BA in Arabic Studies

Students at an Oman Mosque for a class trip

The Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department offers a Bachelor of Arts in Arabic Studies, a comprehensive program that includes literature, culture and translation in the Arabic language. The major typically spans four years of study for most students, including 26 credits to be taken at GW and 10 to be completed abroad

Our wide-ranging faculty teach dozens of courses each semester, with options including Arabic Narratives Through the Ages, Arabic-English Translation, Arab Film and Culture in English and Business Arabic. 

Students should consult with the coordinator of the Arabic program before declaring a major.

Special Requirements

The rigorous language requirements of the Arabic major encourage academic excellence and contribute to students’ proficiency. 

  • Placement Tests: Students who wish to transfer credit for language courses taken outside GW (including courses abroad) must complete the Arabic placement test.
  • Study Abroad: All majors put their skills into practice during a required semester abroad in an Arabic-speaking country. 
  • Exit Proficiency Exam: All Arabic majors must complete a department-administered exam to demonstrate proficiency in speaking, reading, listening and writing. Students must score at the “advanced high” level, based on the ACTFL scale.

Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

In addition to course requirements, students must complete 10 credits (one semester) of study abroad in an Arabic-speaking country, including 6 credits in modern standard Arabic and 4 credits in a spoken Arabic dialect. Students must attain proficiency in speaking, reading, listening, and writing at the advanced level on the ACTFL scale as measured by exit examinations administered by the department.

26 credits from the following:
ARAB 3001Advanced Arabic
ARAB 3301Modern Arabic Literature
ARAB 3302Media Arabic
ARAB 3311Business Arabic
ARAB 3501Arabic and Arab Identity
ARAB 3502Arab Film and Culture in English
ARAB 3503Fundamentals of Arabic Linguistics
ARAB 4001Genres in Modern Arabic Literature
ARAB 4002Arabic Narratives Through the Ages
ARAB 4501Arabic-English Translation
ARAB 4502Arabic–English Advanced Translation and Editing