University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


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

Students wishing to major in the study of Arabic should see the major requirements in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures

Students minoring in Arabic should fulfill the lower division prerequisite requirements. Students may also take a language proficiency exam to waive the elementary and intermediate language course requirements. Please meet with the undergraduate major advisor to arrange a language proficiency exam and to receive course approvals to fulfill the minor requirements.

Declaring the Minor

Students may petition to add the Arabic minor as soon as they begin their study of Arabic. Please submit the Petition to Complete the Minor form to the undergraduate student advisor. 

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

The minor program requires five upper-division courses in Arabic literature and culture. Students may overlap one course from their major in order to complete the Arabic minor requirements. 

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill minor requirements must be taken for a letter grade and be at least 3 units.

  2. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in upper division courses used to fulfill the minor requirements. 

  3. With the prior consent of the major adviser, students may take courses across various disciplines to fulfill the minor cultural and historical requirements. 

Minor Requirements

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 (five courses)
ARABIC 100AAdvanced Arabic3
Two 1-semester literature courses 16
ARABIC 100BAdvanced Arabic3
ARABIC 104BClassical Arabic Prose3
ARABIC 105BClassical Arabic Poetry3
ARABIC 107Arabic Historical and Geographical Texts3
ARABIC 108Islamic Religious and Philosophical Texts in Arabic3
ARABIC 111ASurvey of Arabic Literature (in Arabic)3
ARABIC 111BSurvey of Arabic Literature (in Arabic)3
ARABIC 115AColloquial Arabic4
ARABIC 115BColloquial Arabic4
Two 1-semester courses in Arabic culture/history6

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



Faculty and Instructors


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


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

Visit Department Website

Department Chair and Associate Professor of Egyptian Archaeology

Francesca Rochberg

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

Wali Ahmadi, PhD

284 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757

Undergraduate Student Advisor

Rania Shah, MA

250 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3758

Back to Top