B.A. in Arabic Studies

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DESCRIPTION

The 42-credit major in Arabic Studies provides students with a solid background in the linguistic, literary, and cultural aspects of the modern Arab World, including the North Africa, Egypt, the Arab Middle East, and the Arab diasporas in the U.S. and Europe, as well as minority communities in Arab countries (Armenian, Kurdish, Berber, Copts, etc.).

The B.A. in Arabic Studies prepares students for a range of professional opportunities, including careers in government, education, business, and international development and communication. Students work toward competence in speaking, reading, writing, and listening, as well as advanced knowledge of Arab cultures. The Arabic Program offers extensive linguistic training in both literary Arabic (fusHa) and Arabic dialects, using an integrated approach where colloquial and literary Arabic are learned simultaneously. Students will achieve cultural fluency by exploring diverse Arab societies and cultural zones and will learn to approach them from a global perspective. Many undergraduates choose to double major in Arabic and another subject in the arts and humanities, business, science, politics, or journalism.

Modern Standard Arabic is the formal variety of Arabic used throughout the Arab world, particularly for reading and writing. Egyptian Colloquial Arabic and Levantine Colloquial Arabic are among the major spoken varieties in the Middle East. All Arabic language courses us an integrated method where Modern Standard Arabic and colloquial Arabic are taught simultaneously as two registers of the Arabic linguistic discourse. Upon completing four semesters of Arabic (ARAB 104, ARAB 105, ARAB 204, ARAB 205), students will take the Egyptian dialect sequence (ARAB 206, ARAB 207) or another dialect sequence (when offered) to deepen their knowledge of the dialect and culture.  

Once credits have been received for a higher-level language focus course, a lower-level course in the same strand may not be taken for credit. For example, ARAB 204 may not be taken after ARAB 205, and a core language course cannot be taken after a content course in Arabic.

The Arabic language curriculum is designed for second language acquisition and targets non-native speakers. None of the Arabic language courses are open to fluent and native speakers of Arabic. 

REQUIREMENTS (See TESTUDO for the current list of ARAB course offerings)

All students new to SLLC courses must take the online Foreign Language Placement Test (FLPT) before registering for classes.

Prerequisite* Courses for The Arab Studies Major (12 Credits)

 

Course #

Course Name

Credits

Prerequisites

ARAB 104

Elementary Modern Standard Arabic I-II

6

None

ARAB  105

Elementary Modern Standard Arabic III-IV

6

None

*Please note that prerequisite courses do not need to be completed before declaring an Arabic major. However, the 12 prerequisite credits do not apply to the total 42 credits required for the major.

24 Credits

 

Course #

Course Name

Credits

Prerequisites

ARAB 204

Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic I

6

ARAB 105

ARAB 205

Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic I

6

ARAB 204

ARAB 304

Advanced Modern Standard Arabic I

3

ARAB 205

ARAB 305

Advanced Modern Standard Arabic II

3

ARAB 304

ARAB 206*

Intermediate Egyptian Colloquial Arabic III

3

ARAB 205

ARAB 207*

Intermediate Egyptian Colloquial Arabic IV

3

ARAB 206

*To be taken alongside ARAB304 and ARAB305. Students taking 3rd year courses in Arabic Summer Institute, please see the section "Summer Institute Credit Equivalencies". 
 

Electives (18 credits)

Electives in Arabic (minimum of 9 credits)

 

 

Course #

Course Name

Credits

Prerequisites

ARAB 311

The Arab World Today

3

ARAB 304

ARAB 312

Islamic Culture

3

ARAB 304

ARAB 321

Arab Media

3

ARAB 305

ARAB 322

Commercial Arabic

3

ARAB 305

ARAB 401

Reading in Arabic Literature

3

ARAB 305

ARAB 402

Arabic Translation

3

ARAB 305

ARAB 411

U.S.-Arab Relations

3

ARAB 305

ARAB 412

Modern Arabic Literature: A Survey

3

ARAB 305

ARAB 499

Special Topics in Arabic Studies

3

None

Electives in English (Maximum of 9 Credits)

 

Course #

Course Name

Credits

Prerequisites

ARAB 251

Arabic Cinema

3

None

ARAB 252

Arabic Literature in Translation

3

None

ARAB 298

The Arabian Nights And The Art of Storytelling

3

None

ARAB 351

Arab Culture and Civilization

3

None

ARAB 341 / FILM 341

Filming War Zones: Representations of Wars in Iraq And Chechnya

3

None

ARAB 499

Special Topics in Arabic Studies

3

None

Notes:

  • See TESTUDO for the current list of ARAB course offerings
  • All students enrolling in an SLLC language course for the first time must take the Foreign Language Placement Test (FLPT).
  • Students must take language acquisition courses sequentially. Once credit has been received in a higher-level language acquisition or grammar course, a lower-level course may not be taken for credit.
  • Courses in Middle Eastern Studies taught in English outside the department may be occasionally substituted on approval of the Program Advisor or Program Director.
  • While most courses taught in Arabic are not open to fluent or native speakers of Arabic, others may be. Please talk to the program advisor before registering.

TRANSFER CREDITS

All transfer courses for which you wish to receive credit towards the major must be reviewed by the ARAB Undergraduate advisor. Note that the student's final 30 credits must be completed in residence at UMD, of which at least 12 must be upper-level credits in the major.

SUMMER INSTITUTE CREDIT EQUIVALENCIES 

UMD students enrolled in the Summer Language Institute can count their summer courses towards their Arabic degree program. Please see the chart below for course equivalencies:

Summer Courses Total Number of Credits Academic Year Equivalent Number of Credits Applicable to Degree Program
ARAB104, ARAB105 12 ARAB104, ARAB105 12
ARAB204, ARAB205 12 ARAB204, ARAB205 12
ARAB315, ARAB316 12 ARAB304, ARAB305, ARAB4xx 9

Please note the following two rules: 

(1) Although 3rd year Summer Institute students will earn 12 university credits in total, only 9 credits will be applicable towards their Arabic degree: the equivalents of ARAB304 and 305 (3 credits each) and one 3-credit upper-level content course in Arabic.

(2) During the Summer Institute, dialect is incorporated into the daily curriculum. Therefore those students who complete ARAB315 and 316 in the summer, are not required to take ARAB206 and ARAB207 in the following fall and spring semesters, but instead can take two additional 3-credit electives in Arabic in place of ARAB206 and 207. 

 

STUDY ABROAD

For information on study abroad programs see the Undergraduate Advisor and contact UMD Education Abroad.

DECLARING AN ARABIC STUDIES MAJOR

We recommend that interested students declare their major as early as possible

Step 1

Carefully read ARAB major Requirements

Step 2

Download the ARAB major sign-up and Arabic Studies advising form (please note there are slight differences for Arabic Flagship students who are also Arabic majors). 

Arabic Studies Advising Form

Arabic Studies/Arabic Flagship Program Advising Form

Step 3

Read through all forms carefully, and pencil in a sequence of courses to discuss with the program advisor, Zein El-Amine (zelamine@umd.edu).

Step 5

Contact the Office of Student Affairs at the College of Arts and Humanities (301-405-2108) to make an appointment to discuss the non-Arabic aspects of your 4-Year plan (bring signed form from previous step), including CORE courses. Walk-in hours are also available.

Step 6

If you are adding Arabic Studies as an additional major, check with your home department and college to identify paperwork you may need to complete.

ADVISOR CONTACT INFORMATION

Advisor: Zein El Amine
Office: 2101A Susquehanna Hall
Email: zelamine@umd.edu
Phone: 301-405-1606

For more information about advising, please visit the advising section of our website.