In order to properly understand your registration options during pre-enrollment you should know about:
- The course numbering system at AUB
- Arabic language and literature offerings
- Course loads
- How to read the Dynamic Course Schedule
- "Hidden Gem" courses
Course Numbering at AUB
In most departments at AUB, particularly in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, a 300-level course is a graduate course. Undergraduates may not pre-enroll for a graduate-level course, although they may request instructor permission to do so during drop-add week, on campus. We note, further, that courses in the CAMES Master’s program (MEST in the course schedule) are almost all graduate courses, are in extremely high demand. Undergraduates can find a wide variety of Middle Eastern studies content listed in the departments of Political Studies (PSPA), History, Media Studies or Sociology/Anthropology (SOAM) and American Studies (AMST); but see also the "hidden gems" suggestions below.
Arabic language and literature offerings and levels
Visiting students should be aware that it is not possible to pre-register for Arabic classes prior to arrival on campus; nevertheless, AUB has made a commitment to place all visiting students who request it into an appropriate-level Arabic instruction class. Placements into both Arabic as a Foreign Language (Modern Standard Arabic) and Lebanese Arabic (Colloquial Arabic) are based on a proficiency test administered (even to beginners) during orientation week on campus. Information on the schedule of placement exams for both varieties of Arabic will be made available during the International Student Orientation Program each semester. In the event that the placement exam verifies that you "place out" of our highest level regular offering in Modern Standard Arabic, AUB can offer a tutorial suitable to your skill level or you can choose to focus on Lebanese Arabic.
Please also be aware that AUB’s department of Arabic Languages and Literatures typically admits only native or near-native speakers to its courses as all readings and instruction are conducted in Modern Standard Arabic for native speakers. However, students who "place out" of Modern Standard Arabic after taking the AUB placement exam can petition to be admitted into Arabic 201, Readings in Arabic Literature, which would be done with the assistance of their Visiting Student faculty advisor during Orientation week.
Finally, OIP staff recommend that, if your primary aim in learning Arabic is to communicate better with Lebanese nationals, it is more effective to study Colloquial Arabic while you are here in the Levant, than to begin Modern Standard Arabic. MSA is not used much, if at all, in day-to-day personal interactions around Lebanon.
Modern Standard Arabic
· ARAB 203/MEST 321: Begining Arabic as a Foreign Language (MSA I)
· ARAB 204/MEST 322 Beginning Arabic as a Foreign Language (MSA II)
· ARAB 205/MEST 323: Intermediate Arabic as a Foreign Language (MSA III)
· ARAB 206/MEST 324: Intermediate Arabic as a Foreign Language (MSA IV)
· ARAB 207/MEST 325: Advanced Arabic as a Foreign Language (MSA V)
· ARAB 208/MEST 326: Advanced Arabic as a Foreign Language (MSA VI)
Colloquial Levantine Arabic
· MEST 240/340: Introduction to Lebanese Arabic
· MEST 241/341: Intermediate Lebanese Arabic
· MEST 242/342: Advanced Lebanese Arabic
A standard semester course load for an undergraduate student is usually 5 courses at three credits each, for a total of 15 credits. Be aware, however, that most Arabic language courses are 5 credit courses. An undergraduate is allowed to take as few as 12 credit hours, and still be considered a full-time student; the upper limit is 17 credits. We strongly recommend that undergraduates attempt at most one graduate level course, because of the extra workload expectations; particularly if the student is also studying Arabic. As noted elsewhere, undergraduates may not pre-enroll in a graduate level course, but they may petition to be admitted with the help of their faculty advisor, in September.
A standard semester’s course load for a graduate student is usually 3 graduate courses, at three credits each. A full-time graduate student can take as few as 6 credits, or as many as 12 credits. OIP generally does not advise a visiting international graduate student to take more than nine credits, unless one or more of your selected courses is at the undergraduate level.
Reading the Dynamic Course Schedule
OIP suggests that, when selecting courses to list in your AUB application, you use the "Course Schedule" function by going directly to this link, which allows you to review active courses for multiple semesters & also shows whether there is a lab for a given course or whether there are prerequisite courses. The "Dynamic Course Schedule" link generally only shows courses for the current semester, along with times, sections and instructors; in approximately the last third of any given semester it is switched to show the offerings for the following semester to enable advising and pre-registration for on-campus students. The "Course Catalog" link shows all courses approved by the curriculum committee to count towards degree study at AUB; it can be a good rough guide to the variety of AUB offerings but it does not indicate that a specific course will be offered in a specific semester.
All of the above can also be found by clicking the "AUBsis" link from the top of any AUB webpage.
For full course descriptions, the best source of information is the list of majors and programs, which takes you directly to the relevant section of the undergraduate or graduate catalog.
“Hidden Gem” Courses
AUB offers Middle Eastern Studies content in many departments outside of the obvious triad of History, Politics, and Economics, as well as some hidden gems that are just plain fun. A few that we can recommend are listed below.
- AGSC 288: The Art of Honey-Making
- AGSC 281: Introduction to Bee-Keeping
- AMST 240: America in the Middle East
- AMST 275-P: America, the Arab World and the Music Video
- AMST 276-O: Special Topics -- Arab Uprisings
- AROL 201: Archaeology of Lebanon
- AROL 225: The Roman and Byzantine Near East
- AROL 231: Ancient Near Eastern Religions
- CVSP 201: Ancient Near East and Classical Civilizations
- CVSP 208-L: What are Human Rights?
- FAAH 242: AUB Choir
- FAAH 227-A: Islamic Empires and their Art
- FAAH 229-E: Contemporary Art in the Middle East
- FAAH 262: Arabic and Middle Eastern Music
- FREN 201: Elementary French
- GEOL 224: Regional Geology
- GRDS 050: Introduction to Arabic Typography
- LDEM 204: Ecological Landscape Design
- PSPA 259: Public Administration in Lebanon
- SOAN 214: Arab Culture and Society
- SOAN 228: Mass Media and Society
- SOAN 238: The US and the Arab World
Access the Pre-Enrollment Forms and Instructions