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Languages at UW-Madison



Hausa is a Chadic language (a branch of the Afro-Asiatic family) spoken by more than 34 million people in parts of Nigeria, Niger, and Chad, and as a language of trade by another 18 million people throughout West Africa (especially in Benin, Ghana, Cameroon, Togo, and Côte d’Ivoire), Central Africa (Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea), and northwestern Sudan, particularly amongst Muslims. It has a rich literary tradition in both Arabic and Roman scripts, as well as a thriving oral tradition. Knowledge of Hausa is important to governmental work, international non-governmental organizations, and international businesses.

By studying Hausa at UW-Madison, you will enjoy the advantages of studying in a small group led by a dedicated instructor. You will be eligible for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships, which cover partial tuition for one year and provide a stipend. Through the African Studies Program, you will be connected with many faculty members conducting research in and about Africa, from fields throughout the humanities, arts, sciences, and education, opening up various . Truly cross-disciplinary and complementary study options are available not merely in principle, but in practice. Students from our Hausa program have gone on to work in the Peace Corps, the Voice of America, and even the Nigerian film industry, join the Peace Corps, and work for the Voice of America.

Majors & Certificates 

African Languages & Literatures Major, African Studies Certificate; visit the Majors & Certificates page for more information.


Toni Landis,

Katrina Daly Thompson,

Language Conversation Table 

Check back for fall times and locations. 

Study Abroad 

You can study Hausa in several countries in Africa. Visit the International Academic Programs Majors Advising Page to learn more.

Student Organizations 

African Cultural Studies Student Association; browse the Wisconsin Involvement Network for more information.


Consider an internship where you can use Hausa, either in the US or abroad. An internship in any field can complement your language study and can provide valuable professional experience.