The Arabic Language Program at the University of Virginia was established in the mid 1970s; it ranks one of the highest in student numbers among foreign languages at the University. Sixteen courses are offered each semester with enrollment of about 250 students. At present, there are six full time faculty members whose offerings cover various aspects of language, literature, and culture.

Currently, the program offers four years of Modern Standard Arabic, fusha, in addition to courses in dialectal Arabic. Such offerings enable undergraduate and graduate students to matriculate in required language courses required by various University departments such as Religious Studies, Politics, and History, among others. The program's Arabic courses cover classical Arabic, Arabic grammar and modern literature and culture, in addition to courses taught in English that deal with Arabic literature and culture.

Students enjoy the opportunity of studying Arabic in various Arab countries, especially in Morocco, through a U.Va. sponsored program: The UVA in Morroco program.


Q: I am a complete beginner. I cannot read the Arabic Alphabet and I do not have any knowledge of vocabulary. Is there a class in your program for a student like me?

A: Of course! ARAB 1010 is intended for beginners. Please note that this course is offered only in the Fall semester. If you do not take the first semester in the fall, you will have to wait until next fall.

Q: I learned Arabic many years ago. I forgot most of my Arabic. Which class should I take?

A: You have the option of enrolling in ARAB 1010, or taking a placement test. Check with the Arabic Language Program Coordinator to arrange for this test.

Q: I am a transfer student. At my previous college, I took Arabic courses. Am I exempt from U.Va.'s Language Requirement in Arabic?

A: The University of Virginia requires you to complete four semesters of Arabic (total of sixteen credits), in which classes meet five hours a week. If you took the same number of hours in your previous college with the same materials covered, you may be exempt. Please present your transcript from your previous college to the Arabic Language Program Coordinator.

Q: I was born outside the Arab World, but my family speaks Arabic at home. I speak Arabic also, but I do not read or write Arabic well. For which class should I register?

A: You are strongly advised to enroll in ARAB 1010. Please speak to the Arabic Language Program Coordinator.

Q: I am a graduate student and passed the first three years of Arabic. Does this count for credit?

A: Completing the first three years of Arabic is a requirement for the Master's students of Middle Eastern Studies and these classes do not count for credit.

Dictionaries and Language Tools

Online media


Buying Books, Video, Music



Arabic Faculty

Associate Professor

Director of Undergraduate Programs


Language Program Coordinator

Assistant Professor, General Faculty