CLIC teaches both Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Colloquial Arabic (CA) through the third year of study. With nearly half a billion speakers worldwide, Arabic is one of the official languages of the United Nations and is recognized as a critical language by the United States Department of State.

Arabic is an option to fulfill the language requirement for the Asian Studies major and minor and the Linguistics major. The Center awards the Certificate in Language and Intercultural Communication in Arabic.

Course Sequence

decorative infographic showing progression of Arabic courses

Before registering for an Arabic course, take the Language Placement Test to find out which course is right for you.

Study Abroad

Please visit our Study Abroad pages for information on our 6 week, 6 credit summer faculty led Rice in Country study abroad programs and our CLIC Language Study Scholarship Awards. For additional study abroad opportunities, visit the Study Abroad Office’s website.

Additional Information

Proficient speakers of Arabic are in high demand and can gain access to employment opportunities in multiple industries, including international policy, business, translation, and oil.

The Arabic Program at CLIC implements an integrated approach to language learning, whereby students learn to use both Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Colloquial Arabic (CA) to navigate the linguistic reality of the Arabic-speaking world. This allows our students to interact with native speakers of Arabic in a way that is sociolinguistically appropriate by switching between both registers as needed.

The Arabic Program offers three years of rigorous academic training based on a communicative approach that emphasizes interactional competence and intercultural knowledge. Our students are confident language users who have a solid command of Arabic and an understanding of the cultural intricacies of the vast region in which Arabic is spoken

Arabic language instruction at Rice is supported by a rich cultural programming that includes weekly conversation tables, film screenings, invited guest speakers, cooking demonstrations, game nights, and other events that are announced through our listserv.

For inquiries about Arabic language instruction, email Dr. Hossam Elsherbiny (

Arabic Language Faculty