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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Languages & Literatures

Arabic - Temple in Jerusalem

Programs of Study



Those who study Arabic can enter a variety of career fields: journalism, business, translation, foreign service, finance, education and more.

There are many other reasons why you might consider studying Arabic:

  • Arabic is the mother tongue of about 300 million people. It's spoken across 20 countries, and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
  • The U.S. government, through the National Security Language Initiative, has deemed Arabic a language of strategic importance.
  • The economy in the Arab world is flourishing. If you're looking for a lucrative job in the region, showing that you know Arabic will give you an advantage.
  • Arabic is the language of the Quran and Islamic literature.
  • Traveling to the Middle East? Arabs feel honored when foreigners, tourists or expatriates show interest in their language and culture.
  • Choose to study abroad in Jordan or Morocco for a semester.


The DU Arabic program departs from traditional Arabic programs in the United States because it integrates colloquial Arabic with Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). This allows students to learn Arabic in a way that reflects the use of the language by native speakers.

In everyday situations, Arabs communicate in the colloquial and use MSA for reading, writing and formal speech. The DU program begins with spoken Arabic and gradually integrates MSA through graded reading selections. By using the language in meaningful contexts, emphasis is placed on real communication and on developing proficiency in the language. Grammar is studied as it serves communication.