Arabic and Syriac

Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students

Undergraduates may pursue a primary major in Arabic or a minor in Middle Eastern Studies.

The Program in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies offers instruction in the Arabic language and a full selection of courses in the history and culture of the Middle East. Competence in the Arabic language is the primary focus of the major. A full range of courses in Arabic literature, history, civilization, culture and religion provides a balanced and integrated approach to the field.

In addition to course work, these programs encourage students to participate in activities related to the study of the Middle East such as art exhibitions, concerts, film festivals, lecture series and study abroad.

Graduates with majors in Arabic are in great demand in every sector of American society. Notre Dame majors have been accepted into the leading graduate programs in the nation, and have pursued successful careers in such fields as government, business, journalism, and education.

For more information please contact:

The Director of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies
Professor Li Guo

The Director of Undergraduate Studies
Professor Ghada Bualuan


Arabic Major

The Arabic major offers six semesters of language instruction with emphasis on proficiency in the four critical areas of language acquisition: speaking, reading, listening, and writing. A complement of classes in Middle Eastern history, religion and society (MELC classes) brings the total number of requisite credit hours to 36.  

Proficiency in Arabic is achieved through a comprehensive and integrated approach to attaining high-intermediate fluency in the areas listed above. Continuous and sustained interaction with a faculty of trained professionals, over the course of study, ensures that each student attains a highest degree of competence in the language.

6 courses in Arabic language (24)
1 course in Arabic literature taught by the Arabic faculty (3)
1 course in Middle Eastern history taught by the Arabic faculty (3)
1 course in Islamic Studies taught by the Arabic faculty (3)
1 elective, subject to departmental approval (3)


Minor in Middle Eastern Studies

The Minor in Middle Eastern Studies can be pursued by any undergraduate at the University, regardless of primary major or college. Successful completion of the program will be indicated by a certificate attached to the student’s diploma and academic transcript.

Completion of Intermediate Arabic (MEAR 20003) (3)
Three courses related to Southern Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East (9)
Research Thesis in consultation with the Arabic Faculty (3)


Syriac for Graduate Students

Syriac is a late form of Aramaic that became the vehicle for the development and spread of Christianity throughout western Asia. Syriac represents the phenomenon of a unique, Semitic expression of Christianity largely untouched by Hellenism in its formative stages.

Syriac, which was introduced into the curriculum of Notre Dame in 1992, is a component, with Greek and Latin, in the Program of Early Christian Studies. Courses in Syriac language and literature are offered every other year as part of the regular sequence of courses in the fall and spring semesters. The full rotation of courses in Syriac begins in the fall semester 2013.

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