Education

Best Arabic Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Arabic programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Arabic is the official language of 26 countries, and is spoken by more than 422 million people worldwide. Arabic degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in which they can use their language skills, including teaching, translation, and interpretation.

Arabic degrees offer a variety of specializations, including Arabic literature, Arabic linguistics, and Arabic translation. Students in Arabic degree programs learn about the different dialects of Arabic, and the history and culture of the Arabic-speaking world. They also learn about the different aspects of the Arabic language, and how to use Arabic to communicate effectively.

How to Choose the Right Arabic Program

When choosing an Arabic degree program, there are many factors to consider. These include the cost of the program, the length of the program, the location of the program, and the curriculum of the program.

The cost of the program is an important factor to consider. Some programs may be more expensive than others, and financial aid may be available to help offset the cost of tuition. Location is also an important factor to consider. Some programs may be located in areas where there are more opportunities to use Arabic, such as in the Middle East or North Africa. The length of the program is another important factor to consider. Some programs may be four years long, while others may be shorter or longer. The curriculum of the program is also an important factor to consider. Some programs may focus more on the spoken language, while others may focus more on the written language.

When choosing an Arabic degree program, it is important to consider all of these factors in order to choose the program that is right for you.

Best Bachelor’s in Arabic Programs

The best programs for Arabic ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

The Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages and Literatures from University of Florida provides students with a strong foundation in the linguistic, literary, and cultural aspects of the Arab World. The major gives students a solid grounding in the Arabic language, including speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills, as well as the opportunity to learn more about Arab cultures. The degree prepares students for graduate school and is ideal for those considering careers in government and diplomacy, academia, business, and international development. Many students choose to double major in the Arabic specialization of the Foreign Languages and Literatures major and another subject in social sciences, humanities, business, or journalism.

Rank 2
The University of Texas
Austin, TX

The Bachelor of Arts in Arabic Studies from The University of Texas is a comprehensive program that offers students the opportunity to learn both formal and spoken Arabic. The program is divided into three years, with the first year focused on building vocabulary and grammar, the second year focused on developing comprehension and communication skills, and the third year focused on content courses. Beyond the three-year core, students may choose from a large number of upper division and graduate courses taught in Arabic that focus on an area or discipline, such as linguistics, literature, news media, cinema, history, political science, culture and thought.

Rank 3
University of Georgia
Athens, GA

The Bachelor of Arts in Arabic from University of Georgia is a great choice for students interested in a career related to the Arab world. The degree provides students with a strong foundation in the Arabic language, as well as cultural awareness of the Arab world.

Rank 4
Ohio State University
Columbus, OH

The Bachelor of Arts in Arabic from Ohio State University is a comprehensive program that includes courses in the language, literature and culture of the Arab world. Students in the program progress from an elementary working knowledge of the language to oral and written proficiency. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in teaching Arabic at all levels, interpreting and translating for the United Nations, government, or for private and public organizations, working with the special forces, trade and security, or as an information analyst for foreign embassies, and a variety of positions in hospitality, banking, consulting and business.

Rank 5
University of Maryland-College Park
College Park, MD

The Bachelor of Arts in Arabic Studies from University of Maryland-College Park is a comprehensive program that provides students with a strong foundation in the Arabic language, as well as in-depth knowledge of Arab culture and civilization. The program includes a wide range of courses in both Arabic and English, allowing students to tailor their studies to their specific interests and career goals. The program also includes a semester-long practicum in USF’s Thacher Gallery, as well as at least one 120-hour internship in a museum or cultural institution, giving students valuable hands-on experience in the field.

Rank 6
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY

The Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies from Syracuse University is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with the opportunity to study the languages, history, culture, religions and politics of the Middle East. The major is open to all undergraduates who have a GPA of 2.8 or better. The program offers unique insights into one of today’s fastest growing regions and provides students with the skills they need for a successful career in the field.

Rank 7
George Washington University
Washington, DC

The Bachelor of Arts in Arabic Studies from George Washington University is a comprehensive program that includes literature, culture, and translation in the Arabic language. The major typically spans four years of study for most students, including 26 credits to be taken at GW and 10 to be completed abroad. The wide-ranging faculty teach dozens of courses each semester, with options including Arabic Narratives Through the Ages, Arabic-English Translation, Arab Film and Culture in English, and Business Arabic. Special requirements for the major include placement tests, a study abroad semester, and an exit proficiency exam.

Rank 8
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, VA

The Bachelor of Arts in Arabic from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a 120-credit hour program that includes language courses to improve reading, writing, and speaking skills. The program also offers courses in literature, cinema, and culture to enhance cultural competency.

Rank 9
University of Mississippi
University, MS

The Bachelor of Arts in Arabic from the University of Mississippi provides students with the practical instruction in a second language required to function in a nonnative environment, as well as the cultural awareness and intellectual strategies necessary to successfully navigate a foreign landscape. The degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours, including 30 upper-division credits in Arabic courses. Additionally, students must complete coursework in history, the humanities, social science, and fine arts, as well as math and science courses.

Rank 10
California University of Pennsylvania
California, PA

The Bachelor of Arts in Arabic from California University of Pennsylvania is an online program that will take students from beginner to advanced Arabic language skills. The program focuses on Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), with options to learn Egyptian and Levantine dialects. The curriculum includes general education courses, required major courses, required related courses, and related electives. Students in the program are eligible for scholarships and can study abroad.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Arabic Program

Students in a bachelor’s in Arabic program can expect to take classes that focus on developing their reading, writing, and speaking skills in the Arabic language. They will also learn about Arabic culture and literature. In addition, students will likely be required to complete an internship or study abroad experience.

Most programs require students to complete between 120 and 128 credits, which typically takes four years of full-time study. In addition to general education requirements, students will need to complete coursework in Arabic language and culture, literature, and linguistics. Some programs may offer concentrations in business, education, or translation.

To succeed in a bachelor’s in Arabic program, students need to be proficient in the Arabic language. They should also be able to read, write, and speak Arabic fluently. Additionally, students should be able to understand and analyze Arabic texts.

Common Arabic Courses

The following is a list of courses typically taken by students pursuing a degree in Arabic.

-First-year Arabic -Intermediate Arabic -Advanced Arabic -Cultural Studies of the Arab World -Introduction to Islam -Modern Standard Arabic

Arabic History

This course covers the history of the Arab people, from the rise of Islam to the present day. Emphasis is placed on the political, social, and economic development of the Arab world, as well as the impact of Islam on Arab culture. Upon completion, students should be able to trace the major events and trends in Arab history and analyze the factors that have shaped the Arab world.

Arabic Dialects

This course covers the major Arabic dialects spoken in the Arab world. Emphasis is placed on the differences between Modern Standard Arabic and the spoken dialects, and on the ability to understand and speak the dialects. Topics include an overview of the major dialects, their geographical distribution, and their historical development; an introduction to the phonology, morphology, and syntax of the dialects; and a survey of the major differences between the dialects and Modern Standard Arabic. Upon completion, students should be able to understand and speak the major dialects of Arabic.

Middle Eastern Politics

This course covers the major political issues in the Middle East. Topics include the history of the region, the rise of Islam, the Ottoman Empire, European imperialism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Iran-Iraq war, the Gulf War, the war in Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, and ISIS. The course also covers the major political systems of the region, including monarchies, theocracies, and republics. Upon completion, students should be able to understand the major political issues and events in the Middle East and explain how they have shaped the region.

Classical Arabic Literature

This course covers the study of representative works of classical Arabic literature. Emphasis is placed on the close reading of texts, the development of analytical and interpretive skills, and on understanding the literary, social, and historical contexts in which the works were produced. Upon completion, students should be able to read, comprehend, and analyze a variety of representative works of classical Arabic literature and to situate them within their literary, social, and historical contexts.

Contemporary Arab Culture

This course covers various aspects of contemporary Arab culture with an emphasis on the modern period. It examines the ways in which Arabs have interacted with the forces of modernization and globalization, and how these interactions have shaped Arab cultural production in fields such as literature, film, music, and the visual arts. The course also looks at the ways in which Arabs have represented themselves and their cultures in the global arena, and how Arab cultures have been represented by others. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze and interpret Arab cultural production in its various forms, and to situate it within the larger context of Arab history and culture.

Career Options for Arabic Graduates

Graduates of Arabic programs work in a variety of fields and industries, including ministry, education, publishing, and counseling. They may also work in fields such as social work, chaplaincy, and hospital administration.

Translator

Translators convert text from one language to another. This can include written documents, such as books, articles, and manuals, as well as audio recordings and videos. Translators must be able to accurately convey the meaning of the original text in the target language, taking into account cultural differences and nuances. They may also be responsible for proofreading their own work or the work of others to ensure accuracy.

Interpreter

Interpreters facilitate communication between people who do not speak the same language. They may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, courtrooms, business meetings, and schools. In some cases, interpreters may provide interpretation services remotely via video conferencing or over the phone. In other cases, they may be present in person. In either case, interpreters must be able to effectively communicate meaning from one language to another while staying true to the style and tone of the original message.

Arabic Localization Specialist

Localization specialists are responsible for adapting content—such as website text, product descriptions, or software applications—for a specific region or market. This can involve translating text from one language to another, but it also includes making sure that the content is culturally appropriate for the target audience. For example, a localization specialist working on an Arabic translation of a website might not only ensure that the text is translated accurately, but also that the website layout and design are appropriate for the Arab market.

Intelligence Analyst

Intelligence analysts work with law enforcement, the military, and other organizations to gather, process, and analyze information that can be used to track down criminals, assess national security threats, or plan military operations. The job might involve analyzing satellite images, reviewing video footage, conducting interviews, or combing through social media posts. Intelligence analysts typically specialize in a particular area, such as human intelligence (HUMINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT), or imagery intelligence (IMINT).

Middle East Studies Professor

Middle East studies professors teach students about the history, politics, religion, and culture of the Middle East region. They may teach classes on specific countries in the region, such as Iran or Saudi Arabia, or on broader topics, such as the Arab Spring or the rise of Islamic extremism. Middle East studies professors typically teach at the college level, but some may also work as researchers or analysts at think tanks or government agencies.

Insights From an Arabic Graduate

Elizabeth Lester is an Arabic translator at the United Nations. She has a bachelor’s degree in Arabic from the University of Michigan. Elizabeth has over 10 years of experience in translation and interpretation.

ClimbtheLadder: How did you make the most of your Arabic degree program so that it prepared you for post-graduation jobs?

Elizabeth Lester: I made the most of my Arabic degree program by taking advantage of every opportunity to practice my language skills. I participated in a study abroad program in Morocco, I took on internships with organizations that work in the Arab world, and I joined Arabic clubs and societies on campus.

I also made sure to take a variety of courses that would give me a well-rounded understanding of the Arab world, including history, politics, and culture. I think it’s important for anyone who wants to work in translation or interpretation to have a strong understanding of the context in which they will be working.

ClimbtheLadder: What type of person is successful and thrives in an Arabic career?

Elizabeth Lester: A successful Arabic translator is someone who is able to translate complex concepts and ideas accurately and precisely. They must also have a deep understanding of the source and target cultures in order to produce translations that are culturally appropriate. In addition, they must be able to work independently and meet deadlines.

ClimbtheLadder: What was the most challenging course you took? What advice would you give to students who are about to start this course?

Elizabeth Lester: The most challenging course I took was an advanced translation course. The course was difficult because it required a lot of reading and writing in Arabic. My advice to students who are about to start this course is to read and write as much as possible in Arabic. It is also important to find a tutor or a native speaker to help you with your Arabic.

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