College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Modern Languages > Student Resources > Language Resources > Arabic Studies
Studying Arabic has many benefits. Arabic is a beautiful language
with a rich heritage of literature, scholarly work and ancient culture.
It was adopted by the United Nations as one of its six official
languages in 1974. It is considered by the United States government as
one of the critical languages for Americans to learn.
Within the United States, Arabic is the heritage language of 3.5
million Americans of Arab descent. Arab-Americans live in all 50 states.
Illinois is home to 220,000 Arab-Americans, with 72% of them residing
in Cook County. About 94% of Arab-Americans live in metropolitan areas.
Chicago is one of the top five metropolitan areas with Arab-American
populations in the United States.
The governments of nineteen countries and of Palestine list Arabic as
their dominant language. Arabic is spoken by over 160 million people in
an area extending from the Arabian Gulf to western Africa. Worldwide,
more than 600 million Muslims use Arabic for religious purposes because
it is the language of the Quran and Islamic traditions and literature.
The following are some of the reasons why you should consider learning Arabic:
Many of our students are in love with Middle Eastern culture and are aware of the value of Arabic language proficiency, given the economic and political influence of many countries in the Middle East. Many of our students double major with Political Science or International Studies, while others may choose Journalism, Islamic World Studies, Geography, Peace Justice & Conflict Studies or Public Policy, to name a few. Our students also choose Arabic Studies as their primary major and might pursue minors such as International Politics, Peace Justice and Conflict Studies, International Communication, Islamic World Studies, Hospitality Leadership or Women's & Gender Studies.
Students who are interested in pursuing a double major, but who do not
have enough open electives in which to complete a double major, may wish
to consider pursuing dual degrees, instead of a double major. The
requirements for dual degrees are outlined online here. A double major = one degree with two majors and one diploma. Dual degrees = two degrees with two majors and
two diplomas (e.g., Bachelor of Science with a major in Health Sciences PLUS Bachelor of Arts with a major in Arabic Studies). Students should discuss any interest in pursuing dual degrees with their
advisors in both programs.