Columbia    Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures

The MEALAC Arabic Program

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Guidelines for Registration in the Arabic Language Classes

In order to facilitate registration in the Arabic Language classes, accommodate the maximum number of students and allow space for late registration, the following guidelines will be followed:

  • Students can start their studies of Arabic in the Fall or Spring.
  • They can Take First and Second Year II in the Fall and First and Second Year I in the Spring.
  • Third and Fourth Year classes begin only in the Fall and continue in the Spring.

First and Second Year classes will be capped at 18 students. Third and Fourth Year classes will be capped at 15 students.


Students enrolling in First Year I do not need the instructor’s permission. Students enrolling in all other classes need permission. For sections that do not list an instructor, please contact Prof. Ben Amor (

Registration for the Spring semester:

All students have to obtain the instructor's signature in advance. Oral approval is not sufficient. For sections that do not list an instructor, please contact Prof. Ben Amor (

Registration for the fall semester:
No waiting list will be maintained. Pre-registration in all classes will be capped at 13 students each. 5 additional spots will be kept in each section for late registration based on the department's priority list.

The priority sequence is:

  1. MEALAC graduate students, seniors, majors and Barnard students majoring in Asian & ME Cultures
  2. Graduate students from GSAS and SIPA
  3. CC and GS students starting with juniors for First Year and seniors for Second Year
  4. TC, JTS, Continuing education students.

In September, students who have not registered yet, must attend the section that fits their schedule best and indicate in our Arabic Language Questionnaire, filled in class, other sections that fit their schedule. Students including those who pre-registered, must attend every session during the first week of classes. Those who miss attendance the first week forfeit their chance of possible enrollment.

Instructors will take full attendance throughout the first week of classes. During the first week of classes, the list kept by instructors will contain the following information about every student:

Name, School, Department, Graduate/Undergraduate, Year of study, Major, SS#, Email, Latest Arabic Course Grade.

Note To Students Enrolling in Third and Fourth Year Courses

Students continuing beyond the second year must have received an average grade of B in the Second Year to move on to Third and Fourth Year. By Friday afternoon of the first week of classes, the team of Arabic instructors will meet and finalize the roster for each class. Students will be informed of their status by email.

Students do not have to register by themselves. They will be registered internally by the department. It takes at least two days for names to appear on the online rosters.

Note for First Year II, Second, Third and Fourth Year students:

Students who have studied Arabic in universities, institutions and summer programs outside of Columbia, need to take a placement test. Students who do not take the placement test will not have a chance to enroll. The placement test must be completed at the latest by Thursday of the first week of classes. (The placement exam is generally given the week before classes start. Check here for dates and location.)Students who are waiting for the placement results should attend a section in the level they are hoping to place into until they are notified of the results.

For any questions on the placement test, please contact:
Profs. Youssef Nouhi or Ghada Badawi