Arab Crossroads Studies majors are required to take a minimum of 10 courses offered by the program: four required courses (The Emergence of the Modern Middle East, Anthropology and the Arab World, Introduction to Modern Arabic Literature and Society, and Problems and Methods in Arab Crossroads Studies); a minimum of four elective courses; and a two-semester Capstone project. Additionally, Arab Crossroads Studies majors are required to take a minimum of four semesters of college Arabic or their equivalent, or demonstrate proficiency at this level. Only one course may double-count for the major in Arab Crossroad Studies and another major or minor.

Upon completion of the major in Arab Crossroads Studies at NYUAD, students are expected to be able to:

  • Identify the cultural, social, economic, political, philosophical, and religious forces that have shaped and continue to shape the intersection of the Arab and Islamic worlds;

  • Demonstrate a familiarity with historical and contemporary cultural and philosophical approaches to the study of the Arab world and neighboring regions while being attentive to the multiple transnational connections, circuits, and crossroads that have shaped them;

  • Understand the ways in which the field of Arab Crossroads Studies draws upon and contributes to other scholarly disciplines;

  • Develop arguments in which they reassess and, where necessary, revise conventional scholarly and popular understandings of the region, while continually questioning and justifying their own methodological assumptions and practices;

  • Conduct advanced research, including fieldwork, master the use of primary and secondary sources, library resources and relevant new technologies as appropriate;

  • Create strong scholarly arguments drawing on appropriate sources, literature, and evidence;

  • Display competence in Modern Standard Arabic or other forms of regional Arabic in reading, writing, and oral comprehension;

  • Demonstrate expertise in a particular approach to Arab Crossroads Studies resulting in the production of a senior Capstone project;
  • Bring a solid background in knowledge of the Arab world and Arabic to job opportunities in policy making, journalism, diplomacy, consulting, and finance;

  • Compete effectively for places at elite doctoral programs in the United States and around the world in Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic Studies, Anthropology, History, Arabic Literature, and Comparative Literature, and with additional course work in the social sciences, in Sociology or Political Science.



Students take a minimum of four elective courses, which are organized in the following areas: history and religion; society and politics; and arts and literature. The electives provide both breadth and depth to the study of the region; familiarize students with a variety of disciplinary concerns; and enable students to develop a specialization in one of three distributional areas in preparation for the capstone project. At least one of the electives must be grounded in the period before 1800, and one course only may be taken during January Term.

  • History and Religion, which includes a broad and solid grounding in the pre-modern and modern social, cultural, religious, and economic landscapes of the region. These courses focus on primary-source documents to introduce students to the rich and varied history of the region as well as to the doctrinal and social aspects of the religious traditions that have shaped it.
  • Society and Politics, which includes a detailed and nuanced examination of the contemporary landscape of the region. These courses draw on anthropology, ethnography, political sciencem, and sociology to elucidate the complex cultural, social, and political developments taking place today.
  • Arts and Literature, which includes a careful study of the literary, artistic, and philosophical landscapes of the region. These courses explore the literatures, arts, and physical environments of the region within their broader historical and social contexts.


To fulfill the requirements of the Arab Crossroads Studies major, students must demonstrate intermediate ability in Arabic. This means either (1) studying Arabic through at least the intermediate level (four semesters) at NYUAD or within the broader Global Network University, (2) demonstrating the completion of comparable course work elsewhere, or (3) demonstrating a corresponding level of proficiency through examination at NYU Abu Dhabi.