Arabic

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Minor

The Department of Near Eastern Studies offers a minor in Arabic. Students wishing to major in the study of Arabic should do so as a concentration within the Near Eastern Languages and Literatures major.

Students minoring in Arabic choose one of two options. Option A is open to students with little or no background in the language. Option B is for students who have completed the equivalent of two years of university-level coursework in the language. For specific information regarding the requirements for each option, please see the Minor Requirements tab on this page.

Students may pursue the major in Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Art and Archaeology and a minor in one of the department's language programs, even though both are administered by the Department of Near Eastern Studies; students may not pursue a major in one of the Near Eastern Studies languages and a minor in another. Students may pursue the major in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures and a minor in Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations. 

Declaring the Minor

For information regarding how to declare the minor, please see the department's website.

Other Majors and Minors offered by the Department of Near Eastern Studies

Ancient Egyptian Near Eastern Art and Archaeology (Major)
Near Eastern Civilizations (Major)  
Near Eastern Languages and Literatures (Major)
Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations (Minor)
Arabic (Minor)
Hebrew (Minor)
Persian (Minor)
Turkish (Minor)

Visit Department Website

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. A minor in Arabic language is often a complimentary study to students who are pursuing majors in a variety of fields, especially related to international and global studies. 

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.
  2. A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
  4. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.
  5. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
  6. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which you plan to graduate. If you cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, please see a College of Letters & Science adviser.
  7. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)

Requirements, Option A

Open to students with no background in the language

Lower Division Requirements
ARABIC 1AElementary Arabic5
ARABIC 1BElementary Arabic5
ARABIC 20AIntermediate Arabic5
ARABIC 20BIntermediate Arabic5
Upper Division Requirements
ARABIC 100AAdvanced Arabic3
Two 1-semester literature courses 16
Two 1-semester courses in Arabic culture/history6
Total Units35
1

 Texts must be in Arabic. ARABIC 100B can count as one of these courses.

Requirements, Option B

Open to students who can demonstrate proficiency at a level equivalent to that expected of students who have successfully completed the elementary and intermediate courses in the language (two years of university-level coursework)

Upper Division Requirements
Five 1-semester courses in Arabic language or literature 115
Two 1-semester courses in Arabic culture/history 26
Total Units21
1

  Texts must be in Arabic. ARABIC 100B can count as one of these courses.

2

 The undergraduate adviser may approve external department substitution courses for the culture/history requirement.

Courses

Arabic

ARABIC 1A Elementary Arabic 5 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course emphasizes the functional usage of Arabic in the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Authentic audio, video, and reading materials are presented from the beginning, and students are encouraged to be creative with the language in and out of class.

Elementary Arabic: Read More [+]

ARABIC 1B Elementary Arabic 5 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
This course emphasizes the functional usage of Arabic in the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Authentic audio, video, and reading materials are presented from the beginning, and students are encouraged to be creative with the language in and out of class.

Elementary Arabic: Read More [+]

ARABIC 11 Arabic for Reading Knowledge 4 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Summer 2003 10 Week Session
The course is designed to guide students through Arabic grammar with a systematic treatment of the subject and the use of classical Arabic texts.

Arabic for Reading Knowledge: Read More [+]

ARABIC 15 Spoken Arabic 6 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Summer 2003 10 Week Session, Summer 1997 10 Week Session
Practice in speaking an Arabic dialect.

Spoken Arabic: Read More [+]

ARABIC 15B Spoken Arabic 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2009, Spring 2003
Practice in speaking an Arabic dialect.

Spoken Arabic: Read More [+]

ARABIC 20A Intermediate Arabic 5 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course is proficiency oriented. Authentic reading in modern standard and classical Arabic and the understanding and application of grammatical and stylistic rules are emphasized. Students deliver oral presentations and write academic papers in Arabic.

Intermediate Arabic: Read More [+]

ARABIC 20B Intermediate Arabic 5 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
This course is proficiency oriented. Authentic reading in modern standard and classical Arabic and the understanding and application of grammatical and stylistic rules are emphasized. Students deliver oral presentations and write academic papers in Arabic.

Intermediate Arabic: Read More [+]

ARABIC 30 Intermediate Arabic 10 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Summer 2017 8 Week Session, Summer 2016 10 Week Session, Summer 2016 8 Week Session
This course is equivalent to a full year of intermediate level Arabic. It will deepen skills in speaking, comprehending, reading, and writing Modern Standard Arabic.

Intermediate Arabic: Read More [+]

ARABIC 50 Advanced Arabic 10 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Summer 1997 10 Week Session, Summer 1995 10 Week Session
This course will include grammatical and stylistic analysis of Arabic texts from both the classical and the modern periods. Class will be conducted entirely in Arabic.

Advanced Arabic: Read More [+]

ARABIC 100A Advanced Arabic 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
Intensive reading and analysis of texts of different genres. Guest lectures, films, documentaries, oral presentations, research papers. Formal and informal styles of writing and correspondence. Extensive vocabulary building.

Advanced Arabic: Read More [+]

ARABIC 100B Advanced Arabic 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
Intensive reading and analysis of texts of different genres. Guest lectures, films, documentaries, oral presentations, research papers. Formal and informal styles of writing and correspondence. Extensive vocabulary building.

Advanced Arabic: Read More [+]

ARABIC 104A Modern Arabic Prose 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Prior to 2007
This course is designed for students who wish to concentrate on contemporary prose. Reading and analysis of modern Arabic fiction, including short stories, drama, the novel, and expository prose.

Modern Arabic Prose: Read More [+]

ARABIC 104B Classical Arabic Prose 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2015, Fall 2009, Spring 2008
This course is designed for students who wish to concentrate on Arabic of the classical periods of Arab and Islamic civilization. Reading and analysis of literary texts of various genres, including essays, biography, and travel literature.

Classical Arabic Prose: Read More [+]

ARABIC 105A Modern Arabic Poetry 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Prior to 2007
Readings and analysis of 20th-century Arabic poetry.

Modern Arabic Poetry: Read More [+]

ARABIC 105B Classical Arabic Poetry 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2008, Fall 2006
Readings and analysis of poetry from the pre-Islamic through the classical periods.

Classical Arabic Poetry: Read More [+]

ARABIC 107 Arabic Historical and Geographical Texts 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Fall 2014
Readings from the classical historians and geographers and from contemporary scholarship. Development of historiography.

Arabic Historical and Geographical Texts: Read More [+]

ARABIC 108 Islamic Religious and Philosophical Texts in Arabic 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
Readings in the basic texts of Islam (Qur'an, Huran, Hadith, Sira, commentary) and in theological, mystical, and philosophical texts.

Islamic Religious and Philosophical Texts in Arabic: Read More [+]

ARABIC 111A Survey of Arabic Literature (in Arabic) 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2015, Fall 2014, Fall 2013
This course is designed primarily for majors and prospective majors in Arabic studies. The Classical Periods: A literary-historical survey of Arabic literature from pre-Islamic times to the middle of the thirteenth century, with emphasis on the more important achievements of major Arab authors.

Survey of Arabic Literature (in Arabic): Read More [+]

ARABIC 111B Survey of Arabic Literature (in Arabic) 3 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
This course is designed primarily for majors and prospective majors in Arabic studies. The Post-Abbasid and Modern Periods: A literary-historical survey of Arabic literature from the middle of the thirteenth century to the present.

Survey of Arabic Literature (in Arabic): Read More [+]

ARABIC 115A Colloquial Arabic 4 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2017
This course introduces students to a standard colloquial Arabic and the cultures of the region in which it spoken. The colloquial will change based on availability. The focus of the course is on speaking and listening, but also includes readings from printed materials. The course draws on various media including advertisements, theater, and film composed in colloquial style. This course will also expose students to literature
composed in colloquial. Moreover, students will study the social stratification in the society along with an analysis of the speech of each social level. Students use their knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic as a platform for learning to communicate in colloquial.
Colloquial Arabic: Read More [+]

ARABIC 115B Colloquial Arabic 4 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Not yet offered
This course introduces students to Egyptian Colloquial Arabic and the cultures of the region in which it is spoken. The focus of the course is on speaking and listening, but also includes readings from printed materials. The course draws on various media including advertisements, theater, and film composed in colloquial style. This course will also expose students to literature composed in colloquial. Moreover, students
will study the social stratification in the Egyptian society along with a analysis of the speech of each social level. Students use their knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic as a platform for learning to communicate in Egyptian colloquial.
Colloquial Arabic: Read More [+]

ARABIC H195 Senior Honors 2 - 4 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2003
Directed study centered upon preparation of an honors thesis.

Senior Honors: Read More [+]

ARABIC 198 Directed Group Study for Upper Division Students 1 - 4 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Summer 2000 10 Week Session
Instruction in areas not covered by regularly scheduled courses.

Directed Group Study for Upper Division Students: Read More [+]

ARABIC 199 Supervised Independent Study and Research 1 - 4 Units

Offered through: Near Eastern Studies
Terms offered: Fall 1998
Enrollment restrictions apply; see the Introduction to Courses and Curricula section of this catalog.

Supervised Independent Study and Research: Read More [+]

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Wali Ahmadi, Associate Professor. Persian languages, Persian literature.
Research Profile

Asad Ahmed, Associate Professor. Islam (social and intellectual history).
Research Profile

Daniel Boyarin, Professor. Talmud, rhetoric, Christianity, genealogy of, invention of Judaism.
Research Profile

Ahmad Diab, Assistant Professor. Modern Arabic Literature.

Ronald Hendel, Professor. Textual criticism, Hebrew bible, ancient Near Eastern religion and mythology, Northwest Semitic linguistics.
Research Profile

Chana Kronfeld, Professor. Comparative literature, modernism, Hebrew, Yiddish, modern poetry, minor literatures, politics of literary history, feminist stylistics, intertextuality, translation studies.
Research Profile

Margaret Larkin, Professor. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Rita Lucarelli, Assistant Professor. Egyptology.
Research Profile

Sabrina Sonia Maras, Assistant Adjunct Professor.

Maria Mavroudi, Professor. Byzantine studies.
Research Profile

Benjamin Porter, Assistant Professor. Archaeology, Near Eastern archaeology, Middle East, Arid Environments, anthropology, Heritage, tourism, and Museum Studies.
Research Profile

Carol A. Redmount, Associate Professor. Egyptology.
Research Profile

Carol Redmount, Associate Professor. Near Eastern Studies.

Francesca Rochberg, Professor. History of science, ancient near east, cuneiform studies.
Research Profile

Niek Veldhuis, Professor. Digital humanities, intellectual history, Sumerian, cuneiform.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Rutie Adler, Lecturer.

Hatem A. Bazian, Lecturer. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Chava Boyarin, Lecturer.

Elsa Elmahdy, Lecturer.

Gholam-Reza Ghahramani, Lecturer.

John L. Hayes, Lecturer.

Lissette M. Jimenez, Lecturer.

Nawal M. Laymoun, Lecturer.

Sanjyot Mehendale, Lecturer. Near Eastern studies, Central Asia, Central Asian studies, archaeology and art history.
Research Profile

Haitham S. Mohamed, Lecturer.

Laurie Pearce, Lecturer.

Barbara Richter, Lecturer.

Jason Christopher Vivrette, Lecturer.

Visiting Faculty

Manuel Duarte De Oliveira, Visiting Professor.

Emeritus Faculty

Ayla Algar, Lecturer Emeritus. Turkish language and literature, language pedagogy.

Hamid Algar, Professor Emeritus.

Robert B. Alter, Professor Emeritus. Comparative literature, Near Eastern studies, 19th-century European and American novel, modernism, literary aspects of the bible, modern and biblical Hebrew literature.
Research Profile

Guitty Azarpay, Professor Emeritus. Art and archaeology of the ancient Near East and Central Asia.
Research Profile

Ariel A. Bloch, Professor Emeritus.

Wolfgang J. Heimpel, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Anne D. Kilmer, Professor Emeritus.

David Larkin, Lecturer Emeritus. Egyptology.

James T. Monroe, Professor Emeritus.

Jaleh Pirnazar, Lecturer Emeritus. Modern Iranian history. Persian language and literature, Iranian Cinema.

Martin Schwartz, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Muhammad Siddiq, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

David B. Stronach, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Department of Near Eastern Studies

250 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757

Fax: 510-643-8430

nes@berkeley.edu

Visit Department Website

Department Chair and Associate Professor of Egyptian Archaeology

Carol A. Redmount, PhD

242 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757

redmount@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Adviser for Islamic, Arabic, Hebrew, & Persian Studies and Professor of Persian Literature

Wali Ahmadi

284 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757

ahmadi@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Assistant

Rania Shah

250 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3758

rshah@berkeley.edu

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