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Studying a language of the Middle East and North Africa allows you to have a more intimate perspective on the cultures, histories, and societies of the region. Whether you choose to major in MENA Studies or not, you may enroll in courses in any of the four major languages of the region: 

For more information, please visit the MENA Languages Program website.


Most students graduating from Northwestern University must demonstrate that they have proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to the work covered in the third course in the second year sequence in a foreign language. For Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish, you will have to pass 121-3 (the third quarter of second-year) with a grade of C- or better. If you want to find out whether your school has a Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement, click here.

If you wish to start with Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish and have never studied Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish before, you should place yourself into 111-1, the first quarter of first year.   If you learned Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish in school, through private instruction, or at home, you will need to take a foreign language proficiency placement test.


The MENA Languages Proficiency Placement tests will place you in the appropriate language class from which you will begin work towards either fulfilling the Language Proficiency Requirement in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish or to continue studying to the advanced level. You will find the appropriate tests here:

If you still have questions, would like to discuss results, need to validate your placement results, or have general questions about studying Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish, please contact any of the following instructors below:

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