Apr 13, 2024  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
2017-2018 Academic Catalog [Published Catalog]

Arabic Studies, with specializations in Arabic Literature, Middle Eastern History and Islamic Art and Architecture (B.A.)

The department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations provides a multi-disciplinary framework for the study of the history and culture of the Middle East since the rise of Islam.  It seeks to explain the thought, movements, processes, institutions and identities of Arab-Islamic civilization.  These include but are not limited to aesthetic and intellectual production, political and religious thought, cross-cultural interaction, commerce and economic relations, government, and social, political and religious loyalties. The study and appreciation of these fields forms an important part of the university’s mission to give students a greater awareness and appreciation of the heritage of the Middle East.

Bachelor of Arts

The objective of the Bachelor of Arts is to develop a broad awareness of Arab-Islamic civilization and to develop in students the ability to examine critically the different aesthetic, intellectual and cultural components of this civilization. Each student is required to fulfill Arabic language requirements and take a common core of courses from Arabic Literature, Islamic Studies, Middle Eastern History and Islamic Art and Architecture. Students should find opportunities in any line of work where knowledge of Middle Eastern culture or analytical and communication skills are important.

A total of 120 credits is required for the degree in Arabic Studies. 

Language Requirements

Students must demonstrate their proficiency in Arabic at the advanced level, either by completing ALNG 312/3502 or its equivalent, or by taking a proficiency test, or by holding the Thanawiya ‘Amma.Students must reach this level of proficiency before their senior year. The department may give permission for deferral until the senior year in exceptional cases. However, students should note that advanced-level proficiency is a prerequisite for enrollment in certain Arabic literature courses, as described below. Students who are required to take Arabic language proficiency courses may use a maximum of 15 hours of their elective credits to take language courses in Intermediate or Advanced Arabic. Elementary Arabic courses may not be taken for credit.

Students should have the Thanawiya ‘Amma certificate, evidence of advanced-level proficiency or consent of instructor before enrolling in any Arabic literature course which is taught in Arabic, or in  ARIC 5114  for which the readings are in Arabic.

Core Curriculum (40 credits)

ARIC majors must fulfill their Core Curriculum Arab History and Arabic Literature requirements by taking any 300-level Arabic literature course and any Middle Eastern history course from the core curriculum list other than ARIC 3343 . They should take the introductory 200-level courses required by their major before fulfilling their Core Curriculum requirements.

Concentration requirements (39 credits)

All students must take 15 credit hours as follows:

Middle Eastern history (3 credits)

Islamic Art and Architecture (3 credits)

Any 2000-level course in Islamic Art & Architecture

Additional Requirements

Each student must take another 24 credits of ARIC courses, chosen with the help of the advisor. These must include two additional 400-level courses.


Students are encouraged to specialize in one of three fields: Middle Eastern History, Arabic Literature, or Islamic Art and Architecture, as part of their BA degree in Arabic Studies.

Specialization in Middle Eastern History

Students who wish to specialize in Middle Eastern History should take:

A minimum of five courses (15 cr.) from the following list:

ARIC 343/3343 - Birth of Muslim Community and Rise of the Arab Caliphates (3 cr.)  
ARIC 344/3344 - Caliphs and Sultans in the Age of Crusades and Mongols (3 cr.)  
ARIC 345/3345 - Gunpowder Empires: Ottomans, Safavids and Mughols (3 cr.)  
ARIC 353/3353 - Muslim Political Thought (3 cr.)  
ARIC 319/3319 - Islamic Spain and North Africa (711-1492 A.D.) (3 cr.)  
ARIC 321/3321 - Zawiyas, Harems, Coffee shops, Everyday Life in the Pre-Modern Mideast (3 cr.)  
ARIC 323/3323 - Marriage and the Family in the Medieval and Early Modern Middle East (3 cr.)  
ARIC 324/3324 - Non-Muslim Communities in the Muslim World (3 cr.)  
ARIC 336/3336 - Studies in Ibn Khaldun (3 cr.)  
ARIC 337/3337 - Shi’i Muslims in History (3 cr.)  

In addition to, a minimum of two courses (6 cr.) from the following list:
ARIC 451/5133 - Islamic Institutions (3 cr.)  
ARIC 460/5135 - Selected Topics in Middle Eastern History, 600-1800 AD (3 cr.)  
ARIC 000/5137 - International Trade 1000 - 1700: Egypt and the Mediterranean - Red Sea Trade (3 cr.)  
ARIC 404/5113 - Sira and Hadith (3 cr.)  
ARIC 439/5142 - Islamic Law (3 cr.)  

And at least one course (3 cr.) from the following list:
HIST 355/3213 - State and Society in the Middle East, 1699-1914 (3 cr.)  
HIST 356/3214 - State and Society in the Middle East, 1906-present (3 cr.)  
HIST 454/4219 - Modern Movements in Islam (3 cr.)  
HIST 462/4288 - Selected Topics in the History of the Modern Middle East (3 cr.)  
HIST 440/4217 - Colonialism and Imperialism in the Middle East and South Asia (3 cr.)  

Electives (32 credits)

Depending on the number of credits needed to complete the 20 credits, the student is strongly advised to use some of their electives to take a suitable minor or minors.

Language Requirement

Student may use up to 15 credit hours of electives to satisfy the Arabic language requirements for the ARIC degree.

Specialization in Islamic Art and Architecture

In addition to the Islamic Art and Architecture courses ( ARIC 2206  and ARIC 270/2270) stipulated in the Arabic Studies core requirements, the students must take an additional 8 courses (24 credit hours), of which two must be of the 400-level, from among the following:


In addition to the core and specialization requirements an additional 26-38 credit hours can be devoted to electives.