Modern Standard Arabic introduces students to the form of the language that is most often used in formal settings and widely understood throughout the Middle East.

Modern Standard Arabic is a foundation that will enable advanced students to learn one or more of the dialects that comprise colloquial Arabic (Levantine, Iraqi, Arabian, Egyptian and North African).

The curriculum includes a component that will acquaint students with the literatures as well as with the political systems, cultures and religious heterogeneity (Muslim, Christian and Jewish) of the Arab world. Special attention will be given to the 22 Arab countries which are members of the Arab League of Nations.

History of the Arabic Program at USD

In the spring of 2006, we received approval to offer Modern Standard Arabic as part of the Core Curriculum. Student demand led us to add the fourth semester course (202) shortly thereafter.

The typical student will begin with 101 (first semester Arabic) and progress to third semester Arabic (201) to complete the Core Curriculum requirement.

Students with a strong background in Arabic (having studied it previously or learned it in a non-academic setting) may be able to skip 101, and begin with 102 (second semester Arabic). Anyone who has completed Arabic 102 at a college or university may satisfy the Core Curriculum requirement by taking only Arabic 201.

We offer very advanced students the opportunity of taking the Competency Exam in lieu of 201. To learn more, visit the competency exam section of the Language Gateway.

Please read the placement policy of this department before enrolling in your first Arabic class at USD or elsewhere.