Language Programs

The Center for African Studies provides FLAS Fellowships for the study of African languages and works closely with the Department of World Languages and Cultures, which provides African language instruction.

African language instruction at Howard University is done in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, which offers courses in Amharic, Arabic, Somali, Swahili, Wolof, Yoruba and Zulu, at the university and abroad. The Center for African Studies offers fellowships to graduate and undergraduate students who wish to study these languages. Below find a list of the African Languages courses offered a Howard.

The Howard African Language Summer Institute is an annual program dedicated to increasing students’ proficiency in the 7 African languages that Howard offers at the Department of World Languages and Cultures. 

A new African Language Lab will be opening soon at the Founders library.

Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships  support students taking African languages (Amharic, Arabic, Somali, Swahili, Wolof, Yoruba and Zulu) and area studies coursework. The Fellowships are supported through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Title XI Program.  Find out more about FLAS fellowships.

Also below are African Language Study Abroad Programs at Howard University that include Swahili and Yoruba. There are also opportunities for study abroad in the Amharic and Wolof languages. For more information, please contact Dr. Leonard Muaka, Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures at

Africa Languages Translation Initiative

In anticipation of the Biden Administration’s US-Africa Leaders Summit, Africa Languages Translation Initiative (ALTI) has produced translations of the Biden Administration’s U.S. Strategy toward Sub-Saharan Africa into Amharic, Swahili, Yoruba and Zulu with the goal of facilitating engagement with diverse audiences around the important issues strategic to US-Africa relations.

Learn more

African Language Summer Institute at Howard

The African Language Summer Institute is hosted by the Department of World Languages & Cultures and the Center for African Studies at Howard University. The program is available to Howard and non-Howard students. 

Learn more about the Institute.

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African Languages Courses at Howard


Amharic 001 - Elementary I

Amharic 002 - Elementary II

Amharic 003 - Intermediate I

Amharic 004 - Intermediate II

Amharic 190 - Independent Study


Arabic 001 - Elementary I

Arabic 002 - Elementary II

Arabic 003 - Intermediate I

Arabic 004 - Intermediate II

Arabic 040 - Intensive Grammar Review

Arabic 050 - Oral Expression I

Arabic 051 - Oral Expression II

Arabic 190 - Independent Study

Arabic 191 - Independent Study


Somali 001 - Elementary I

Somali 002 - Intermediate I

Somali 003 - Intermediate II


Swahili 001 - Elementary I

Swahili 002 - Elementary II

Swahili 003 - Intermediate I

Swahili 004 - Intermediate II

Swahili 040 - Intensive Grammar Review

Swahili 050 - Oral Expression I

Swahili 052 - Reading and Writing Workshop

Swahili 100 - Contemporary Swahili Literature in Translation

Swahili 190 - Independent Study I

Swahili 191 - Independent Study II


Wolof 001 - Elementary I

Wolof 002 - Elementary II

Wolof 003 - Intermediate I

Wolof 004 - Intermediate II

Wolof 190 - Independent Study


Yoruba 001 - Elementary I

Yoruba 002 - Elementary II

Yoruba 003 - Intermediate I

Yoruba 004 - Intermediate II


Zulu 001 - Elementary I

Zulu 002 - Elementary II

Zulu 004 - Intermediate II

Student Experiences