In 2005, Bard created a new academic concentration: Middle Eastern Studies (MES). The multidisciplinary concentration in Middle Eastern Studies (MES) promotes the intellectual exploration and the analytic study of the formation and evolution of the historical and contemporary Middle East spanning from North Africa to Afghanistan and from Central Asia to the Yemen.
The main objective of MES is to meet the academic and professional needs of students who are interested in the histories, societies, and politics of the Middle East. Regional issues include, but are not limited to, topics such as refugee affairs, human rights, politics of oil industries, authoritarian and religious governances, the rise of religious identity, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. In MES, students will gain both disciplinary breadth and regional focus.