Certificate Programs

The Center offers undergraduate and graduate certificates to students currently enrolled in a qualifying degree program at Georgetown University.

The certificates provide an opportunity for the student to study the language, history, and institutions of the Arab world within the framework of his or her discipline. The certificate program's purpose is to give a regional focus to a liberal or professional education for those individuals who plan careers in or wish to develop lifelong interests related to the area. Successful completion of the Certificate of Arab Studies is notated on the student's transcript.

Undergraduate Certificate

The Center for Contemporary Arab studies offers a program of studies leading to a Certificate of Arab Studies which undergraduates may complete in conjunction with bachelor's degree in a regular major. Students in both the School of Foreign Service and College may be considered for the Certificate of Arab Studies.


The student's overall plan of study at the University is guided and given coherence by the major department advisor and by the Director of the Program in Arab Studies. The student plans their coursework based on their interests and competencies, within the constraints imposed by his or her total program. However, all candidates for the Certificate must include the following elements in their programs:

  • Four semesters of Modern Standard Arabic or successful passage of Arabic proficiency exam
  • One semester of Islamic history or culture of the classical period.
    Suggested courses: HIST 160, Middle East Civilization I; ARAB 201, Intro to Islamic Civilization; or HIST 361, History of the Ottomans
  • One semester of Arab history of the nineteenth or twentieth century.
    Suggested courses: HIST 161, Middle East Civilization II; ARAB 202, Intro to Islamic Civilization; or HIST 267, Modern North Africa
  • One semester of Arab politics or international relations
    Suggested course: INAF 243, The U.S. and the Middle East
  • One semester of anthropology, economics, or sociology of the Arab world
    Suggested courses: INAF 418, Anthropology of the Arab World
  • Two semesters of electives
    These are determined in consultation with the Director of the Program in Arab Studies and may be selected from any of the fields listed above or from art, philosophy, theology, or literature.
  • Research paper
    During their senior year, all certificate students must prepare and present a 20-25 page research paper dealing with the Arab world at an annual spring symposium. Attendance at the symposium is required of all Certificate students. 

To apply, students should submit the Undergraduate Certificate Application to acquire approval of a comprehensive curriculum in Arab Studies.  This should be done after declaring a major and no later than the start of a student's junior year.

Click here to apply to the Undergraduate Certificate in Arab Studies.

For questions, please contact Ms. Kelli Harris, Assistant Director of Academic Programs, at kmh79@georgetown.edu.

Graduate Certificate

Master's and PhD students interested in pursuing an area competence on the modern Arab world in conjunction with their major disciplines may enroll in the Certificate of Arab Studies. 


Each candidate for the graduate certificate must, by the completion of his or her studies, pass a proficiency exam in Modern Standard Arabic. Certificate candidates must complete 15 graduate credits (5 courses) at the Master's level and 21 credits (7 courses) at the PhD level.  CCAS will circulate a list of approved Arab Studies courses each semester to registered certificate students.  For Master's students, at least 4 of the 5 courses must be on the approved list and at least one must be taught by core CCAS faculty.  For PhD students, at least 6 of the 7 courses should be on the approved list and at least 2 must be taught by core CCAS faculty.

If a thesis or dissertation forms part of the student's degree program, it must be written on a topic dealing with the modern or contemporary Arab world and should be approved by the major department, as well as by the Director of the Program in Arab Studies or by a member of the program faculty the Director designates.


A student desiring admission to the graduate Certificate of Arab Studies must first be accepted to a graduate degree program at Georgetown. 

To apply for the certificate program, please fill out the following form:

Click here to apply to the Graduate Certificate in Arab Studies.

For questions, please contact Ms. Kelli Harris, Assistant Director of Academic Programs, at kmh79@georgetown.edu.