Arabic Area & Courses


We currently offer a Minor and a Certificate in Arabic Studies.  We do not currently offer a One-Language Major track in Arabic. Upper-level Arabic courses may be used in the Language and Cultural Studies concentration and as the secondary language to complete the Two-Language concentration.
Minor in Arabic Language and Culture (18 credits)

•  3 credits: one MLL core course: MLL/LING/ENGL 190, MLL/LING/ENGL 191, MLL/LING 230, MLL 301, MLL 305 (Note: All core courses must be taken at UMBC)
•  6 credits: ARBC 301, ARBC 302 (ARBC 301 and ARBC 302 must be completed at UMBC)
•  9 credits of ARBC electives:

 ARBC 325
 ARBC 333
 ARBC 350
•  ARBC 355
•  MLL 424

An MLL elective course (or a course in a related discipline) relevant to Arabic language and culture may replace any one of the Arabic electives with the approval of the MLLI department.

Check the undergraduate catalog for further details and the Online Schedule of Courses for courses currently offered.  
Click here for the advisement sheet for the Arabic minor; click here for the advisement sheet for Language and Cultural Studies: Arabic.
Certificate in Arabic Studies (17 credits)

Required courses (11 credits, 3 courses):

•  ARBC 201
•  ARBC 202
•  ARBC 301

Electives (6 credits, 2 courses):

•  Students must complete two of the following courses: ARBC 325, ARBC 333, ARBC 350, ARBC 317, ARBC 355, MLL 424

NOTE: : At least three courses must be taken at UMBC in order to complete the certificate.

All courses in fulfillment of the Certificate in Language Studies must be completed with a grade of B or higher. The certificate cannot be combined with an MLLI-ARBC minor.


ARBC 101: Elementary Arabic I
This course is an introduction to Arabic through a communicative approach. The language is learned in a thematic context, based on real-life situations. Listening comprehension and basic speaking skills are emphasized, but reading and writing the Arabic alphabet are also taught, as well as important elements of Arab culture and civilization.

ARBC 102: Elementary Arabic II
A continuation of ARBC 101. Emphasis is on extending skills in spoken Arabic within the context of real-life situations. A greater amount of reading and writing is included, based on authentic material from Arab culture and civilization. Prerequisite: ARBC 101 with a grade of C or better.

ARBC 201: Intermediate Arabic I
A continuation of ARBC 102. The course will include a survey of more advanced grammar; emphasis will be on developing listening comprehension and on increasing conversational fluency in the language. There will be more reading of prose texts reflecting aspects of Arab culture and civilization. Prerequisite: ARBC 102 with a grade of C or better.

ARBC 202: Intermediate Arabic II
This course develops a more precise and coherent use of the Modern Standard Arabic language. It develops the speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills, with more focus on syntax, morphology and grammar. Students will be involved in meaningful, functional communication through interactive activities that might be encountered in real life complex situations. The course will include a variety of reading and writing activities taken from materials representative of cultural topics. Prerequisite: ARBC 201 with a grade of C or better.

ARBC 301: Advanced Modern Standard Arabic I
Arabic 301 is the first part of a third-year sequence in Modern Standard Arabic. This course is designed to help students reach a high standard of proficiency in Arabic, by strengthening their reading-comprehension skills, expanding their vocabulary repertoire in media and poetry, enhancing their translation skills from Arabic to English and vise versa, refining and rebuilding their knowledge of sentence construction, and finally broadening their knowledge about the history of the Arabic poetry and literature.  Prerequisite: ARBC 202 with a grade of C or better.

ARBC 302: Advanced Modern Standard Arabic II
Arabic 302 is the second part of a third-year sequence in Modern Standard Arabic. This course is a continuation to what was learned in the previous semester (Arabic 301). It is designed to help students reach a high standard of proficiency in Arabic, by strengthening their reading-comprehension skills, expanding on their vocabulary repertoire, refining and expanding their knowledge of sentence construction and the Arabic verb system, and finally broadening their knowledge of Arabic and Islamic culture.  Prerequisite: ARBC 301 with a grade of C or better.

ARBC 325: Introduction to Arabic Dialects
This course gives students a basic understanding of the linguistics of the Arabic dialects, and of the theory and practice of Arabic dialectology; to give them a solid foundation for future in-depth study of Egyptian (masri), Levantine (shami), or Moroccan (darija) Arabic; and to give them the tools to enable them to independently acquire communicative competence in other Arabic dialects they might encounter in the course of their studies and beyond.  Prerequisite: ARBC 202 with a grade of C or better.

ARBC 333: Introduction to Arabic Translation
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of English-Arabic and Arabic-English translation. The course focuses on translating genres related to different disciplines, in order to enrich students’ vocabulary in various topics. This course provides clear explanations, discussion, examples and exercises that enable students to acquire the skills necessary to enhance their translation methods and understand translation issues. Examples are drawn from variety of sources including journalism, literature, politics, business, and law.

ARBC 350: Arabic Media
This course introduces the language of print and Internet media to students of Arabic aiming to reach the advanced Arabic level. It familiarizes students with media vocabulary and text construction. Students will read and discuss media texts and will focus on meaning and text structure. Activities will include learning vocabulary, discussing text meaning, speaking on topics discussed, presentations, and listening and reading of up-to-date texts.

ARBC 355: Introduction to Arabic Culture and Civilization
This course is an introductory survey of Arabic culture and civilization representing works from pre-Islamic to later thinkers and scholars. The course will trace the origins of the Arab people, their distinctive culture and their literature. Specific emphasis will be given to the revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad and to the spread of Islamic civilization during and after his death. Attention will also be given to Islam’s interactions with other cultures and its contributions to literature, art, music, and architecture.

MLL 424: Introduction to Cross Cultural Competency in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA)
This course examines main concepts in cross-cultural studies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions. The course aims to develop students’ critical thinking and promote their cross-cultural competency and awareness. Students will explore the concept of culture and common approaches from the field of cross-cultural communication. The course highlights the key concepts of language (verbal / nonverbal) and culture, social and cultural identity. It also addresses various topics such as barriers in intercultural communication, dimensions of culture, multiculturalism, and culture’s influence on perception.This course places heavy emphasis on case studies and experiential learning. Recommended Preparation MLL 191 or MLL 305.

For further information about the MLLI Arabic program, please contact Arabic area coordinator Samir El Omari.