Arabic studies is also commonly known as Middle Eastern studies. Each university tackles the topic differently in its graduate program, with some having a heavy political focus and others focusing more tightly on language, art, and media representation.
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Information about Arabic Studies Graduate Programs
The courses you can take as part of a graduate program in Arabic studies are broad and could lead to either a Master of Arts or doctoral degree. Some dual-degree programs are also available, combining a graduate Arabic or Middle Eastern studies degree with degrees in fields like policy, law or business. Below are a few of the types of courses you can expect to find during your program.
Many students who participate in Arabic studies will have opportunities to teach it as well. A teaching methodology course gives students the opportunity to learn teaching principles and receive training in the creation of instructional materials. Courses that focus on how to teach the Arabic language will cover topics such as second language acquisition and language pedagogy. This course also helps students better understand how to put together tests and assessments.
Arab Culture and Society
Part of Arabic studies involves learning more about the societies and cultures of the Arab World. Students are expected to learn about cultural issues such as the role of women, religion, and socioeconomics in Arab life. This course gives students a chance to read and study extensively into events occurring in Arab society.
Representation courses focus on how Arab culture or language has been presented globally. Students may study how Arab people, their language, or the Muslim religion are portrayed in Western cultures. Courses in this area give students a chance both to read older texts as well as study modern media portrayals of the Arab World and Islam.
Arabic is a language that students will want to master if they hope to do extensive studies in the Arab World. Arabic language studies give students the opportunity to listen, speak, read, and write in Arabic. Depending on the focus of the program, students will pursue either introductory, intermediate, or advanced mastery.
Conflict and Violence
Students taking coursework studying violence and conflict in the Arab World will explore a wide range of history involving the role of conflict in Arab societies. They will study the post-colonial actions that divided the Arab World, as demonstrated specifically in the partition of Palestine and Israel. Students may also examine the influence of Sectarianism and uprisings like the Arab Spring.
Admissions into a graduate program require students to fulfill a few common requirements. It's standard for applicants to submit their transcripts as part of the application process, and it's not unusual for graduate schools to have a minimum GPA score needed for admission. This minimal score may vary between schools. While GRE scores are common for many graduate programs, you may find that a program in Arabic studies may not require it. However, you will commonly be asked to provide the school with three letters of recommendation prior to your admission. Arabic studies programs that are focused on the language may require candidates to demonstrate a certain level of language proficiency prior to admission.
A master's or doctoral program in Arabic studies will introduce you to Arab culture, society, religion, and language. As a result, you will find that you have a broad range of coursework to choose from, depending on what aspect of the Arab World you want to focus on.