Liberal Arts

At Northwestern, we believe that a rigorous, broad curriculum is essential to creativity and effective leadership. As part of the journalism and communication degree programs, NU‑Q provides its students an array of courses in liberal arts and sciences—a hallmark of a Northwestern education. Indeed, journalism students are required to take two-thirds of their university courses in the liberal arts.

Certificate in Middle East Studies

Learn more about requirements and how to apply >>

Independent Studies

Learn more about taking independent studies courses >>

Liberal Arts Courses

Liberal arts courses offered at NU-Q are provided by Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in fields such as anthropology, economics, history, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion and sociology. Here is a listing of course offerings, though not all are offered each year:


  • Anthropology of Gender
  • Anthropology: Culture and Change
  • Anthropology: Identity on the Internet
  • Introduction to Middle East Anthropology
  • Political Anthropology


  • Principles of Economics


  • 20th Century American Literature
  • Analysis of Autobiography
  • English Composition
  • Introduction to Short Fiction
  • Migrations and Mobility: Border Crossings and Boundary Crossings in American Literature
  • Modern Middle East Literature
  • Performance and Identity in Literature
  • Women as Writers


  • 20th Century United States History
  • 20th Century World History
  • British India
  • History of Britain and the Middle East
  • History of the Middle East
  • History of The Cold War (1945-1991)
  • History of U.S. Slavery
  • Introduction to Contemporary Sub-Saharan African History
  • Middle East Political History
  • Modern European History
  • Modern World History
  • Muslim Empires in the Medieval Period
  • The History of Sufism in Africa


  • Arabic For Media


  • Ethics of Free Speech
  • Global Justice
  • Introduction to Ethics
  • Introduction to Logical Reasoning
  • Introduction to Philosophy

Political Science

  • Comparative Political Systems
  • Democracy and Democratization
  • Introduction to American Government
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • Politics of Legitimacy
  • Public Opinion
  • State Building and State Failure
  • The Arab Spring


  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Religious Studies

  • Islam and the Shaping of African History
  • Islam in America
  • Modern Reform Movements in the Muslim World


  • Field Research in Sociology
  • Globalization of Youth Cultures in the Middle East
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociology of Cinema
  • Sociology of Culture
  • Sociology of Music