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Department ofModern Languages and Literatures


Amman Citadel in Jordan

Amman Citadel in Jordan



The Arabic language program at Santa Clara University offers beginner and intermediate level courses in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The program is designed to introduce students to the Arabic language as well as the cultures and societies in which it is spoken. The program prepares students to actively use their Arabic language skills in and outside the classroom and to speak with native speakers of Arabic through pair and group work in every class session.

Why Study Arabic?

Arabic is the 5th most spoken language in the world with more than 375 million speakers in 25 countries in the Middle East, from Morocco in the West to Oman in the East. As well as being an official language of the United Nations, the U.S. State Department has declared Arabic a “critical language” of study, offering grants and scholarships for its study in the U.S. and abroad. By studying Arabic language and culture students will get the chance to view the world from a non-Western perspective, increasing their global and cultural understanding of an important region in the world.

Arabic at SCU

Arabic is a requirement for the Asian, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies (AIMES) minor. By declaring a minor in AIMES, students will be exposed to a variety of topics in anthropology, literary criticism, religion, history and political science, and develop critical thinking skills and a strong knowledge of the Middle East. Since the Bay Area is home to a large Arabic-speaking community, there are opportunities for students to engage in conversation on and off campus.

Arabic classes at SCU

Beginner Arabic (ARAB 1 Fall, ARAB 2 Winter, ARAB 3 Spring)  

Intermediate Arabic (ARAB 21 Fall, ARAB 22 Winter, ARAB 23 Spring)

Arabic Culture and Identity (ARAB 137, Spring)

Course Descriptions can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin

Where Can I Study Abroad?   

Studying abroad in an Arab country is a great opportunity to experience first-hand the warm Arab culture and visit the wondrous historic sites. For students interested in Middle Eastern studies or other related areas, and in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) students can apply to study in Amman. Students will improve their spoken language skills as they interact with the community.

For students interested in studying Business, Engineering, Arts & Sciences, students can apply to study in Sharjah, UAE.


No major or minor is offered in Arabic.

Students may apply Arabic courses to the Interdisciplinary Minor: Arabic, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies (AIMES)