Migration, Inequality, and Exclusion
- ITAL 2088 Topics in Italian Diaspora Studies
- ITAL 2302 Theater of the Renaissance
- ITAL 2315 Renaissance Humanism
- ITAL 2410 Settecento
- ITAL 2610 Sicily Writing and Written
- LAW 2351 European Union Law
- LAW 2910 How Law Began
- LAW 5252 International and European Labor Markets Law
- PHIL 2070 Ancient Philosophy
- PHIL 2079 From Philo to Philoponus: An Introduction to the History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity
- PIA 2353 Creative Approaches to Intelligence Analysis
- PIA 2355 WWII, the Cold War, and Their Impact on Developing Nations
- PIA 2366 International Organizations
- PIA 2439 Arab Revolutions and Social Movements
- PIA 2513 Region and International Development
- PIA 2571 The Economics of the Middle East and North Africa Region
- PS 2310 Politics of the European Union
- PS 2319 The European Union in Politics and Practice
- REL 2135 Jews and Judaism in the Ancient World
- REL 2155 Orthodox Christianity
- REL 2327 Jews and Judaism in the Medieval World
- REL 2336 Jews and Judaism in the Modern World
- REL 2801 Christian-Muslim Relations
- THEA 2205 World Theatre: 500 BCE to 1640
Students must complete all requirements for the Master's or professional degree or successfully defend their dissertation for the Ph.D.
In order to obtain maximum benefit for the program, students should meet with the ESC Advisor to keep them informed on progress toward satisfying the Certificate's requirements. They advise on the completion of requirements and on opportunities that complement the Certificate, including funding opportunities.