Research and Scholarship


The Villanova Center for Arab and Islamic Studies is proud to announce the following scholarship opportunities:

The purpose of this scholarship shall be to assist undergraduates in Arab and Islamic Studies who exhibit academic promise and who have need of financial aid. The award will be given every semester to one student in Arab and Islamic Studies. It is encouraged that the award be used for study in an Arabic speaking country during the following Summer, but it is not required. The award may be given more than once to the same person provided that the recipient continues to meet the conditions of eligibility and funds are available.

Amount of Award
The award for the academic year 2014-2015 is $ 4,250 per semester. The amount of each award shall be determined by the Scholarship Awards Committee in conjunction with the Director of Financial Aid and shall be awarded annually, in accordance with the university endowment spending policy.

Consideration for this scholarship shall be given to students:

  • who have declared a major or minor in Arab and Islamic Studies;
  • who have exhibited evidence of academic achievement in line with standards of the program: a minimum GPA of 3.3 in Arab and Islamic Studies and a minimum of 3.0 total
  • who demonstrate financial need as determined by the University's guidelines;
  • who have demonstrated their participation in the activities of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies (Arabic Club, lectures, conferences, etc.)

Application submission, deadlines
To be submitted:

  • the application form
  • a two-page plan for the language study abroad, research, internship, or program of academic studies to be supported by the scholarship

PDF OR MS Word application form together, with the study plan may be submitted in person at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies (SAC 277, 610-519-4640),
or by email attachment to Ms. Joyce Harden at

The deadline for the following Fall semester award is March 1st; for the following Spring semester award it is October 15th.

Selection Procedure
Applications will be reviewed by the Center's committee who will also gather faculty input.
A ranked list of nominees will be submitted to the Director of the Center of Arab and Islamic Studies April 1st or November 15th.
The Office of Student Financial Aid, which is responsible for ensuring compliance with regulations concerning federal, state, and other aid in accordance with university policy regarding academic scholarship under university control, shall be informed of all awards.

The award will be made by the Director of Arab and Islamic Studies at a reception sponsored by the Center in April /November.

Villanova University, in consultation with the donor when possible, shall have the authority to make changes in these guidelines which are necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the above-stated objectives.

The Mahmoud Darwish Award for best paper has been established by the Barqawi family to commemorate the life and work of the Palestinian poet laureate (1942-2008).
The award of $200 is given every semester to an AIS major or minor for the best research paper written for a class in Arab and Islamic Studies. Professors of the class will nominate such papers.

To be considered for the award students should send their papers to Ms. Joyce Harden by September 16 and February 17 respectively, of papers from the previous semester. Students who have graduated by the time of the nomination are not eligible.

Mahmoud Darwish Award criteria

  • From any student who is doing a major or minor in Arab and Islamic Studies
  • From any course that qualifies as an AIS course.
  • Research paper 10-20 pages in length with substantial engagement of pertinent theories and advanced interpretation of sources carefully situated within the contributions of the secondary literature.
  • Papers demonstrating creative interpretations of significant questions relating to Arab and Islamic Studies
  • Coherent and skillfully presented argument
  • Logical structure
  • Clear, grammatically correct prose.

The Prize Committee

  • will solicit papers from the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies faculty who will submit a clean copy of the student's paper (that does not contain corrections or the grade).
  • will meet to discuss the merits of each paper in relation to the established criteria and notify the Director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies of their decisions by April 1st or November 15th.
  • reserves the right to recognize co-awardees.

Announcement of the Award
The award will be offered by a member of the Barqawi family and at a reception sponsored by the Center of Arab and Islamic Studies in April / November of each semester.

Additional Scholarship Opportunities

Additional scholarship opportunities can be found at:

Scholorship Application