The Arizona Arabic Flagship Program

The Arizona Arabic Flagship Program (Arizona AFP), housed at the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona, brings undergraduate students from diverse majors to professional Arabic fluency (ACTFL Superior level, ILR level 3). Our Academic Director, Dr. Sonia Shiri, ensures that Flagship students receive the highest level of individualized instruction and personalized guidance that supports them to achieve their career plans.

Students benefit from a research and best practices-based curriculum that is rigorous and promotes accelerated learning. Flagship scholars study a variety of colloquial Arabic dialects in addition to Modern Standard Arabic and receive individualized learning, feedback, and academic advising from faculty and staff. The program’s pioneering use of cutting-edge technology allows for self-paced study and integrates cultural education into various components of the Arabic curriculum. Students also enjoy overseas immersive study opportunities supported by competitive Flagship scholarships.

Graduates from Arizona AFP receive a Flagship certificate and become part of an innovative and sought-after community of global professionals.

Purpose of the Arizona AFP in a Nutshell: 

  • To bring, annually, a group of undergraduate students to Advanced Arabic (according to the ACTFL scale) while completing diverse majors at the University of Arizona in preparation for a high-achievement year in the Middle East prior to graduation.
  • To create learning pathways that ensure students’ rapid progress in their years of study at the University of Arizona, followed by a variety of Advanced-level content-based courses.
  • To combine well-articulated year-long study and summer intensive programs overseas and at the University of Arizona.
  • To offer competitive Flagship scholarship funding to Flagship students for overseas studies.
  • To improve and support Arabic learning at the University of Arizona as a whole.


October 15, 2020

The Arabic Flagship Program, UArizona Attracts New Students and Provides Virtual Immersion Experiences - New Grant Award

By Lori Harwood, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The University of Arizona was awarded an Arabic Flagship Grant for four more years, allowing for top-tier Arabic training – including virtual immersion experiences – to all Arabic learners.

Over the summer, Arabic classes at the University of Arizona were three times their normal size. In addition to learning Arabic with new web-based materials, students could participate in virtual cultural activities with people in Morocco.

Such programming is possible in part because of funding from the Arizona Arabic Flagship Program which has won a new $1.4 million grant for 2020-2024 – plus summer and yearlong study abroad scholarships for participating students – from the National Security Education Program. The federal program supports the learning of languages considered critical for U.S. national security and economic competitiveness.  For the complete article, please click here: