The graduate program in Arabic aims to combine a thorough understanding of Arabic language and linguistics with Arabic literature and culture. The Arabic and Islamic Studies Department offers graduate level courses in Arabic linguistics, Islamic studies, and literature courses which cover the secular prose and poetry of the classical and modern eras as well as Arabic scripture. The study of linguistics is a central feature of the Georgetown program and, along with the major in Arabic, Master’s students must choose one minor in either Linguistics or Islamic Studies. At the Ph.D. level, students choose two minors from linguistics, Islamic studies, and Arab area studies.
Because the highest art forms in Arab society are language-based (poetry and calligraphy) and because the Arabic language is considered a sacred gift to the Muslim people, the identity, achievements, and spirituality of the Arabs are tightly woven into the fabric of the Arabic language. Therefore, in addition to offering courses on secular Arabic prose and poetry, the Arabic Department offers literature courses based on the sacred texts of Islam: the Qur'an and the Hadith. This is a unique strength of our department and a determining factor in shaping its distinctive academic program.
The Georgetown Arabic program is also known for its rigorous requirements in linguistics and its specialized graduate level courses in Arabic linguistics. We stand on the shoulders of distinguished linguists who pioneered in the development of Arabic linguistic research, curricula, and pedagogy. One component of this is our research tradition in applied and theoretical Arabic linguistics as well as Arabic lexicography. Georgetown faculty have authored important studies of Arabic dialects which are published as a series of monographs from Georgetown University Press. This research dimension enhances the Arabic Department's ability to educate graduate students, apprenticing them in linguistic research, curriculum design, and field methods.
For more information on applying, please visit the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences website. You must apply through the Graduate School in order to be considered for admission to our department. The Graduate School site not only provides general information about application procedures, it also contains specific information about applying to our graduate programs and degree requirements.