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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Arabic Language

Marrakesh, Morocco wall decoration

Degrees Offered: Minor in Arabic Studies

The Arabic Language

Arabic belongs to the Semitic language family. It is spoken by over 300 million speakers in 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. It is also an official language in 26 countries, the African Union, the Arab League, and the United Nations. It is the main medium of communication in business, government, and the media throughout the Arabic-speaking world.

Importance of Learning Arabic

Change as follows: For many, Arabic is the language of their parents and grandparents. Those like to learn Arabic to maintain their heritage and connection to their language, culture, and background.

For others, Arabic plays a major role in defining and shaping their future. The political and economic situation of the world urges many to learn about the Arab World, its language, literature, and culture. It is well known that a language is the key to knowing and learning about its culture. Currently, Arabic is designated as one of the critical languages by the federal government. Students graduating with knowledge of Arabic have very good chance securing a good job at the public and private sectors, including business dealings with the Arab World.

Arabic Placement Exam

If you have studied Arabic either formally or informally, lived in an Arabic-speaking country, or grown up in an Arabic-speaking household, you must take a placement exam before being allowed to register for any ARB course. The placement exam can be taken online. For more information, contact Dr. Rania Habib prior to the beginning of the semester.

Arabic Studies Minor Curriculum Requirements:

The Arabic Studies Minor requires at least 18 credits; at least 12 of the credits have to be taken at the 300 level and above. The courses in the table below are required. Previously approved upper-division Arabic language, literature, or culture courses through one of our Study Abroad centers can be considered as substitute to these courses, with prior approval by the Arabic coordinator. The courses ARB 201, ARB 202, ARB 301 and ARB 302 should be substituted with an equivalent level or higher. Each of the two courses, ARB 336 (Arabic Cultures) and ARB 326 (Structure of Standard Arabic) could be substituted with an upper-division Arabic language, literature, or culture course at the 300 level or above, provided that the language courses are different from ARB 301 and ARB 302. If more than one upper-division course is substituted, the substituting courses should be different from each other.

  • ARB 201 - Arabic III (offered every fall semester)
  • ARB 202 - Arabic IV (offered every spring semester)
  • ARB 301 - Arabic V (offered every fall semester)
  • ARB 302 - Arabic VI (offered every spring semester)
  • ARB 326 - Structure of Standard Arabic * (offered once per year)
  • ARB 336 - Arabic Cultures ** (offered once per year)

Total Credits Required: 18

Study Abroad Option

Students also have the option of studying abroad through SU Abroad World Partners. For more information, visit the website for each of the following World Partners:

American University in Cairo (Prerequisite: Two semesters of Arabic)
AMIDEAST Arabic Studies: Amman, Jordan (Prerequisite: Three semesters of Arabic)
CET Arabic Studies: Irbid, Jordan (Prerequisite: Two semesters of Arabic)
American University of Beirut
AMIDEAST Arabic Studies: Rabat, Morocco
CET Arabic Studies: Tunis, Tunisia

Faculty and Instructors