Since its establishment in 1841, the Arabic and Islamic studies at Yale—the oldest such program in the United States—have 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. Arabic is spoken by more than two hundred sixty million people throughout the world and is the main language of most of the Middle East. Arabic is becoming an important language when it comes to operating an international business that is trying to break into foreign markets. One of the many features of learning Arabic is that it opens up many employment possibilities in a number of different industries such as oil, travel, finance, international policy, business, and translation to name a few. Arabic speakers have been in very high demand by many governments around the world including the U.S.A. Our courses at Yale University can help you get there.

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.

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Classical Arabic

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.


Contact Us

Shawkat Toorawa

Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Chair

Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

320 York St, HGS 317, New Haven, CT 06511