Arabic Major and Minor

With our extensive offerings of courses in language, culture, literature, and translation covering four years of Arabic by our competent full and part-time faculty, we are poised to meet the diverse academic and professional career demands of GW students while maintaining a leading status in the field of Arabic studies in the US.

The Arabic major and minor at GW attract competent students and retain them for a lifelong learning experience. We believe that the rigorous language requirements of the major and minor contribute significantly to our students' scholarship and encourage academic excellence. The attainable advanced linguistic proficiency and cultural sophistication of the minor will benefit other University schools and programs, like Elliot School’s Middle East Studies, Security and Conflict Studies, International Development, and general International Affairs; the School of Business, and departments of religion and anthropology.

It is expected that graduates specializing in Arabic language varieties and culture will have a myriad of opportunities available to them. Like their GW predecessors, students specializing in Arabic may opt for furthering their academic knowledge in graduate studies in Arabic, linguistics, comparative literature, international affairs, and many other disciplines with a Middle East focus. Graduates of the program with professional career interests would be well-suited for employment within the Federal Government which has increasingly put a marked emphasis on Arabic, as one of the languages critical to US security. Our graduates are expected to be competitive professionals as language analysts, counter- terrorism experts, Foreign Service Officers, interpreters, and the like. Other entities that we expect to seek our graduates include International organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Amnesty International, World Health Organization and the United Nations, for which Arabic is one of its official six languages, and its many organs regularly seek professionals who are linguistically and culturally proficient in Arabic. It is expected also that private businesses, such as the oil industry and the banking sector, will seek our graduates who may work as consultants in international education and culture as well as international trade and investment.


Requirements of the Major

The Arabic Studies Major requires 57 credits spanning 4 years of study, including one semester of study abroad in an Arabic-speaking country.

  • Language (26 credits): Minimum of six semesters in Arabic: ARAB 1001-1002, ARAB 2001-2002, ARAB 3001, ARAB 3301, ARAB 3302
  • Literature: (6 credits): ARAB 4001 and ARAB 4002
  • Arabic-English Translation and Interpretation (6 credits): ARAB 4501-4502
  • Linguistics and Culture (9 credits): ARAB 3501, ARAB 3502, ARAB 4503
  • Overseas Studies (12 credits): One semester abroad, to include a minimum of six credits in an Arabic dialect taken at an Arabic program overseas, where Arabic is natively spoken.
  • Exit Proficiency Exam: Students must pass an Exit Proficiency Exam at the Advanced High level of the ACTFL Guidelines in Reading, Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing.


Requirements of the Minor

The minor has ARAB 1001-1002 (or equivalent) as prerequisite. Required courses for the minor include (Arab 2001-2002, 3001, 3301, and 3302). Additionally, the student must select one of the following courses, which are in English (ARAB 3501, 3502 or 3503). 

*Temporary “Special Topics” course number, pending submission of MCDF for course with new number