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Students performing at The Taste of Arabia.

Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies

Language is a passport. And McDaniel’s major in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies—the only major of its kind in Maryland—provides front-row access through language to the history, culture, art, and politics of one of the most influential and important regions of the world.

Degree Types
Major , Minor
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Study Abroad, Capstone
Connection Across Campus
ROTC Green Terror Battalion

Studying an in-demand language like Arabic allows you to become proficient in a language that opens professional and educational doors. You’ll gain that proficiency in part by studying abroad in an Arabic speaking country for an entire semester. By embedding yourself in the culture and getting fully immersed in the language, you’ll gain an understanding of a new culture, learn to communicate with diverse­­­ populations, and become more globally engaged and prepared for a competitive job market.

Learn Where You Live

Students studying Arabic can choose to live in the Arabic House. Each year, a graduate student and a native speaker of Arabic comes to McDaniel to live as a mentor with our students who have committed to make Arabic the only language spoken in the house.

Future Career Paths

Our graduates have had opportunities to:

  • Work with governmental organizations like the NSA, and NGOs in Washington, D.C.
  • Continue their study of Arabic language at the graduate level
  • Teach Arabic at the university level (one of our graduates recently landed a job teaching at the University of South Carolina).

With a firm grasp of the Arabic language and Middle Eastern culture, you’ll be equipped to explore careers in fields such as:

  • Politics
  • Economics
  • International relations
  • International business
  • Education
  • National security
  • Translation

Distinctive Courses

ARB 1101 - Elementary Arabic

The acquisition of oral/aural skills through intensive exposure to Arabic used both as the medium of communication and the object of study. It enables the student accurately to express his or her daily experiences in spoken and written Arabic, and to understand communications of a moderate level of difficulty.

ARB 2212 - Intermediate Arabic II

This course continues building the linguistic skills that student acquired in previous semesters in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The students will improve their understanding of written texts and aural and audio-visual materials on a wide variety of topics, and will reinforce their knowledge through written exercises on selected topics. In addition, students will be introduced to various aspects of contemporary life and culture of the Arab world.

PSI 2236 - The Politics of the Middle East

This course offers students a multidisciplinary overview of the nature of contemporary politics in the Middle East. In so doing, it concerns itself with sets of questions regarding the political roles of Islam, the changing dynamics of authoritarianism, the relationship between democracy and peace, the political and social effects of demographic and socioeconomic trends, and the importance and leverage of international forces.

Special Opportunities

Students majoring in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies can choose one of two areas of study: a linguistic or a cultural specialization.

Students exploring Budapest.

Linguistic Specialization

The linguistic specialization consists 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.

Student internship in Chile.

Cultural Specialization

The cultural specialization consists 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.

McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Army ROTC saluting each other.

Student Spotlight Griffin James Crowley 2019, Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies

Griffin is a three-year ROTC scholarship recipient who also spent a semester abroad in Arabic-speaking Rabat, Morocco. Crowley is going active duty and will attend the Infantry Officer Basic Course in Ft. Benning, GA.