Jun 12, 2024  
2010-2011 Academic Catalog 
2010-2011 Academic Catalog [Published Catalog]

Arabic Studies (M.A.)

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The department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations (ARIC) offers Master’s degrees in Arabic Studies with emphases in four fields: Islamic Art and Architecture, Middle Eastern History, Islamic Studies, Arabic Language and Literature. The degree program is designed to give students a solid academic background in the ideas and traditions that form the foundation of the important contributions of the Arab and Muslim peoples to human civilization. Course offerings cover the Arab and Islamic world from the seventh century to the modern era. All students must write a master’s thesis based on research using original Arabic language sources. There is no comprehensive exam option. The master’s degree in Arabic Studies is best-suited for students who hope to pursue a career in academia, but it will also prove invaluable to students who want to go into diplomacy, government service, journalism, and similar fields.

The student may choose one of the following areas of specialization:

  1. Arabic Language and Literature
  2. Islamic Art and Architecture
  3. Middle Eastern History
  4. Islamic Studies


The student must take a minimum of eight courses in his/her area of specialization.

These must include

For Arabic Language and Literature specialization

Choose one of the following:

For Islamic Art and Architecture specialization

Choose one of the following:

Additional Requirements

A maximum of two 400-level courses may be taken as part of the M.A. program. 300 and 400 level courses may be taken at the 500 level in which case extra readings and research will be required of the graduate student. See below:


Subject to departmental approval, up to two courses may be taken outside the area of specialization.

Courses on 19th - 20th century Middle Eastern history are taught by the Department of History.


The history unit has a preference for applicants who already have some academic background in Arabic and Islamic studies and who have studied the Arabic language at the university level for at least one year.


To be eligible for the master of arts degree in Arabic  Studies the student must reach an acceptable level of proficiency in advanced literary Arabic as established by examinations. The student whose degree concentration is Arabic language and literature is expected to go beyond this minimum requirement. The student whose degree concentration is Islamic Art & Architecture is expected to attain the equivalence of ALNG 201 by test. The student whose degree concentration is history must reach the ALNG 303 level or its equivalent before writing his/her thesis. To be eligible for the degree of master of arts in Arabic studies, the student must also demonstrate through examination a reading knowledge of at least one major language other than English, preferably French or German. If the student’s research can be performed successfully without knowledge of a third language, the department may exempt the student from this requirement.


A thesis is required in all three branches of the master of arts in Arabic studies. The thesis must be written in English and submitted in accordance with university regulations.

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