Studies & Degrees in Urdu

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Are you a student who is interested in the languages and literature of some of the larger South Asian countries, particularly Pakistan and India, and looking for a degree option that matches your interests?  Have you considered pursuing a degree in Urdu, a program that covers the Urdu language, literature and culture?  Urdu, which serves as the national language of Pakistan and one of the official languages of India, is a very fascinating course of study.  The language is one of the most widely-spoken languages of South Asia, one that has also spread to other parts of the world as well, including the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, where it serves as the major cultural language for most of the Muslim population from Pakistan and northern India.  In its everyday spoken form, Urdu is fundamentally similar to Hindi, although it differs slightly in its script and higher vocabulary.  
Degree programs in Urdu language and literature are becoming increasing popular and widespread.  This is primarily attributed to the important role the language plays as the chief vehicle of Islam in South Asia, but Urdu also has a rich secular literature that appeals to students, a literature whose poetry is closely based on Persian models. To help you become more familiar with the various degree options in Urdu, below we have outlined some of the specifics of the program at both the undergraduate and graduate level, including some of the course content students will initially encounter as members of the program.
Degree Programs in Urdu
Urdu is spoken by nearly 70 million people around the world, and because of its increasing popularity, many colleges and universities around the world have now begun offering both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Urdu language and literature.  The specialty is also offered as a minor program at many institutions in conjunction with other degree offerings in South Asian studies.
At the bachelor or first-cycle degree level, the Urdu language and literature program typically spans four years and is open to all students who possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.  Additionally, most institutions will also require a passing score on a basic proficiency exam as part of the admission requirements of the college or university in which the course is offered.  Master’s or second-cycle degree programs in Urdu generally span two years or four full semesters.  To be eligible for this program, students must possess, at minimum, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urdu or a related discipline.
Course Content
While the Master’s or post-graduate degree program in Urdu is usually quite advanced and intended for those with at least some knowledge of the language, the undergraduate degree program is a basic course, offered to students who are not assumed to have any previous familiarity of the language or its script.  The course covers the fundamental principles of written and spoken Urdu, including all the major tenses and constructions of the language, enabling students to successfully acquire basic skills in reading, writing, speaking and comprehension.
The initial portion of the Urdu degree program focuses on literacy in the script, with emphasis placed on good pronunciation and on the social and linguistic conventions of everyday conversation.  The class sessions are highly interactive, and instructors encourage student participation through drilling, question-and-answer exercises and other group activities.  As with most language courses, full attendance and regular submission of coursework is essential for success.  For best results in the program, students are encouraged to match every hour of in-class time with at least an equal amount of time in private study.