Language Study

University-Based Courses of Study: Xinjiang

A few words about studying in Xinjiang:

As with so much of everyday life in Xinjiang, the prospects for foreign Uyghur-language studies are in constant flux: this semester, one university might offer Uyghur courses – but next semester, it will not. Making advanced planning even more daunting is the fact that local knowledge cannot be underestimated: you might call a university’s international student program, only to get incomplete or inaccurate information about course availability. That said, if you have the resources to get to Xinjiang and are able to patiently put some face-time in at the local universities, you will almost assuredly be able to arrange a course of study with a seasoned professor of Uyghur language.

As recently as 2013, several universities in Urumqi (in particular, Xinjiang University and Xinjiang Normal University) either had formal programs or could arrange custom courses in Uyghur language. Now, the Xinjiang Academy of Arts is reportedly the only institute accepting Uyghur language students – they have classes at both beginner and intermediate levels.

We are only including information here for schools that currently accept international students for Uyghur study. However, for the most up-to-date information, your best option is to have a friend visit the campus on your behalf for more information. Short of that, call (don’t email) and call again until you are able to get a consistent sense of course availability.


Xinjiang Academy of Arts


University-Based Courses of Study: North America

Harvard University

Dept. of East Asian Languages & Civilizations


University of Kansas

Center for East Asian Studies


Indiana University, Bloomington

Dept. of Central Eurasian Studies


University of Washington

Dept. of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations


University of Wisconsin, Madison

Central Eurasian Studies Summer Institute

University-Based Courses of Study: Europe

If you know of any European universities that have programs of study in Uyghur language, please let us know!

University-Based Courses of Study: Asia and Australia

If you know of any Asian or Australian universities that have programs of study in Uyghur language, please let us know!

Self-Study Uyghur Language Materials

Josh Summers, who has graciously provided much of the Xinjiang photography featured on this site, has beat us to the punch on this topic. His excellent overview of Uyghur language study materials – many of which can be downloaded for free on university websites – is available here.

Most of these materials are intended for English-speaking language students. If you are familiar with study materials for students of other native languages, please let us know – we will be happy to add these to our collection!

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