Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

112 Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

languagesdepartment@etal.uri.edu401.874.5911 (p); 401.874.4694 (f)

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View of Wadi Run JordanLearning Arabic will open up a world of opportunities for you. Arabic is the official language of 23 countries, and there are about 350 million native speakers around the world. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. The value of knowing Arabic language and culture has increased dramatically with the growing importance of the Middle East in international affairs, and Arabic-speaking nations are a fast growing market for trade. So while it may be a step outside of your comfort zone to learn Arabic, you’ll find that the benefits are immeasurable.

Why Arabic at URI?

A model that works.
As an Arabic student at URI, you’ll become part of a young and fast growing program that’s using the latest, and most effective, approaches to teaching the language. Arabic is one of the first languages at URI to switch to a four-credit model – more class time means more practice and faster progress.

The right language for the right context.
We go beyond standard Arabic, so you will become familiar with the different regions, cultures and dialects within the language. And with our strong emphasis on spoken Arabic, you will learn everyday language that you can use to communicate abroad, whether it’s in Egypt or North Africa. Throughout your experience at URI, our faculty are committed to meeting you where you are, and giving you individual attention to help you succeed.

Broader Connections
Learning Arabic shouldn’t end at language classes, and here at URI we have classes in Islamic History, Philosophy and Religion as part of the recently established Islamic and Mediterranean Studies program. Studying the culture of the Islamic and Arabic world will make learning the language easier, and visa-verse. The minor in Arabic Language and Culture strongly encourages students to take these classes in addition to Arabic language courses.


Studying Arabic can lead you to careers in a variety of fields, including journalism, business and industry, education, finance and banking, translation and interpretation, consulting, foreign service and intelligence, and more. Some examples of specific jobs you might find include:

  • Archaeologist & Art Historian
  • Corporate Cultural Consultant
  • Literary Translator
  • Simultaneous Interpreter
  • Diplomat & International Policy Adviser
  • Humanitarian Program Director
  • News Correspondent & Regional Specialist
  • Architect & Engineering Contractor
  • International Education Coordinator
  • Museum Curator & Archivist
  • Reference Librarian & Arabic Media Cataloguer
  • Writer
  • Computer Programmer
  • Artist
  • Teacher

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