Since its establishment in 1841, the Arabic and Islamic Studies Program at Yale—the oldest such program in the United States—has focused on the study of all aspects of the history and culture of Islamic societies. Arabic is the language of the Qur’an and Muslim practice; it is the universal language of medieval scholarship, philosophy, and science; in modern times, it is one of the six international languages of the United Nations and the living medium of a vibrant and constantly developing modern literature.
Modern Standard Arabic
The Arabic program at Yale University is a solid and rigorous program for academic and professional purposes. The aim is to equip students with a high level of language proficiency according to the guidelines of the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). It offers courses in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) at three levels; each level covers two semesters.
The Arabic language program has two tracks: First, it covers three years of Standard Arabic which ranges from beginning to advanced levels. Second, after completing two semesters of standard Arabic, the student has the choice to continue on the same track or move to a different track that focuses on reading medieval and literary texts such as the Qur’an, the Prophetic hadiths, philosophy, theology, Arabic poetry and literature.