Arabic

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Minor

The Arabic minor introduces students to the language, peoples, cultures, and histories of the Arabic-speaking world. The minor develops the student's command of reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension in the Arabic language and may complement the student's intended major study. 

Students wishing to major in Arabic should see the major requirements in the Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures major. 

Students minoring in Arabic must satisfy the lower division prerequisite requirements. Students may also take a language proficiency exam to waive the elementary and intermediate language courses. Please meet with the undergraduate major advisor to discuss course options or plan for study abroad. 

Declaring the Minor

Students may declare the Arabic minor as soon as they begin their study at UC Berkeley. Please find the minor declaration form in the Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures Department or email the undergraduate major advisor. Students must declare the minor no later than the semester before their Expected Graduation Term (EGT). Please see the L&S minor guidelines for more information. 

Other Majors and Minors offered by the Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC) Department


Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (Major and Minor)
Arabic (Minor)
Hebrew (Minor)
Persian (Minor)
Turkish (Minor)

 

Visit Department Website

Minor Requirements

The Arabic minor program requires five upper-division courses in Arabic literature and culture or history. 

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the semester before EGT is fall or spring, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If the semester before EGT is summer, the deadline is the final Friday of Summer Sessions. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process.
  2. All courses taken to satisfy the minor requirement must be taken for a letter grade and be at least 3 units.

  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in order to declare and complete the minor. 

  4. No more than one upper-division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor program.
  5. With the prior consent of the faculty major adviser, students may take courses across various disciplines to satisfy the Arabic culture and history requirement. 

Minor Requirements

Lower Division Requirements20
Elementary Arabic [5]
Elementary Arabic [5]
Intermediate Arabic [5]
Intermediate Arabic [5]
Upper-Division Requirements (5 Courses)15-20
Arabic Language and Literature
Advanced Arabic [3]
Select two Arabic literature courses
Advanced Arabic [3]
Modern Arabic Prose [3]
Classical Arabic Prose [3]
Modern Arabic Poetry [3]
Classical Arabic Poetry [3]
Arabic Historical and Geographical Texts [3]
Islamic Religious and Philosophical Texts in Arabic [3]
Survey of Arabic Literature (in Arabic) [3]
Survey of Arabic Literature (in Arabic) [3]
**Only one colloquial course can be used to satisfy this requirement
Colloquial Arabic [4]
Colloquial Arabic [4]
Arabic Culture and History
Select two courses in Arabic culture/history 2
Middle Eastern Worlds: The Modern Middle East [4]
Silk Road Art and Archaeology [3]
Arts of Iran and Central Asia [4]
Topics in Islamic Thought and Institutions [3]
Modern and Contemporary Islamic Thought [3]
Shi'ite Islam [3]
Sufism: The Mysticism of Islam [3]
Islam [4]
The Rise of Islamic Civilization [4]
Emergence of the Modern Middle East [4]
The Modern Middle East from WWI to the Present [4]
Arabic Literature in Translation [3]
Arabic Literature in Translation [3]
Middle Eastern Women Writers [4]
Cultural Encounters in Modern Arabic Literature [3]
Synagogues, Cathedrals, and Mosques: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain [4]
Narratives of Identity in Israeli and Palestinian Fiction [4]
Wonder and the Fantastic: The Thousand and One Nights in World Literary Imagination [3]
Sociolinguistics of the Middle East [4]
Middle East: Post-Colonialism, Migration, and Diaspora [4]
Middle East, Empire, and Orientalism [4]
Religions of Ancient Iran [3]
Topics in Persian Art and Culture [4]
MELC 162A
Course Not Available [4]
History of Persian Literature [4]
Film and Fiction of Iran [4]
Islamic History and Historiography (600-1050) [3]
MELC 170A
Course Not Available [3]
Turkish Literature in Translation [3]
Topics in the History of Central Asia and the Turks [3]
Law and Society in the Early Modern Middle East [3]
History and Culture of Afghanistan [3]
The Quran and Its Interpretation [4]
Magic, Religion, and Science: The Ancient and Medieval Worlds [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Islamic Studies [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Arabic [4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Ancient Middle Eastern Studies [2,4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Arabic [2,4]
Middle Eastern Archaeological Field School [6]
Directed Group Study for Upper Division Students [1-4]
Supervised Independent Study and Research [1-4]
Total Units35-40

Courses

Arabic

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Azza Ahmad, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Arabic Languages, CMES.

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

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

Adam Benkato, Professor. Iranian Studies, Senior Research Scholar at CMES.

Simon Brelaud, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Assyrian Studies, Syriac Language.

Ahmad Diab, Assistant Professor. Modern Arabic Literature.
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. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures. Classical Arabic Literature.
Research Profile

Rita Lucarelli, Associate Professor. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, Egyptology.
Research Profile

Maria Mavroudi, Professor. History, Byzantine studies.
Research Profile

Nasser Meerkhan, Assistant Professor. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, and Spanish and Portuguese.

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

Carol A. Redmount, Associate Professor. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, Egyptology.
Research Profile

Francesca Rochberg, Professor. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, history of science, ancient near east, cuneiform studies.
Research Profile

Niek Veldhuis, Professor. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, digital humanities, intellectual history, Sumerian, cuneiform.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Rutie Adler, Lecturer.

Hatem A. Bazian, Lecturer. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures.
Research Profile

Elsa Elmahdy, Lecturer. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, Arabic Language Coordinator.

Gholam-Reza Ghahramani, Lecturer. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures.

John L. Hayes, Lecturer. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures.

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

Haitham S. Mohamed, Lecturer. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures.

Laurie Pearce, Lecturer. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures.

Barbara Richter, Lecturer. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures.

Jason Christopher Vivrette, Lecturer. Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures.

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.

Chava Boyarin, Professor Emeritus.

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

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

Ronald Hendel, Professor Emeritus. Textual criticism, Hebrew bible, ancient Near Eastern religion and mythology, Northwest Semitic linguistics.
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 Social Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-3757

Fax: 510-643-8430

nes@berkeley.edu

Visit Department Website

Department Chair & Faculty Adviser Middle Eastern Modern Worlds

Wali Ahmadi

284 Social Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-3757

ahmadi@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Student Advisor

Rania Shah, MA

250 Social Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-3758

rania.shah@berkeley.edu

Back to Top