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The Arabic School’s master’s degree program offers two academic tracks—a general track in Arabic studies and the Arabic language pedagogy track.

Each track includes units equivalent to three semester course hours at a regular academic-year program. To earn a master’s degree, students must successfully complete a total of 12 units in the appropriate areas within a 10-year period.

After the initial summer, MA degree candidates may transfer up to three courses toward the degree. A transfer course must meet certain requirements and be approved in advance (before the course is taken) by the director and registrar. 

General Arabic Studies Track

The general track in Arabic studies features in-language coursework on topics in literature, history, religion, popular culture and art, and contemporary politics and society (including current events). Academic requirements include the following:

  • 3 units in Arabic language and linguistics
  • 3 units in literature
  • 3 units in civilization, culture, and society
  • 3 elective units

Arabic Language Pedagogy Track

The Arabic language pedagogy track focuses on Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL), combining advanced coursework in Arabic and Arabic linguistics with training in second language acquisition, modern teaching methods, language assessment, classroom technology, and related areas. The Arabic pedagogy track is suitable for both current and prospective teachers of Arabic, at the primary, secondary, and college levels. Academic requirements include the following:

  • 5 units in Arabic linguistics and/or pedagogy
  • 3 units in literature, civilization, culture, and society
  • 1 unit of language practicum
  • 3 elective units

Program Options

In addition to choosing a track, MA students must select a program option.

Option 1

Four 6-week graduate summer sessions at Bennington. This option is suitable for students pursuing either academic track. The four summer sessions do not need to be consecutive. (Graduate credits may be applied toward the MA degree for up to 10 years.)

Option 2

One 6-week graduate summer session at Bennington, two semesters (a full academic year) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, followed by a final summer at Bennington. This option is intended for candidates on the Arabic pedagogy (TAFL) track only.

During the academic year at the Institute, students are enrolled in 18-20 credits of coursework in areas such as Arabic language pedagogy, Arabic linguistics, curriculum development, language assessment, sociolinguistics, and second language acquisition. Although some Institute courses may be conducted primarily in Arabic, the Language Pledge will not be in effect during the year.

Additional Middlebury Institute Information

To apply for financial aid for Option 2, students must complete the FAFSA (school code 001241) and the Institute’s financial aid application. For questions, email finaid@miis.edu.

The Institute does not offer on-campus housing, but will provide a proprietary list of off-campus housing available in the community. For an estimate of costs for housing, books, and other living expenses, please visit the Institute tuition page.