A Bachelor of Arts in Arabic Studies offers students the opportunity to connect with hundreds of years of history, over 400 million speakers, and vibrant current affairs.
Learning the Arabic language and understanding its culture is instrumental in the study of world cultures, politics, as well as professional enhancement in the fields of legal studies, migration studies, healthcare, and political science.
An Arabic Studies Major is uniquely relevant to the University of Michigan-Dearborn, as the campus is situated in Dearborn, dubbed as the Arabic Capital of the United States due to its cultural role as the hub of Arabic speakers in Michigan and the United States. Therefore, the Arabic Studies Major is designed with the community in mind. It focuses not only on cultural and literary aspects, or even only language proficiency, but also professional development in Arabic.
UM-Dearborn offers many opportunities for students to tie in their Arabic studies as courses in the Arabic Studies Major count towards the Arabic track in the International Studies major, the Arabic Translation certificate, the Middle East Studies certificate, and other certificates and programs.
What Will I Learn?
Students in the Arabic Studies Major learn the following:
- Comprehend and Communicate effectively in Arabic: Use all four language skills, reading, listening, writing and speaking proficiently, in the various Arabic dialects as well as in Standard Arabic.
- Achieve Cultural Literacy: Identify and appreciate historical and contemporary Arabic cultural heritage.
- Appreciate Literary Influence: Understand the Arabic rich literary tradition and its impact on the regional cultures.
- Maintain Global Outreach: Connect Arabic culture to world cultural contexts.
- Acquire Professional Skills: Acquire job-oriented skills necessary for fields such as immigration, healthcare, legal studies, business, and media.
Visit the University Catalog:
Learn about degree requirements and coursework for the Arabic Studies major and minor. (Information regarding the major will appear in the Catalog beginning in Fall 2023. In the meantime, please refer to the information below.)
Learn about degree requirements and coursework for the Arabic Studies concentration in the International Studies program.
Learn which Dearborn Discovery Core requirements are fulfilled by taking Arabic Studies courses.
General Program Information
Comprehend and Communicate effectively in Arabic: Use all four language skills, reading, listening, writing and speaking proficiently, in the various Arabic dialects as well as in Standard Arabic.
Achieve Cultural Literacy: Identify and appreciate historical and contemporary Arabic cultural heritage.
ARBC 365 Introduction to Quran ARBC 335 Arabic Civilization ARBC 332 Arabic Cinema
Appreciate Literary Influence: Understand the Arabic rich literary tradition and its impact on the regional cultures.
ARBC 350 Arabic Literature and Culture ARBC 331 Survey of Arabic Literature ARBC 351 Contemporary Arabic Literature
Maintain Global Outreach: Connect Arabic culture to world cultural contexts.
COML 302 Arabic Novel and Short Story in Translation
COML 303 Arabic and Comparative Literature
Acquire Professional Skills: Acquire job-oriented skills necessary for fields such as immigration, healthcare, legal studies, business, and media.
ARBC 305 Business Arabic ARBC 310 Arabic Translation Skills ARBC 311 Simultaneous Interpreting
ARBC 312 Subtitling
In addition to the major requirements, students must complete all CASL Degree Requirements. Please refer to the Undergraduate Catalog for up-to-date requirements.
Prerequisites to the Major:
Students majoring in Arabic must successfully complete ARBC 101, ARBC 102, ARBC 201, ARBC 202 or demonstrate equivalent Arabic language proficiency to ARBC 202.
At least 24 credit hours in upper-level Arabic classes must be completed as outlined below:
- Required Courses: (4 credits)
- Specialized Language Course: (4 credits)
Select one course:
ARBC 305 Business Arabic
ARBC 310 Arabic Translation Skills (asynchronously online) ARBC 311 Simultaneous Interpreting (asynchronously online) ARBC 312 Subtitling (asynchronously online)
- Culture and Civilization Course: (4 credits)
Select one course:
ARBC 365 Introduction to Quran (online) ARBC 335 Arabic Civilization
ARBC 332 Arabic Cinema
- Arabic Literature: (4 credits)
Select one course:
ARBC 304 The Poetry of Arab Women (asynchronously online) ARBC 350 Arabic Literature and Culture
ARBC 331 Survey of Arabic Literature ARBC 351 Contemporary Arabic Literature
- Arabic and MCL Comparative Literature Course: (4 credits)
Select one course:
COML 302 Arabic and Comparative Literature (asynchronously online)
COML 303 Arabic Novel and Short Story in Translation (asynchronously online)
- Select one additional upper-level course Arabic or Comparative Literature course (4 credits)
- Select two additional upper-level courses from the following disciplines: (8 credits)
AAST, ARTH, COMM, COML, ECON, ENGL, ENST, FR, GEOG, GER, GLOC, HIST, HUM, JASS, LIBS (excluding LIBS 395, 396, 397), MCL, MEST, PHIL, POL, RELS, SOC, SPAN, WGST.
Total 32 credits
- A maximum of 3 credits of HUM 485 internship can be used in the cognate area.
The concentration in International Studies - Arabic combines an advanced curriculum in Arabic language and culture with structured training in a professional field. The professional fields include Art Administration, Communications, Computer and Information Sciences, Economics, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Business and Management, Natural Sciences, or Political Science. A third component, Support Studies, offers cognate courses which reinforce the international context and enable students to integrate the two primary components.
Making the Most of Your Major
There are opportunities to develop skills and connect with others interested in Arabic Studies beyond the classroom.
Explore possibilities and plan for success in five overlapping areas of career and academics. Choose your year below, then see what you can do when you:
- Learn. Develop the knowledge and skills to complete your major.
- Engage. Contribute to campus and the community.
- Network. Build a foundation of professional connections.
- Transform. Make a positive impact in a diverse world.
- Prepare. Plan for life after graduation.
The map just offers suggestions - you don’t have to do it all.
Learn: What foundational courses should I be taking?
Take the placement exam to determine your appropriate starting level: Arabic 101, 102, 201 or 202
Engage: What kinds of activities and organizations can I explore?
- Join Talent Gateway – UM-Dearborn’s online community where you can complete challenges, earn points, and connect experiences with courses and professional goals.
- Check out all the opportunities offered by the Office of Student Life.
- Participate in First Year Programs, offered through the Office of Student Life.
- Meet with a First Year Experience Librarian to learn about Mardigian Library resources.
Network: What are important topics in my field?
- Visit your professor’s office hours to introduce yourself and discuss your academic and career interests and goals.
- Join a professional organization related to your major
- Visit Mardigian Library to explore endless resources and librarian support.
Transform: What are the challenges and the strengths in my community?
Attend a local meeting of your community board.
Donate to the Student Food Pantry.
Connect with the local Arabic community.
Visit the Arab American National Museum, the only Arab American museum in the United States, right here in Dearborn.
Prepare: What are the career options for people with my major?
Start building your CV – your academic resume.
Explore career options in your field to learn about requirements and expectations.
Visit the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to learn about different types of financial aid and scholarships.
Learn: How do I build on foundational courses?
- Find out how to major and minor in Arabic.
- Start looking at the Arabic Translation Certificate, which is a professional certificate that prepares you to become a translator and interpreter, and many courses that count for the certificate also count for your Arabic major.
- Take a class in Arabic literature, cinema, and culture.
- Explore Arabic and comparative literature classes.
- Participate in the Arabic Got Talent contest and contribute your creative work.
Engage: What activities and organizations will help me develop professional skills?
- Sign up for MLK Day of Service or Alternative Spring Break.
- Join a major-specific club or any of a number of Student Organizations on campus.
- Participate in the Arabic Club.
- Attend talks at the Arabic American Center for Culture and Arts, the only community forum of its kind for Arab Americans in the United Sates.
Network: How do I connect with faculty and students with similar interests?
- Submit one of your best papers or projects to the Meeting of Minds Undergraduate Conference.
- Attend department colloquium and other research talks on campus.
- Attend research talks at UM-Ann Arbor, Wayne State, or Oakland University.
- Attend the Arabic Film Festival.
- Attend the Modern and Classical Languages Film Festival.
Transform: What are the challenges and strengths of the Detroit Metro area?
- Contribute to a community project through the Office of Community Engaged Learning.
- Volunteer for a campus or community organization.
- Become a Diversity Ambassador or participate in a Conversation on Race.
- Take a course at the University of Michigan Detroit Center (daily bus service available).
- Participate in cultural events like the Arabic Language Month or the Translatathlon.
Prepare: What resources are available on campus to help me develop the professional skills I will need?
- Develop your “academic toolkit” through numerous Seeds of Success workshops through the Office of Student Life.
- Meet with your professors to discuss your skills and possible career options.
- Find out about internships and whether your job qualifies for credit.
- Visit the Campus Writing Center
- Talk to your professors about crafting an Independent Study tailored to your interests.
Learn: How do I gain expertise in my major?
- Take specialized courses such as Contemporary Arabic Literature, Simultaneous Interpreting, Subtitling, Arabic Cinema, Arabic and Comparative Literature, or Introduction to Quran.
- Go to the UM-Dearborn Global Festival.
- Join The Arabic Club.
- Go to the Arab American National Museum or Detroit Institute of Arts.
Engage: How can I grow as a leader on campus?
- Consider running for Student Government or a leadership position in a campus organization.
- Check out the options through the Office of Student Life’s Leadership Development webpage.
Network: How can I broaden my professional relationships?
- Connect with alumni through the 30-Minute Mentors Program
- Establish a LinkedIn profile to connect with UM-Dearborn alumni or to join industry-related LinkedIn Groups that hire students.
- Submit your best paper or research to an undergraduate student journal.
- Join the Arabic Club.
Transform: How can I prepare to effectively solve local and global challenges?
- Visit the Office of International Affairs to plan and register for a Study Abroad course.
- Take a course outside of your major.
- Learning a second language opens many doors to jobs that require cultural-specific knowledge, and these opportunities otherwise remain closed to most monolingual.
Prepare: What practical things should I do to further my career options?
Learn: How do I finish strong?
- Become a tutor in the Foreign Language Lab.
- Participate in talks at the Arab American Center for Culture and Arts.
- Present your research at the Meeting of Minds
- Become an organizer in the Arabic Got Talent or the Arabic Club.
Engage: How can I mentor others to be leaders on campus?
- Become a peer tutor in the Writing Center
- Create a new club or student organization.
- Join Student Government.
- Become an Arabic tutor in the Foreign Language Lab.
Network: How can I demonstrate my readiness for the next steps?
- Make sure your applications for graduate or professional schools are complete with a writing sample and personal essay.
- Do targeted networking with alumni working in careers of interest and ask questions about job opportunities and the interview process.
- Request letters of recommendation from faculty who know your work.
Transform: How can I add to the strengths of my community, the region, and the world?
- Contribute to global learning initiatives on campus.
- Add a minor or certificate program to your degree.
- Consider spending the summer volunteering with a government agency or nonprofit.
- Getting a major or minor in Arabic will greatly improve your chances of obtaining that very important first interview because of your demonstrated commitment to diversity.
- You live in Dearborn, Michigan, the hub of Arab American culture, where job opportunities for certified Arabic speakers are very promising in fields such as immigration, law, the medical profession, and media, where speaking standard Arabic, not just a dialect, is a significant qualification.
Prepare: How do I make the best use of university resources to launch my professional next steps?
- Apply to jobs or future education.
- Visit Career Services for advice with job searching and interviewing, resumes, and graduate school applications.
- Explore possible graduate program opportunities at UM-Dearborn.
- Register for postgraduate entrance exams (GRE, MCAT, LSAT) if you plan on graduate school.
Complete an undergraduate certificate for a competitive edge.
Some of the courses in the Arabic Studies Major can count towards a certificate in Arabic Translation or Comparative Literature!
Arabic Translation Certificate
Comparative Literature Certificate
For more information, contact: