Arabic Language student Zane Rowland standing with 4 friends in front of the Grand Mosque

Arabic and Middle East North Africa Studies Program | SPPAIS

!أهلا و سهلا



The UW Arabic and Middle East North Africa (MENA) Studies Program aims to provide quality education in Arabic and Middle East North Africa Studies through formal courses, experiential learning, and study abroad opportunities; to foster understanding of the Middle East/North Africa region in Wyoming by encouraging diverse perspectives; to help current and future students develop the creative and critical thinking necessary to address local and global challenges

Advising & connections in our MENARA (Middle East North Africa Resources and Academics) Center

The Menara Center is our new student and community resource hub where we perform outreach, host speakers and events, advise students, and connect our greater campus community to culturally-focused learning and contacts in the MENA region! Interested in learning about Arabic programs at UW, meeting our team, or getting plugged into our local MENA community? Come stop by! The center is open for booking for private events and can be used to host club nights, classes, and other campus engagements. Find out more here!

Middle East North Africa Minor

The Arabic & MENA Studies Program recently had their minor approved by the Faculty Senate! The MENA minor has two possible tracks, Arabic language and Culture and Middle East/North Africa Studies. The language track emphasizes the Arabic language and cultural knowledge while the MENA track studies the culture and structure of the region with a focus on history, religion, politics, and art. Both tracks have ARBC 1010 and 1020 (First-Year Arabic I and II) listed as prerequisites of the Minor but students can instead demonstrate proficiency at the one-year level in relevant Middle Eastern languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, Persian (Farsi), and Turkish*.

Track 1: Arabic Language & Culture

With over 400 million speakers worldwide and one of the United Nations' official working languages, Arabic opens the door to an exciting world. Students can acquire strong language skills while also learning in-depth about the region and culture they read about daily in global news headlines. Offering small classroom settings and a native-speaking staff, UW provides students with a unique Arabic experience in Wyoming. Arabic students are highly encouraged to study abroad to enrich their learning, and UW supports this by providing an abundance of opportunities abroad.


Example Courses Include
  • ARBC 1010/1020: First-Year Arabic I and II *

  • ARBC 2030/2040: Second-Year Arabic I and II

  • ARBC 3050: Modern Arabic and its Dialects

  • ARBC 3060: Arabic Writing


students on a truck in the desert

students standing in wadi rum


Track 2: Middle East North Africa Studies

Beyond language acquisition, through the MENA Studies Program, students can explore various topics allowing for a better understanding and appreciation of the Middle East. The University of Wyoming offers a variety of courses, from foreign policy to the history of Islam. Note: Courses may be cross-listed with other departments.



Example Courses Include
  • ECON 1300: Oil: Business, Culture and Power

  • ENGL 3200: Topics in Medieval Literature

  • GWST 4335: Women and Islam

  • RELI 3090: Middle East and Israel in Film

  • ARBC 1010/1020: First-Year Arabic I and II *






Arabic is an ample field that offers many benefits. The expertise one gains through this program are boundless. Through the Arabic/Middle East Studies Program, UW students will attain these skills and benefits:
  • Gain Interdisciplinary Skills: Current UW students take Arabic and major in other such as Education, Math, International Studies, and Political Science


  • Cross Cultural Experience: Be exposed to other cultures, ideas, and languages through classes, study abroad experiences, and UW extracurriculars.


  • More Competitive Candidate: Less that 1% of college students study Arabic thus helping you stand out in an professional field. 


  • High Demand: In recent years, U.S. government agencies have expressed their need for citizens to be versatile in critical language, especially Arabic, because of U.S.-Arab relations. 

ARABIC in wyoming

At first glance, one would assume that Arabic is nonexistent in the state of Wyoming. However, Arabic is a growing field and new opportunities are emerging at the University of Wyoming! There are advantages to studying Arabic and MENA Studies here at UW:
  • Funded Study Abroad Programs: UW has the LARGEST study abroad endowment of any Land Grant university in the U.S. UW has many other scholarships to help students fully fund their time abroad.


  • Institutional Relationships:  UW has unique relationships with institutions across the Middle East, specifically in Jordan, Tunisia, and Morocco. Look at our study abroad page to learn more about UW abroad opportunities.


  • Low Student-Teacher Ratio: Learn one of the most challenging languages in the world in intimate classroom settings with the opportunity for small-groups tutoring.


  • Importance of Arabic to the State of WY: The Wyoming National Guard (WNG) partners with the Republic of Tunisia, working under the U.S. Department of Defense State Partnership Program. UW assists the WNG in facilitating translation and cultural-political awareness.



student sitting next to a camel



Arabic and MENA Studies are a gateway into growing job markets and offers many attractive jobs. Given the U.S.' relations with the Middle East, there are many jobs with federal agencies but also numerous jobs in varying fields:


  • Department of Defense, NSA, FBI
  • IGO's: USAID, U.N.,
  • Domestic/International Business
  • Engineering/Petroleum
  • Humanitarian Relief
  • Non-profit, NGO management


Arabic and MENA Studies is one of the various paths you can take within the School of Politics, Public Affairs, and International Studies. Take a look at our other programs, such as the new INST concentrations in Security or Development Studies. Contact us at


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professor anderson sitting with a student



Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies | School of Politics, Public Affairs & International Studies

Arts & Sciences Building 331

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-3006


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