The dual BA-MA in Romance Languages and Literatures with a subplan in Franco-Arab Studies responds to growing demands in the job market for graduates with specializations spanning both French/Francophone and Arab studies. This combined degree offers students a unique opportunity to engage in innovative, interdisciplinary research in the emerging field of Arabofrancophonie. Situated at the intersection of French/Francophone and Arabophone studies, Arabofrancophonie is a field that aims to explore the multiple and complex links between the historical trajectories of the Francophone and Arab worlds from the Middle Ages through the twenty-first century. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in a wide variety of fields, including academia, international development, international business, diplomacy, law, journalism, publishing, social work, and public health. The MA gives UNC graduates an extra edge on the job market or in applications to graduate school in French or another field.


Franco-Arab Studies addresses a geographical area that traverses North Africa (Egypt and the Maghreb — Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco) and the Machreq or Near East (Lebanon and Syria), extending to the French Hexagon, and crossing the Atlantic to the Americas and Canada (Quebec). The reach of the field is thus truly global. As it links Asia and Africa to Europe, this interdisciplinary undergraduate-graduate program in Franco-Arab Studies falls squarely within major regional priorities for UNC. Moreover, this concentration establishes a dialogue among departments in the humanities and social sciences, broadly responding to the University’s mission of interdisciplinarity and internationalization.


With all of its own faculty actively engaged in interdisciplinary research, and in collaboration with colleagues at UNC who work in Arab, Middle Eastern, and Islamic Studies, in the Departments of Asian Studies, Art, Geography, History, Religious Studies, and Sociology, the Program in French and Francophone Studies is uniquely positioned to offer this dual BA-MA in Franco-Arab Studies. For a list of faculty and students involved in Middle East and Muslim studies, please consult the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations.




Undergraduate students at UNC interested in the dual BA-MA program should speak to the Graduate Advisor in French, Dr. Hassan Melehy, no later than the beginning of their third semester in order to plan their program of study and be sure that they will be able to meet requirements. It is strongly recommended that students intending to complete the dual BA-MA program meet with Dr. Melehy once per semester until their admission to the graduate level.


Students wishing to pursue the dual BA-MA in French and francophone studies apply to the MA program in the sixth, seventh, or eighth semester of undergraduate study (between the spring semester of their third and the spring semester of their fourth year). For admission to study on the MA level in the fall semester, students should apply no later than January 8, 2013, and for admission in the spring semester (in rare circumstances) TBD. For undergraduates applying to UNC’s Graduate School to pursue the dual BA-MA program, the application fee is waived, and no letters of recommendation or GRE scores are required. For application instructions, students should refer to the Web sites of the Graduate School and the Department of Romance Languages.


The dual BA-MA program normally will take ten semesters to complete. Students who enroll at UNC with sufficient Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate credits may finish the BA portion of the program in either semesters six, seven, or eight. After completing 60 baccalaureate credits (2 years or the equivalent), students may take courses on the post-baccalaureate level. Up to three graduate-level courses (9 credit hours) taken during the BA phase of the program may subsequently be counted toward the MA, as long as students also take enough courses within eight semesters to meet the 120-credit BA graduation requirement. The 9 transferred credit hours may not count toward the 120-credit hours for the undergraduate degree.


Language skills


Students are expected to have proficiency in French (the equivalent of 2 years at the college level) and English upon admission to the program. At the end of 4 years or the equivalent of their undergraduate studies (120 credit hours), they will also be required to have completed a minimum of 3 years of Arabic language classes (ARAB101-306 or the equivalent) and to have reached an ACTFL proficiency level of Advanced Low to Advanced Mid in 4 skills: speaking, listening, writing, and reading. Once they enroll in the dual BA-MA program and begin to take post-baccalaureate classes, students will be required to continue their study of Arabic for at least one additional year through formal coursework and/or by studying abroad, especially if they have not studied abroad earlier.


Students are also strongly encouraged to spend time abroad through programs such as the UNC program in Montpellier, France, the summer exchange program at McGill University in Montreal, and the summer exchange program in Paris. They are also encouraged to seek opportunities to study in Arabophone countries. The UNC Study Abroad Office offers a variety of exchange programs and internships so that students can work on their language skills and develop relationships that can benefit their future careers.


Students are encouraged to apply for FLAS fellowships to help support their language study in the dual BA-MA program in Franco-Arab Studies.


Course requirements


The diverse offerings of the dual BA-MA program include courses at the baccalaureate level and the post-baccalaureate level. Among course topics at the baccalaureate level are French civilization, business French, advanced oral and written French, French cultural studies, literatures of the Francophone world (the Maghreb, the Machreq, the French Caribbean, Haiti, Vietnam, China), the role of France in Europe today, and identities in European cinema. The Arabic language sequence (ARAB101-306) must also be completed during the B.A. phase of the program.


Students in the dual BA-MA program will acquire a broad knowledge of French and Francophone literature and culture and a working knowledge of Arabic language and literature and Arab culture from various regions of the world by completing the following requirements:


  • 120 semester credit hours at the baccalaureate level, which will conform to the requirements for a B.A. from the College of Arts and Sciences, the major in Romance languages with an emphasis in French and francophone studies, and the major in Asian studies with a concentration in Arab cultures in the Department of Asian Studies.
  • 30 credit hours at the post-baccalaureate level. This coursework will consist of 9 hours of coursework in French and Francophone literatures and cultures, 9 hours of coursework in Arabic literature and Arab culture, ROML500 (research methods, 3 hours), ARAB407 (3 hours), ARAB408 (3 hours), and 3 hours of thesis credits (FREN993). In their last semester, students will write a MA thesis. Courses will be chosen from the list below in consultation with the Graduate Advisor in French.
  • Students may begin taking courses at the M.A. level as early as their third year in college. While they are still officially in the baccalaureate program, they may take up to 3 post-baccalaureate level courses (9 credit hours) that will subsequently be transferred to the M.A. program, as long as they take enough courses in addition to these to meet the 120-credit BA graduation requirement.
  • Other programs that offer relevant classes for this concentration are history, religious studies, sociology, art history, and geography.
  • In the event that a student starts the program and completes the BA requirements but not the MA requirements, he or she will be awarded a BA with a double major: the component majors will be 1) Romance Langauges with an emphasis in French and Francophone Studies and 2) Asian Studies with a emphasis in Arab Cultures.

Courses for the program


The following are required post-baccalaureate courses for the program:


ROML500: Research Methods — students will develop research methodologies and approaches for using their foreign language skills in their future professions.


ARAB407: Readings in Arabic Literature


ARAB408: Readings in Arabic Literature



The following list of graduate courses may be used to fulfill the 9 interdisciplinary credit hours of Arabic language and literature and Arab culture on the post-baccalaureate level required for the program.


ARAB433 – Medieval Arabic Literature in Translation


ARAB434 – Modern Arabic Literature in Translation


ARAB452 – Imagining Palestine


ARAB453 – Film, Nation, and Identity in the Arab World


ARAB496 – Independent Readings in Arabic


ART458 – Islamic Palaces, Gardens, and Court Culture (Eighth-16th Centuries CE)


ART561 – Art and Society in Medieval Islamic Spain and North Africa


ART562 – Islamic Urbanism


ART777 – Colonialism and European Visual Culture, 1800-1990


ART956 – Seminar in Islamic Art


ASIA435 – The Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa


ASIA/GEOG447 – Gender, Space, and Place in the Middle East


ASIA452 – Muslim Women in France and the United States


ASIA455 – Arabs in America


ASIA/HIST536 – Revolution in the Modern Middle East


ASIA/HIST537 – Women in the Middle East


ASIA/HIST538 – The Middle East and the West


ASIA561 – Art and Society in Medieval Islamic Spain and North Africa


ASIA/RELI581 – Sufism


ASIA/RELI584 – The Qur’an as Literature


ASIA681 – Readings in Islamicate Literatures


SOCI419 – Sociology of the Islamic World


The following is the subset of graduate courses in French and Francophone Studies that are relevant for this concentration. Students must select 3 of these for the 30 hours credit at the M.A. level.


FREN451: Orientalist Fantasies and Discourses on the Other


FREN594 (proposed): Writing the Mediterranean: Cross-cultural Perspectives on the Early Modern World


FREN615: Readings in Francophone Literature (with a focus on the Maghreb, Lebanon and literatures of immigration in France)


FREN622: Cultural Diversity in the French Middle Ages


FREN790: Diaspora and Transculturalism in Quebecois Literatures (with a focus on Lebanon, The Maghreb and literatures of immigration in Canada)


FREN616: Readings in Cultural Studies




During their final semester of the dual BA-MA program in Franco-Arab Studies, students will register for three hours of FREN 993, Master’s Thesis, and write a MA thesis, usually a thoroughly researched revision of a seminar paper, 25-45 pages.




All students will take the MA written exam in Franco-Arab studies.


Sample program


For a student beginning at UNC with 2-3 years of high school French and 9 AP credits transferable to the BA program.



First semester 1 course in Arab culture, 3 general education courses, 1 additional course. 15 BA credits
Second semester 1 course in Arab culture, 3 general education courses, 1 additional course. 15 BA credits
Third semester ARAB101, H1 course in Arab culture, 2 200-level courses in French, 1 general education course. 15 BA credits
Fourth semester ARAB102, 1 course in Arab culture, 2 300-level courses in French, 1 general education course. 15 BA credits
Fifth semester ARAB203, 1 course in Arab culture, 2 300-level courses in French, 1 general education course. 15 BA credits
Sixth semester ARAB204, ARAB223, 2 300-level courses in French, 1 general education course. 15 BA credits
Seventh semester ARAB305, 1 400-level course in Arab culture, 2 courses in French one of which at 500-600 level, 1 general education course. 12 BA credits, 3 MA credits
Eighth semester ARAB306, ROML500, 2 courses in Arab culture 400 level or above, 1 general education course. 9 BA credits, 6 MA creditsWith AP credits, the student has so far earned 129 credits, of which 9 are at the MA level; all MA credits will be transferred to the graduate program.
Ninth semester ARAB407, 1 course in Arab culture 400 level or above, and 2 500-700 level courses in French 12 MA credits
Tenth semester ARAB408, 1 French level course 500 or above, FREN 993 (thesis credits) 9 MA credits