Middle Eastern Studies | College of Liberal Arts
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The Department of Middle Eastern Studies offers first- through third-year courses in Arabic, modern Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish. These languages are taught intensively at the first year level in order to maximize learning and allow students to meet college language requirements in one year of study. Additional course offerings are available in a number of other important related languages, including Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, Akkadian, Syriac and Ugaritic.
The language programs at DMES are some of the best in the nation, taught by highly skilled and dedicated faculty using innovative teaching practices and technology to help motivated students reach their goals.  In addition to students pursuing degrees in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and Middle Eastern studies, the language programs serve students across campus who are dedicated to developing proficiency in a Middle Eastern language.

Letter Grades

Letter grades are required in the language courses offered by Middle Eastern Studies. A grade basis of CR/NC (graduate students) or Pass/Fail (undergraduate students) is not permitted. All students, whether undergraduate or graduate, must take our language courses for a letter grade. In no case do we allow any student, at any level, to take our language courses pass/fail or for credit/no credit.

Auditing Classes 

Due to the intensive and interactive character of our modern language classrooms, auditing is not permitted in Arabic, modern Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish. For learners with previous experience in these languages who wish to register, we require a placement test to help us determine the appropriate level. Information and registration for the placement test are available on this website under Language Testing.

Oral Proficiency Interviews

Please note that at the end of the 611C course, you may be asked to complete an oral proficiency interview (OPI). Each year Middle Eastern Studies is required to administer OPIs to a pool of randomly selected students, to verify that we are meeting curriculum goals in our first-year language courses. This process is dependent on voluntary student participation. The interviews are extracurricular and will not figure into your course grade, but students selected to participate will receive a notification letting them know their proficiency level in the language. The test is administered over the telephone (or Zoom) and rated by an ACTFL Certified Tester. OPIs can be rated according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012 or the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale.