About Us


Villanova University established the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies in 1983 in recognition of the critical importance of the Middle East. Arab and Islamic cultures have had a profound impact on the arts and sciences for centuries.

Today, international politics and economics are deeply affected by the dynamics in the Arab and Islamic world. Government officials, members of Congress, corporations, banks, the media and researchers stress the need for professionals who have the specialized knowledge essential for comprehending the geostrategic, socioeconomic, religious and intellectual dimensions of the region.

The Center's interdisciplinary program serves undergraduates who wish to emphasize Arab and Islamic studies in conjunction with a regular major. The course of studies enables students to add an Arab and Islamic dimension to their understanding of international issues and world cultures. The program also prepares students for work in government or business related to the region and for advanced graduate studies.

The Center organizes lectures, film series, conferences and outreach programs for the University and the Greater Philadelphia communities, in addition to hosting academic seminars by well-known scholars in the field. The Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies published at the University, features articles by highly regarded critics and scholars on issues pertinent to modern Islamic societies.


Academic Program

The Major and Minor offered by the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies enable students to acquire a basic grounding in Arabic in addition to a wide range of interdisciplinary courses on the Arab and Islamic world that is of critical importance to our understanding of the contemporary world.

The study entails an interdisciplinary approach that reflect the complexity of the Arab and Islamic world and provides a background for advanced professional studies, as well as careers in government or business related to the Middle East. The program is open to students in all the colleges. Students are also welcome to enroll in individual courses.