Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

MELC Arabic

The Arabic language is the key to understanding the culture and history of more than 22 nations and over 280 million speakers. It is the language of an ancient civilization and today is spoken widely across North Africa, the Middle East, and the Arabian Peninsula. Arabic is also the liturgical language of over a billion Muslims and it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. The interdisciplinary major in Arabic language and culture expects students to develop an appreciation for the complexity of the many facets of the Arab world: its society, culture, history, languages, arts, religions, and literary heritage. The overarching purpose, which aligns with both the College and University mission, is to help students understand their place in the universe, and to help them shape their society and environment and further achievements, at home and abroad, in support of human values and improving the quality of life.

This major is ideal for students considering careers in diplomacy, journalism, consulting, business, foreign service, translation, and academia. Future graduates would be in great demand for advanced studies in any of these fields. The scholarly work contributed through this major meets the mission of the University and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. . The mission of this program aligns with the universities mission to create a broadly diverse environment necessary to foster multi-cultural skills and perspectives for its students to contribute and succeed in the world of the 21st century. It also aligns with the college mission to conduct scholarly inquiry and mentor students to become the next generation of intellectual and pioneers.


Students must apply for admission to the IDS major in MELC Arabic by the end of the sophomore year at the latest, in consultation with two faculty sponsors (one of whom must be in CLAS). A 3.0 GPA is required for admission to the major, which consists of:

1.) 6 hours of introductory course work at the 2000 level, and two years of a foreign language at UF (or the equivalent).

2.) 20 hours of upper-division course work, of which ideally no more than 9 hours should be taken in any single department.

3.) 7- 12 hours of IDS 4906 during work on the senior thesis under the supervision of the two faculty sponsors.

Relevant Curriculum
  • ARA 3410 Advanced Arabic 1 (3)
  • ARA 3411 Advanced Arabic 2 (3)
  • ARA 3510 The Arab Woman (3)
  • ARA 4400 Fourth-year Arabic 1 (3)
  • ARA 4401 Fourth-year Arabic 2 (3)
  • ARA 4420 Arabic Through Texts (3)
  • ARA 4822 Arabic Sociolinguistics (3)
  • ARA 4850 Structure of Standard Arabic (3)
  • ARA 4905 Individual Study (1-5)
  • ARA 4930 Special Topics (3)
  • ABT 3130 Arabic Literary Heritage 1 (3)
  • ABT 3500 Arabic Culture (3)
  • AFH 4302 History of North Africa (3)
  • CPO 4401 Arab-Israeli Conflict (3)
  • REL 3317 Religions of Iran (3)
  • REL 4364 Classical Islamic Thought (3)
  • REL 4367 History of Islam Mod World (3)
  • others may be included with the consent of advisor


Dr. Youssef Haddad
Assistant Professor of Arabic Linguistics
357 Pugh

MELC Hebrew

By assuming an interdisciplinary approach to Hebrew language and culture, students acquire knowledge of the close relationships between politics, history, religions, arts, and cultures in Israel. In addition to working toward proficiency in Hebrew, students will develop close reading and critical thinking skills. Students graduating with this major will find job opportunities in Jewish community organizations, the government, and consulting. In addition, due to the interdisciplinary nature of the major, students will be well prepared for the rigor of graduate studies in the humanities.

  • IDS 4906 IDS Research Thesis (7-12 credits) and submitting a Thesis.

Relevant Curriculum

  • HBR 4930 / JST4936: Introduction to Israeli Culture (3)
  • HBR3410 / JST3930: Hebrew News and Media (3)
  • HBR3410: Third-year Modern Hebrew 1 (3)
  • HBR3411 / JST3930: Translation in Israeli Media (3)
  • HBR3411: Third-year Modern Hebrew 2 (3)
  • JST3821: Israeli Society (3)
  • JST3845: Israelis and Palestinians (3)
  • JST3930: Secular Jewish Culture (3)
  • JST3930: Modern European Jewish History (3)
  • REL 2930 / JST 2930: INTRO TO JEWISH STUDIES (3)
  • HBR4905: INDIVIDUAL WORK (1-3)
  • others may be included with the consent of advisor.


Dr. Dror Abend-David
Lecturer, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
University of Florida
337 Pugh Hall, PO Box 115565
Gainesville, Fl. 32611-5565

Office: 352-846-3845
Cell: 352-222-1349
Email: dabend@ufl.edu

Academic Learning Compact

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