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.