College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Uyghur Language Program

The University of Kansas offers Uyghur through the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC).

Why Study Uyghur?

Uyghur (ooey-GHUR say Uyghurs, WEE-gur say Americans) is a Central Asian Turkic language spoken along the Silk Route in Chinese Turkestan (Xinjiang).

The Uyghurs, who number nearly ten million, are closely related to the Uzbeks, and have a rich body of literature, arts, music, and dance, that stretches back to the 9th century. Living at the cultural crossroads of Central Asia, the Uyghur are influenced not only from Central Asian Turkic culture, but also Persian, Arabic, Mongolian, Indian, and ancient Indo-European cultures. Today, the language is geopolitically strategic as the region shares a border with Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Central Asian Turkic republics, Russia, and Mongolia.

KU is one of the only institutions in the United States offering Uyghur. Because few people in the United States study Uyghur, speaking this language is a skill that can set you apart in your future research or career.  Students taking Uyghur may also apply for scholarships for language study, including FLAS Fellowships.

Available Courses

KU offers elementary and intermediate coursework in Uyghur. Check out our list of what's offered for the current semester.


Uyghur language courses can be a part of many degree programs, whether used to fulfill a language requirement, or completing a major, minor or graduate degree focused on East Asia. Talk to your academic advisor to explore all your options.

Career Planning

  • The KU Career Center has online resources for exploring career paths for different majors. Check out the specifics for East Asian Languages and Cultures, or look at those for other majors (including those listed above.)
  • KU students can also sign up for a free account with My World Abroad, which has extensive resources on preparing for an international career, including career options, and job search tips.

Other Resources

You can access free materials for learning Uyghur online at KU Scholarworks. Greetings from the Teklimakan: A handbook of Modern Uyghur is an introductory textbook of the modern standard Uyghur language with exercises and extensive grammatical analysis. With the accompanying audio, the textbook is designed for self-study or a one-year classroom course.

East Asia Events

During Spring 2022, there will be a mix of virtual and in-person events. Please check our events page & follow us on social media @KUEastAsia for updates. 


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Apply for FLAS Scholarships!

FLAS Fellowships are available through CEAS for the study of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Tibetan, and Uyghur. Learn more at Deadline for application is December 20. Find more information here.

CEAS Faculty Travel or Development Funds Application
Apply Here

CEAS Affiliated Faculty
CEAS Affiliated Faculty