Arabic text

Undergraduate Program Arabic

Degree Details

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
    Total Credits
    Start Term
    Delivery Method
    On campus
  • Minor (m)
    Total Credits
    Start Term
    Delivery Method
    On campus

Learn more about our academic program delivery methods

World Languages: Arabic Bachelor's Degree and Minor Overview

Thought to be the oldest spoken language in the world, Arabic is complex and nuanced. Spoken in many different countries and by more than 300 million people, the history, culture, and literature associated with the Arabic language are rich and vibrant.

A bachelor's degree in Arabic from Portland State will provide you with the opportunity to become proficient in the language and knowledgeable of the culture and history of those who speak it.

PSU's Arabic program is one of the leading programs in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Our classes focus on teaching modern literary Arabic with an emphasis on reading, writing, and overall understanding of the language, comprehension of current and historical literature, and an appreciation of the culture of Arabic-speaking populations. You'll have the opportunity to take courses on cinema, media, folklore, novel and short stories, calligraphy, translation, phonology and morphology.

We boast small class sizes and our experienced faculty are committed to getting to know their students and providing them with one-on-one advising and continuous feedback. We also offer dedicated language tutors who can offer additional advising related to the Arabic language, curriculum, degree completion, and study abroad options.

View Bachelor’s or Minor in Arabic Learning Outcomes

World Languages: Arabic Bachelor's Degree or Minor: Why PSU?

At PSU, you can learn Arabic for real-world settings, read and write from right to left, speak Fusha (Modern Standard Arabic) and 'Ammiyyah (Colloquial Arabic), and take advanced specialized classes in Arabic and culture courses in translation. With our program, you can start your study of Arabic from scratch or if you have studied Arabic previously, or you come from an Arabic-speaking family you can test into more advanced courses.

In addition to three years of language study, you can take courses in Arabic literature, culture, film, history, folklore, and other topics in both English and Arabic. Whether you became interested in Arabic from reading classical texts, or are intrigued by the Arabic alphabet or encounters with the diverse Arab cultures and speakers, you can find a course with us that speaks to your interests.

The Arabic program offers several unique scholarships and encourages students to study abroad to enhance their language skills through immersion. Join one of the many student-run groups associated with enhancing community and knowledge around the Arabic language:

  • Arabic Language and Culture Student Association: Aims to provide an additional resource to students of PSU's Arabic language program in order to reinforce our learning and to make connections to native Arabic speakers, and discuss broader cultural and contemporary topics.
  • Arab Students Association: Promotes the cultures of all Arab countries and to provide community for Arab students.
  • Arab Persian Student Organization: Dedicated to sharing Middle Eastern culture through academic and non-academic means.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's Degree or Minor in Arabic?

Our knowledgeable faculty and expertly-crafted coursework prepare you to graduate with a proficiency in the Arabic language which can lead to fruitful careers all over the world in linguistics and English-teaching, hospitality and tourism, technical writing and translation, international development, business, trade and affairs, social work, refugee services, and politics.

Many of our graduates have gone on to build successful careers in international politics, law, foreign policy and nonprofits focused on migrants and refugees.

You can also pair your Arabic major or minor with a major in business, conflict resolution, geography, international and global studies, linguistics, political science, pre-law and social work, or use your Arabic language proficiency as preparation for graduate studies in Islamic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, marketing, conflict resolution or international relations.