Dec 01, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies Major - Cultural Specialization

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The Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies Major is an interdisciplinary program that provides an insight into the history, culture, religion, politics, and current events in the Middle East and Northern Africa. In addition, the major in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies provides the students with a solid grounding in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). After completion of such a major, students are expected to be able to read, write and communicate orally in Arabic. Students majoring in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies will also learn about the contributions of Arabs and Muslims to world civilization. Hopefully, they will become bridge builders who can promote mutual understanding, respect of and appreciation for the Arab World and the Middle East.

Students majoring in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies can choose one of two areas of study: a linguistic or a cultural specialization The linguistic specialization would consist of as many courses in Arabic as possible, a study abroad component, plus a certain number of courses in English from art history, history, music, political science, religious studies, sociology or any other field with courses related to the Arab world, the Middle East or Islam. The cultural specialization would consist of a minimum number of courses in Arabic or any other language from the Middle East (Turkish, Hebrew or Farsi), a shorter period of study abroad component and a substantial number of courses in English, depending on the area of interest of the students: history, political science, religious studies, sociology, etc.

Study Abroad/Internship (8 credits):

All students pursuing a major in Middle Eastern Studies with a Cultural Specialization must (1) spend 6-8 weeks studying abroad in one of the countries of the Middle East where one of the languages mentioned above is spoken, (2) live two semesters in the Arabic House on campus, or (3) complete a 6-8 week summer internship (in the USA or Abroad) with an organization, agency or company dealing with the Middle East.

Capstone (4 credits):

The Senior Capstone in Middle Eastern Studies is designed as an individual research project directed by a member of the Middle Eastern Studies Faculty and approved by the Program Coordinator. The research project or paper will reflect the depth, breadth, and focus of the student’s educational experience in Middle Eastern Studies, and will be shared with faculty and students in an oral presentation during the Spring Semester of the senior year. When appropriate, the capstone may also be done in the Program as an individual project under the supervision of the Program Coordinator.

Total Program Hours: 56

Departmental Writing Requirement (4-8 credits):

The Departmental Writing requirement may be satisfied in the following ways:

  • An individually designed program, as approved by the Program Coordinator and the Curriculum Committee.
  • Completion of the approved Department Writing requirement in any of the participating departments, be it a single course or a program of courses.
  • Completion of both ARB 2212 – Intermediate Arabic and ARB 3T01 – Media Arabic

Requirements for Departmental Honors

Departmental honors are recognized at graduation and are recorded on the students’ permanent records. To receive departmental honors, students must:

  • Have a grade point average of 3.50 in all courses taken in the major.
  • Satisfy any departmental requirements, such as engaging in a seminar or in independent study, submitting an essay, or passing with distinction a comprehensive examination in the major field.
  • Be recommended by the department.


The linguistic component of this major can be satisfied by the study of any of the 4 major languages spoken in the Middle East (Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew or Turkish). Since McDaniel College only offers Arabic at this time, we will only list courses we teach in Arabic. At the discretion of the Chair of the Department of World Languages, Literature, and Cultures and in consultation with the coordinator of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, the study of other languages will be accepted. Students must show proficiency in that language at the same level as the required courses in Arabic.

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