Arabic and Syriac

Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students

Undergraduates may pursue a primary major in Arabic or a minor in Mediterranean and Middle East Studies.

The Program in Arabic and Middle East 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:

Director of Arabic & Middle East Studies
Professor Li Guo

The Director of Undergraduate Studies
Professor Ghada Bualuan

Primary Major in Arabic

The goal of proficiency in Arabic is achieved through a comprehensive and integrated approach to basic skills in speaking, reading, and writing. Personal interaction with a staff of trained professionals insures every student attains the highest degree of competence in the language.

Requirements for the Major:

The major in Arabic offers 6 semesters of language instruction with emphasis on proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing. A complement of courses in Middle East history, religion, and society brings the total number of credit hours to 30.

Courses Credits
6 courses in Arabic 20
1 course in literature taught by the Arabic faculty 3*
1 course in Middle East history 3*
1 course in Islam 3*
1 elective, subject to departmental approval 3*

Download the Arabic Studies brochure for a list of courses available to fulfill these requirements.

Minor in Mediterranean/Middle East Studies

The Minor in Mediterranean/Middle East 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.

Requirements for the Minor:

1. Completion of Intermediate Arabic (MEAR 20003)

2. The student’s choice of 3 courses that relate to the region of southern Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East

3. A final research thesis that integrates course work related to the student’s area of interest.

For a listing of some of the eligible courses, download our Middle East Studies brochure. Be sure to consult with Professors Guo or Amar before embarking on your studies of this historic area that witnessed the birth and growth of civilization.

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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