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بك a Northeastern!

Arabic is a Semitic language used by more than a billion Arabs and Muslims around the world. Originally spoken in Arabia, the language spread with the rise of Islam (AD 610) into many regions, including North Africa, the Indian subcontinent, China, Asia Minor, and the Iberian Peninsula. Since the Middle Ages, Arabic has left its mark on numerous languages. English, for instance, borrowed thousands of words, such as: admiral, adobe, alcohol, atlas, average, coffee, cotton, gazelle, jar, mattress, rice, sofa, sugar, tariff, and zero.

Arabic is either the national language or a major language of approximately 250 millions inhabitants of the Arab world. In addition, African countries like Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Tanzania recognize Arabic as an official language. Hundreds of Arabic literary works have been translated into other world languages.

Arabic is the religious language of Muslims who belong to diverse nationalities and ethnic groups. It is also the language of the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book. Not all Muslims speak Arabic, but learning Arabic for Muslims usually facilitates the performance of religious rites such as daily prayers.

Why Study Arabic?

Learning Arabic can benefit those who intend to major or minor in Arabic Studies, Islamic Studies, Religion, International Affairs, Political Science, History, Anthropology, Social Studies, African Studies, Women’s Studies, and Linguistics, to name a few. Knowledge of Arabic has helped recent college graduates get more job opportunities. Also, numerous short and long-term scholarships in Arabic Studies have been made available through several federal agencies. A minor in Arabic is available through Northeastern’s World Languages Center.

Course Offerings

If you have had prior training in Arabic before entering Northeastern University, please contact the World Languages Center at for a placement test.

Elementary courses:

  • ARAB 1101 – Elementary Arabic 1
  • ARAB 1102 – Elementary Arabic 2

Intermediate courses:

  • ARAB 2101 – Intermediate Arabic 1
  • ARAB 2102 – Intermediate Arabic 2

Advanced Course:

  • ARAB 3101 – Advanced Arabic 1

More Advanced Arabic courses are also available through special language courses. Other courses that focus on Arab culture, literature, and art, such as Introduction to Arab Culture are also among the courses offered by NU. Another course on literature by Muslim writers might be offered in any semester.

Course Schedule

Please visit the Office of the Registrar’s website for a comprehensive list of current course offerings.

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