IFSA Butler at American University Sharjah

  • Location: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Class Eligibility: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors.


Sharjah is the third largest and most populous city in the UAE as well as the seat of government of the emirate of Sharjah, and contains the main administrative and commercial centers of the emirate of Sharjah together with an array of cultural and traditional projects. Distinctive landmarks include two major covered souks and a number of recreational areas and public parks such as Al Jazeirah Fun Park and Al Buheirah Corniche. The city is also notable for its numerous elegant mosques.

American University of Sharjah (AUS) is a comprehensive, independent, non-profit, co-educational institution of higher education based on an American model of higher education and grounded in the culture of the Gulf region. Although a relatively new university, it is currently one of the top 500 universities worldwide according to QS World University Rankings.

  • Visa:

    Required, must be obtained prior to arrival. A full medical exam (including HIV/AIDS test) is required for work or residence permits. Testing must be performed after arrival; the U.S. test is not accepted. U.S. citizens have been detained and deported for testing positive for HIV or hepatitis. The UAE requires U.S. military personnel to present a valid passport for entry/exit. U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries that are not members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) who depart the UAE via land are required to pay a departure fee. This fee is 20 UAE dirhams and is payable only in the local currency. Please note: Students who recently traveled to Israel will not be granted a visa. Students with an Israeli customs stamp in their passport must apply for a new passport.

  • Fees: Students pay Haverford tuition, room, and partial board to Haverford College. Haverford is responsible for submitting payments to the program.

  • Requirements

    Exams for the first semester take place in mid-January. Exam dates cannot be changed, and students will not know when exams take place until they arrive. The first semester exams at the AUS may overlap with the first week of the second semester at Haverford College. You may not apply for the fall semester only if this is the case. The application requirements can be found on the IFSA-Butler website.

    Academic Credit

    Fulfills Haverford’s language requirement. Students usually take 5 classes each semester (one of which is an Arabic language course) for a total of 15 U.S. semester credit hours. Each class is worth 3 U.S. semester credit hours. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above.


    All programs in the College of Engineering are accredited by ABET.

    Course Highlights

    Accounting, Aerospace Engineering, Arabic Language & Literature, Architecture, Art & Art History, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Design, Economics, Education, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Management, Environmental Sciences, Film, Finance, Heritage Management, History, Interior Design, International Studies, Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Mass Communication, Math, Mechanical Engineering, Multimedia, Music, Petroleum Engineering, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Statistics, Theatre, Visual Communication, Women Studies

    Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

    Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

  • Non-Academic Overview

    Orientation: A 10-day on-site orientation for students arriving both semesters.

    Number of Students: Almost 5000 undergrads and 400 postgrads coming from 80 countries.

    Housing/Meal Plans

    Haverford students may not opt for housing not arranged by the program. AUS students live in single sex residential halls: eight halls for males, four halls for females, which are separated geographically as well as philosophically. Curfew is 10 p.m. for women and midnight for men. Visitors are strictly monitored and only allowed into the common room areas. Only same sex visitors are allowed within the residence halls.

    AUS residential halls are comparable to American universities with the use of Resident Assistants and Graduate Residents. Rules, regulations, and acceptable behavior are spelled out in clear language on the AUS website. A Judicial Review Committee oversees conduct infractions. Alcohol and drugs are illegal in Sharjah; students violating rules regarding illegal substances will face legal action by the university and the Emirate.

    While considered “on campus,” a student will need to walk/ride a shuttle bus from the halls to get to classes. Shuttle bus service is available between residence halls and the rest of campus.


There is a mandatory group flight for students arriving both semester I and semester II. The departure location is TBD.

Be aware that Sharjah is very conservative, and there are strict policies on separating women and men. The women have earlier dorm curfews, and appropriate attire is a must.  Women do not have to wear a veil, but they must cover arms and legs in public places. Students should understand that they are headed to a very different place and need to act accordingly—they can always visit Dubai, which is only 10 miles away and more liberal.

View Scholarship Information

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • Semester/Year
  • Fulfills Language Requirement
  • Semester I: Early September to mid-January
  • Semester II: Early January to early June
  • Year: Early September to early June
Application Deadlines
  • Semester I: February 1
  • Semester II: September 1
  • Year: February 1
Faculty Contact

Saleha Jilani