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.
To major in Arabic Studies a student must have taken at least two ARIC courses, one of which should be in the intended specialization, and to have earned an average of a B grade on both.
A total of 120 credits is required for the degree in Arabic Studies.
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.