Welcome to The Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, institutional home to four of the most distinguished programs at Georgetown University:

Our programs offer undergraduate and graduate training in the study of the history, religion, culture, society, languages, literatures, and thought of the Islamic world.

Teaching Arabic is at the center of what we do. Indeed, the need for area-studies specialists with advanced proficiency in Arabic has never been greater or more compelling. As Americans struggle to build a better understanding of the Arab world, its society, its religion, and its culture, we have continued to develop a determined and vigorous long-term strategy to create and maintain linguistic and cultural expertise among our students. Arabic is the native language of over 200 million people in 20 different countries as well as the liturgical language for over a billion Muslims. It is a member of the Semitic language family and has a long and distinguished literary and intellectual tradition. It is now a key factor in understanding and negotiating crucial contemporary global issues. In accordance with Georgetown’s Jesuit ethos, we stress knowledge of Arabic as a path to living altruistically and creatively in a globally-integrated world.

Our Undergraduate Programs support the largest Arabic enrollment of any university in the U.S. We work closely with undergraduates to create an understanding of the Arab world through the highest-quality teaching of Arabic language and culture. Our goal is to provide Georgetown students with the kind of language and critical skills that will allow them to thrive in vocations that involve serious work in Arabic language and culture.

Despite the rapid growth of the past few years, our department remains student centered, and Arabic majors have advisers who guide them through their studies from the day they arrive on campus. Arabic majors may also qualify for the Sultan Qaboos bin Said Scholarship, a financial aid opportunity designed especially for them.

We have an active study abroad program in Jordan. Additionally, the Washington area offers opportunities for activities involving Arab embassies and other Arab and Middle Eastern organizations. Our students often arrange internships with government agencies or non-profit organizations that focus on the Arab world and the Middle East.

Georgetown was first in the country to establish its M.A and Ph.D. Programs in Arabic Literature, Language and Linguistics. Our faculty are top-notch, engaged in active research projects on linguistics, Islamic studies, as well as classical and contemporary Arabic literature. Our graduates go on to successful careers in academia, government and the policy world.

The MA and PhD Programs in Arabic and Islamic Studies offer advanced training in the disciplines of Arabic Linguistics, Arabic Literature (Modern and Classical), and Islamic Studies (Intellectual History, Theology, Law) with an emphasis on the close reading and interpretation of primary sources, whether linguistic or textual, modern or classical. The department strives to educate students in current theoretical, critical and cultural scholarly approaches as tools to explore and analyze primary sources and linguistic data and to evaluate and challenge secondary scholarship. In forming the new generation of research scholars in our fields, we strive to give them the linguistic and critical tools necessary for original and creative scholarship. Our PhD students typically go on to academic careers, often beginning with post-doctoral fellowships, with tenure-track university appointments or in other research institutions.

The strength of the Arabic program at Georgetown, as well as the superb quality and professional standing of the Georgetown faculty with expertise in linguistics, literature and Islamic Studies, makes Georgetown an ideal place for pursuing a doctoral degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies.

Finally, as our undergraduate and graduate students quickly learn, the strengths of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies are greatly amplified by the fact that Georgetown is the home to the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU), research centers that offer degree programs, lectures, and coursework on a wide range of topics concerning the Arab world.

Please feel free to contact us via (202) 687-5743 or arabic@georgetown.edu.