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Arabic Studies Minor

The minor in Arabic Studies facilitates proficiency in the Arabic language, familiarizes students with the cultures of the Arabic-speaking world, provides facility with the Arabic textual tradition, and affords a foundation for professional and graduate work using the Arabic language. Coursework trains students to read, interpret, and contextualize “texts,” broadly construed as written, oral, and audio-visual. This is accomplished through mastering the Arabic language, increasing knowledge of Arab cultural themes, and engaging apposite scholarly literature necessary to understand Arabic texts in an informed, relevant way.

All students wishing to minor in Arabic Studies must earn 24 credit hours. Typically, after taking the third-year Arabic sequence (ARB 301, 302, and 303) for 12 credits, students complete an additional 8-12 credits of upper-division coursework in Advanced Arabic. Students may count one 4-credit course for the minor from among a list of electives on the cultures and societies of the Arabic-speaking world. Those with come to UO already proficient in Arabic may place out of third-year Arabic by taking a skills exam equivalent to ARB 303.

Arabic Studies minors are encouraged to study Arabic in countries in which Arabic is spoken. They may earn up to 12 course credits toward the minor at the 300 or 400 level through Arabic programs at accredited universities and educational institutions abroad deemed acceptable by the Arabic Studies coordinating committee. Credits will be determined based on a formula combining classroom contact-hours and duration of the program.


The minor in Arabic Studies consists of three types of courses as outlined below. Students must complete each required course with a C+ or better grade.

Category i. 12 Credits: Third-year Arabic.

ARB 301 Third-year Arabic/Arabic Language & Culture (part one)

ARB 302 Third-year Arabic/Arabic Language & Culture (part two)

ARB 303 Third-year Arabic/ Arabic Language & Culture (part three)

Category ii. 8-12 Credits: Advanced Arabic. Students must take a minimum of two additional advanced 300- or 400-level Arabic courses from the following list.

ARB 331 Advanced Arabic Grammar/Reading Classical Arabic (text course)

ARB 431/531 Islamic Political Thought (text course)

ARB 410/510 Any course with this designation counts for fulfilling the Advanced

Arabic elective

Category iii. 0-4 Credits: Arabic Culture & Society Electives. Instead of a third course from Category ii Advanced Arabic, students may count four credits from the following list of courses toward fulfillment of the minor.

ARB 199 Any Course with This Designation

COLT 370 Comics, Colonialism and Images of Empire

COLT 461/561 Studies in Contemporary Theory

COLT 462/562 Cultural Intersections

COLT 470/570 Studies in Identity

CRES 435/535 Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

GEOG 209 Geography of the Middle East and North Africa

HIST 199 Islamic Civilization I

HIST 199 Islamic Civilization II

HIST 199 Islam in the Modern World

HIST 322 The Crusades

HIST 410/510 Shi’ism & Revolution

HIST 410/510 Muhammad & the Qur’an

HIST 410/510 Palestine/Israel

HIST 410/510 Syria

HIST 410/510 Islamic Conquests

HIST 450/550 The Iraq War

INTL 323 Islam and Global Forces

INTL 407/507 Militant Islam

INTL 407 Middle Eastern Politics

INTL 407 Development and Social Change in the Middle East

INTL 423/523 Development and the Muslim World

J 467 Arab World & Media

JDST 340 Israelis & Palestinians

PS 399 Egypt

PS 399 Politics of the Middle East

REL 102 World Religions: Near Eastern Traditions

REL 233 Introduction to Islam

REL 324/325 History of Eastern Christianity

REL 335 Introduction to the Qur’an

REL 432/532 Topics in Islamic Mysticism

REL 435/535 Advanced Topics in Qur’an and Interpretation

REL 410/510 Islamic Law & Society

REL 410/510 Islamic Political Thought

TA 472/572 Arab American Theatre

WGS 410 Islam, Gender and Modernity

Modified requirements for students with prior literacy in Arabic

Students who already have skills that satisfy the equivalent of the ARB 301-303 third year sequence—whether from native proficiency, study abroad, or courses from another university—may choose to test out of one or more of these courses by passing a proficiency examination which will be administered by the UO Testing Center, designed to demonstrate basic literacy in Arabic. If students wish to transfer their third-year Arabic courses from other universities or study abroad, they may do so contingent on the successful completion of an examination at the appropriate level, to ensure proper placement.

Students who pass the proficiency exam must still complete 24 credits for the minor in Arabic Studies, including at least 12 from among Category ii Advanced Arabic courses and up to 12 from among Category iii Arabic Culture & Society electives.

Arabic Studies Minor Advisors

Students are encouraged to consult their Arabic language professor for advising. In addition, students may consult the follow faculty according to their major:

Michael Allan: Arabic Minors majoring in Comp Lit (

David Hollenberg: Arabic Minors from any other major (

Angela Joya: Arabic Minors majoring in International Studies (

Michael Najjar: Arabic Minors majoring in Theatre Arts (

Stephen Shoemaker: Arabic Minors majoring in Religious Studies (