Arabic Language Program and Arabic Minor
Georgetown University hosts one of the strongest university-level Arabic Language Programs in the world. Building on that tradition, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar is proud to offer a rich program in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) as both a Foreign Language and as a Heritage Language to meet the needs of students in the Gulf region. All Arabic language courses employ innovative pedagogy in a culturally rich environment and use course materials published by world-renown scholars in Arabic language learning.
Director of the Arabic Program: Associate Professor Amira El-Zein
Curricular Dean: Gehan Samarah, Assistant Dean for Curricular and Academic Advising
The Arabic program is designed to help students attain proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic and offers two tracks in Arabic as a Foreign Language, or Arabic as a Heritage Language. Emphasis is placed throughout on the development and utilization of fundamental reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Students who continue their studies beyond the advanced level in either program track have the opportunity to develop their MSA skills to the highest levels of proficiency. This will enable them to communicate effectively in Arabic in academic, professional, and social contexts.
Curriculum by Program Track
MSA Foreign Language Program
This program is designed for students who have no linguistic or cultural background in Arabic.
Track Specific Curriculum
MSA Foreign Language courses are delivered at three levels:
- ARAB 011 & 012 — Intensive 1st Level MSA, I & II (6 credit hours each)
- ARAB 111 & 112 — Intensive 2nd Level MSA, I & II (6 credit hours each)
- ARAB 215 & 216 — Intensive 3rd Level MSA, I & II (6 credit hours each)
MSA Heritage Language Program
This program designed for students with some colloquial or cultural knowledge of Arabic.
Track Specific Curriculum
MSA Heritage Language courses are delivered at three levels:
- ARAB 020 & 021 Introductory MSA for Heritage Speakers, I & II (6 credit hours each)
- ARAB 120 & 121 Intermediate MSA for Heritage Speakers, I & II (3 credit hours each)
- ARAB 220 & 221 Advanced MSA for Heritage Speakers, I & II (3 credit hours each)
Shared Curriculum for Language Program
Post-Advanced Arabic Courses*
Upon completion of Level 3/Advanced MSA instruction, students in both the Foreign Language Program and the Heritage Language Program can continue their language studies in a variety of topical and thematic courses offered in Arabic:
- Skill-based Courses
- Content-based Courses
- Literature and Culture Courses
- Linguistics Courses
Arabic Courses taught in English*
Upon completion of Level 1 / Introductory MSA instruction, students in both the Foreign Language Program and the Heritage Language Program can learn more about Arabic language and culture in a variety of topical and thematic courses offered in English:
- ARAB 261 Inside Arabic: How it Works
- ARAB 270 Variations in Standard Arabic and Dialects
- ARAB 324 The Journey of Arabic
- ARAB 331 Arabian Nights in Western Literature
- ARAB 393 Arabic Sociolinguistics
*Course offerings vary by semester. Some courses have prerequisites.
How to Enroll
- You must be a registered student: Currently, only students registered as undergraduates at Georgetown University in Qatar or one of its Education City partner universities can register for Arabic language courses.
- How to cross-register for Arabic language courses at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar: Interested students should contact the registrar at their home university for information about cross-registration.
- Placement test: All students are required to take an Arabic placement test before enrolling in courses. The placement test is designed to determine if a student should follow the Foreign Language Program or the Heritage Language Program. It will also determine at what level of instruction a student will begin his/her studies.
GU-Q students graduating in May 2018 and afterwards are now eligible to pursue an Arabic Minor. The Arabic minor will require students to complete seven courses and to demonstrate proficiency in Arabic.
Students may elect to pursue both a minor and a certificate, along with their other graduation requirements, as long as they can complete the requirements for all in time for graduation. To declare the minor, review the Arabic minor requirements, ensure that you can complete the requirements for the minor in time for graduation, then complete the Arabic Minor Declaration Form.
If you have any questions about the minor requirements and your graduation, please consult your curricular dean advisor.
Arabic Minor Course Requirements
GU-Q students will have different trajectories through the minor depending upon their performance on the GU-Q Arabic placement exam:
- Example 1: If a student places in introductory Arabic I (either heritage or non-heritage), then the seven courses required for the Arabic minor will consist of the six sequential semesters of Arabic instructional coursework plus one post-advanced Arabic course and Arabic language proficiency.
- Example 2: If a student places at the post-advanced level in Arabic, then the seven classes required for the Arabic minor will consist of one post-advanced Arabic class and six other Arabic courses. These can include some combination of other post-advanced Arabic courses, or Arabic skills classes, with no more than one course in English about Arabic language and/or culture and Arabic language proficiency.
- Example 3: If a student places in intermediate or advanced Arabic language classes (either heritage or non-heritage), then the seven classes required for the Arabic minor will consist of all Arabic instruction courses through Advanced Arabic II, one post-advanced Arabic course, and then some combination of other post-advanced Arabic courses, or Arabic skills classes, with no more than one course in English about Arabic language and/or culture and Arabic language proficiency.
Arabic Minor Advanced Credit, Transfer Credit, and Study Abroad
No more than three courses from outside of Georgetown (advanced credit, transfer credit, summer, and study abroad) can count toward the minor. If a student has two classes of advanced credit, a year of study abroad, and one transfer class, only three of those five classes can apply to the Arabic minor. Below are the limits for each:
- A student can bring in up to two advanced credit classes to count toward the minor.
- A student can bring in up to one study abroad class to the minor if away for a semester, or up to two classes to the minor if away for the academic year.
- A student can transfer in up to one class toward the minor. Georgetown summer programs that carry Georgetown course prefixes and numbers (excluding study abroad, as noted above) do not count against transfer limits.
Georgetown credit for advanced and transfer language credit is pending language placement. If a student took a year of Introductory Arabic, but then subsequently places into the first year of Introductory Arabic at GU-Q, the student does not receive transfer credit for that year of Arabic taken elsewhere.
Arabic Minor Course Double-Counting
Courses required for the language minor can double-count with a core requirement (like HALC), but cannot double count with a major, another minor, or a certificate – unless the certificate is an area studies certificate, like CARS, that requires language. In that case language courses required for CARS may double count for the minor and certificate, primarily because the language is not the primary component of the certificate.