Careers

Study Arabic. Do Anything.

What can I do with an Arabic major?

Graduates with majors in Arabic are in high demand. Because of its strategic importance, the U.S. State Department has designated Arabic as a “critical language.” Notre Dame Arabic majors have been accepted into the leading graduate programs in the nation, and have pursued successful careers in fields such as government, business, journalism, and education.

Our recent graduates have gotten great jobs in technology, consulting, and government, while many also pursue graduate school in the humanities or sciences. A significant percentage also pursue full-time service work for a year or more, seeking to make a difference in the world by helping others.

Skills you'll learn

  • Ability to articulate complex thoughts and theories
  • Effective oral communication
  • Strong writing
  • Team Work
  • Critical thinking and analytical reasoning
  • Ability to apply knowledge to real-world settings
  • Ethical judgment and decision making
  • Ability to analyze and solve problems with people from different backgrounds

Victoria Braga '11

Trial Attorney, Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation

“As an immigration attorney, many of the cases I work on involve Arabic speakers and individuals from countries in the Middle East. My proficiency in Arabic, as well as my understanding of history, religion, politics, and culture in the Middle East help me to understand the issues in these cases, and to produce well-reasoned and well-informed work," says Victoria Braga, an Arabic and political science major. "Arabic is unique and contemporarily relevant— it makes a student an attractive job applicant, regardless of their chosen career path.”

  • Victoria Braga '11

    Trial Attorney, Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation

    “As an immigration attorney, many of the cases I work on involve Arabic speakers and individuals from countries in the Middle East. My proficiency in Arabic, as well as my understanding of history, religion, politics, and culture in the Middle East help me to understand the issues in these cases, and to produce well-reasoned and well-informed work," says Victoria Braga, an Arabic and political science major. "Arabic is unique and contemporarily relevant— it makes a student an attractive job applicant, regardless of their chosen career path.”

  • Erin Hayes '18

    Refugee Status Determination Legal Advisor

    "I am currently living in Cairo, Egypt, working as a Refugee Status Determination Legal Advisor for St. Andrew's Refugee Services. I also work as a Digital & Communication Specialist at Education For Employment," says Hayes who majored in Arabic and political science.

    "Studying Arabic gave me the confidence I needed to move to Cairo and delve into a world full of opportunities. I use the language daily,  whether greeting legal aid clients in Arabic, reading Education For Employment social media posts, or simply buying fruit from my favorite produce stall."

     

  • Jonathan Liedl '11

    Seminarian for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis, in formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome

    "Although my present state in life is dramatically different than what I envisioned when I studied Arabic, I can see a clear connection: immersing myself in the study of the language and culture of a region as distinct from America as the Middle East was a beautiful lesson in empathy, and ultimately facilitated deeper understanding between different peoples," says Liedl who majored in Arabic and Political Science. "I don't speak Arabic much these days, but I do practice empathy and service for others!"

     

  • Monica McEvoy '15

    Sr. Merchandise Planner at Target Corporation

    "I believe my combined Arabic studies and Liberal Arts degree prepared me well for a job in business (inventory/supply chain and now merchandising). The program gave me unique experiences and taught me how to think critically and communicate clearly. I believe that this unique (and challenging) degree enabled me to stand out among my peers when I was applying for post-college positions, and continues to differentiate me as I advance in my career," says McEvoy who majored in Arabic and anthropology.

  • Martina Rofaeil '19

    Dental Student, University of Pennsylvania

    "Majoring in Arabic broadened my cultural awareness and exposed me to different cultures that I did not fully understand, says Rofaeil who majored in Arabic and chemistry. "In addition, it helped me learn a language that is unique in many parts of the world. I believe these two aspects will contribute very significantly to my future career as a dentist. In dentistry, I will interact with people of different age groups, ethnicities, and cultures, and I believe majoring in Arabic will help me be culturally competent and enhance my interactions with my patients."

     

98% of recent Notre Dame Arabic majors found full-time employment, enrolled in graduate school, entered service programs, or joined the military within six months of graduation.

49% find full-time jobs

  • Analyst, Huron Consulting Group
  • Audit associate, Deloitte
  • Business analyst, Target
  • Case manager, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Financial analyst, Phillips Edison & Company
  • Fund development coordinator, Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Investment banking analyst, Morgan Stanley
  • Library technician, Library of Congress
  • Middle Eastern studies intern, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Military analyst, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Mortgage banker, Quicken Loans
  • Operational support technician, FBI
  • Peace process and programming specialist, IEA Corporation
  • Program associate, Freedom House

Our alumni leave Notre Dame with an expansive worldview and a variety of real-world skills.

Employers love that our students are passionate, curious, and socially engaged. Once on the job, they find that our Arabic graduates are critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovators, and collaborators.

They are the embodiment of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters’ motto: our students study everything so that they can do anything.

21% go to graduate or professional school

  • Anthropology: University of Texas at Austin
  • Arabic: University of Michigan
  • Law: Baylor University, Cornell University, Fordham University, Georgetown University, University of Wisconsin
  • Middle Eastern studies: Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • National security studies: Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security
  • Social sciences: University of Chicago
  • Social work: University of Southern California
  • Spanish: New York University – Madrid

Going on to graduate or professional school after earning a degree in Arabic is a fantastic opportunity to branch out into a new area or dive in-depth into a subject focused on as an undergraduate. 

A senior thesis is a great way to prepare for grad school — it demonstrates the ability to do serious research and independent work.

10% enter service programs

  • Alliance for Catholic Education
  • Match Next, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Open Arms Home for Children, South Africa
  • Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Peace Corps, Comoros
  • Student Conservation Association, Yosemite Village, California

Postgraduate service can be a life-changing experience and provide Arabic students with transferable skills for the next step in their careers.

Every year, approximately 20 percent of the graduating senior class in Arts and Letters make a one- to two-year commitment to serve in areas such as public and private education, family and children services, after-school programs, developing countries, and non-governmental organizations.

18% join the miliary

Note: Outcomes data comes from First Destination reports, a survey of recent graduates conducted by the Notre Dame Center for Career Development and Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research. Status is known for more than 90% of each graduating class. 

Further Reading

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