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Economics and Political Science Study Abroad Program

About Cairo University, Egypt

  • Required GPA: 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  • Academic requirement: Students must have completed at least four semesters of college/university course work and be of Junior or Senior standing.
  • Application deadlines: April 15 for fall semester (Sept-Jan)
    October 15 for spring semester (Jan-June)
    We regret that our Cairo program is suspended indefinitely. Please contact our office for alternate programs.
  • Program advisor: David Watkins
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Program Snapshot


Ahlan! We're excited that you're considering the Economics and Political Science program at Cairo University as your study abroad destination. Cairo is home to approximately 11 million people and is a place where the ancient and the modern coexist. Cairo University is located in the district of Dokki, west of downtown Cairo and next to Giza, home of the Great Pyramids. We're sure you're going to love studying there!

There are just a few specific forms, as well as writing an academic statement, for this program that will need to be completed along with your IFSA-Butler application. The forms can be found under the Forms tab and information on the academic statement can be found under the Academics tab.

What the Economics and Political Science program has to offer:

  • Hosted at the oldest public secular university in Egypt with alumni from Egypt's political, professional and cultural elite
  • A great choice for students who are majoring or minoring in international relations, economics or political science
  • No prior study of Arabic language required


  • Students live in apartments with other IFSA-Butler students approximately a fifteen minute walk to campus
  • Apartments are fully furnished and include kitchens
  • Students prepare their own meals


  • Curriculum combines languages courses, core program courses, and elective university courses
  • Study in the Faculty of Economics and Political Science (FEPS) along with Egyptian students
  • University course are taught in English and are part of the degree program at Cairo University
  • Program affiliation with the Center for Foreign Languages and Professional Translation

We look forward to working with you, in sha ‘allah!


Academic Structure

The Economics and Political Science program at Cairo University is a semester long study abroad program. If you wish to study in Egypt for a year, you will need to choose another Egypt University Program in either Alexandria or Cairo for the additional semester of study. Students studying on the Economics and Political Science program at Cairo University take one mandatory Arabic language class, one or both of the core program courses and select their remaining course load from a list of electives, taught in English, which are part of the degree program within the Faculty of Economics and Political Science (FEPS). Students may not study in any other faculty at Cairo University.

Program Courses

All students on the Economics and Political Science program at Cairo University must take a mandatory Arabic language class. Students will also take one or both of the core program courses, which are offered each semester.

Arabic Language (4 U.S. semester credit hours)
IFSA-Butler and Cairo University designed this mandatory course specifically for non-native Arabic speakers. While Modern Standard Arabic is the main focus of the course, students also will be exposed to the Egyptian Colloquial Arabic dialect.

Core Program Course Option: Economics of Egypt (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
This course will focus on the status of the Egyptian economy in the regional and international context. Topics will include Egypt's economic development since 1952 (from a mixed economy in 1952-1960, a planned economy in 1960-1965, a war economy in 1967-1970, to the current economic openness), important issues in the Egyptian economy (population, energy, debt and economic reform), and international relations, including Egyptian-Israeli relations.

Core Program Course Option: The Egyptian Political System (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
This course reviews the history of the Egyptian political system, from Mohamed Ali until the 1952 revolution, and then will focus in detail on the period from the revolution up to the present. Topics will include the characteristics of this system since the adoption of a plural party system in November 1976, the roles played by the political parties, organization of the legislative, executive and judicial authorities, and the state of the military institution. Emphasis will be on the understanding of how the Egyptian political system has succeeded in confronting political transformation issues such as participation, distribution, identity and legitimacy.

Elective Courses

Electives at Cairo University are taught in English and are part of the degree programs within the Faculty of Economics and Political Science (FEPS). Students will take two or three electives with degree seeking students at the University of Cairo in addition to the mandatory Arabic Language course and the core course(s). Please note that we cannot guarantee that all electives will be offered.

Below is a list of the electives and a brief description, including the U.S. semester credit hour value of each course. All students must take a total of 16 U.S. semester credit hours per semester. The number of classes a student takes depends on the number of U.S. semester credit hours each class is worth.

Note: macroeconomics and microeconomics are prerequisites for most economics courses.

Fall semester courses:

  • Economics of Public Finance (3 U.S. semester credit hours) This course will focus on defining the science of public finance and its development, efficiency of resource allocation (public goods theory), financial tools and its impact (public revenue and public costs), and the Egyptian financial problem.
  • Economic Development (3 U.S. semester credit hours) This course will examine the underdevelopment phenomenon and its explanation, the economic development process (determinants and main elements), and other substitute development policies and strategies (investment policies, industrial strategies, international trade policies in short-and long-term, financial policies, essential needs satisfaction strategy, development and distribution).

Spring semester courses:

  • International Economics (3 U.S. semester credit hours) The nature of open economy and its problems, international specialization theory (traditional and modern analysis), international payment theory (foreign exchange markets, exchange rate systems and equilibrium of international payments) and interference in international payment (free trade policy, commercial policies) will be explored in this course.
  • Money and Banking (3 U.S. semester credit hours) This course will focus on the definition and functions of money, money supply and its determinants, as wells as banks. Topics include the demand for money, the classical system and money neutrality, money and the Keynesian system, the monetary school, inflation and the monetary policy with reference to Egypt. Defining financial intermediaries and the banking system (commercial, central, investment and other specialized banks, Islamic banks, characteristics of the modern bank banking system, the concept of financial deeping and its indicators) will also be examined during the semester.

Political Science
It is recommended that students have one prior political science course. However, some courses require two or more political science courses.

Fall semester courses

  • Political Systems in Africa (3 U.S. semester credit hours) This course will explore African political systems, including environmental and historical issues, traditional political systems, imperialism and the effects of forming nationality, and post-independence policies. The course not only discusses party systems, but also military institutions and the democratic transformation within Africa.
  • Theory of Comparative Political Systems (3 U.S. semester credit hours) This course aims at studying the field of comparative politics and its evolution, the methodological basis of studying political systems, the approaches used in analyzing political systems. Topics such as internal and external environments of political systems, governmental and non-governmental functions, inputs and outputs of political systems, institutions that perform functions of political systems and the assessment of their work though suitability with the environment and the effectiveness of performance, as well as the performance of political systems through public policy, and evaluating how the policy is prepared and its social impact will be examined.

Spring semester courses

  • Political Theory (3 U.S. semester credit hours) This course includes studying values in political theory, as well as discussing political values such as freedom, equality, justice and order. Political theories such as liberalism and socialism, and issues like political commitment and citizenship are also examined.
  • Diplomatic and Consular Systems (3 U.S. semester credit hours) This course includes the history of diplomacy in ancient ages (Pharaonic, Greek, Roman) moving through the medieval age and into the present. The diplomatic function (legal basis, employing heads of diplomatic missions and their members, mixed diplomacy, responsibilities of the diplomat, and the establishment and conclusion of a mission) will be covered. The course will also discuss the history of consular systems, formation of consulates, types of consuls, immunities of consulates, and the difference between consults and diplomatic representatives.


Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at Cairo University. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting an academic record query for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.


All students must take a total of 16 U.S. semester credit hours per semester. The number of classes a student takes depends on the number of U.S. semester credit hours each class is worth.

  • Arabic Language course = 4 U.S. semester credit hours
  • Economics of Egypt (core program course) = 3 U.S. semester credit hours
  • The Egyptian Political System (core program course) = 3 U.S. semester credit hours
  • Economics of Public Finance (fall only) = 3 U.S. semester credit hours
  • Economic Development (fall only) = 3 U.S. semester credit hours
  • International Economics (spring only) = 3 U.S. semester credit hours
  • Money and Banking (spring only) = 3 U.S. semester credit hours
  • Political Systems in Africa (fall only) = 3 U.S. semester credit hours
  • Theory of Comparative Political Systems (fall only) = 3 U.S. semester credit hours
  • Political Theory (spring only) = 3 U.S. semester credit hours
  • Diplomatic and Consular Systems (spring only) = 3 U.S. semester credit hours


You must take a full course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A-F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses. All students must take a total of 16 U.S. semester credit hours per semester. The number of classes a student takes depends on the number of credit hours each class is worth.

You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.


After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit and grades you earned on the Economics and Political Science program at Cairo University. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.

Academic Statement

As part of your application to the Economics and Political Science program at Cairo University, you will need to write an academic statement. A well-written academic statement can make the difference between a regular application and an incredible one. The program at Cairo University admits applicants who are driven, motivated and prepared for an academically rigorous semester. Writing a strong academic statement will strengthen your application and help differentiate you from other applicants.

Think of your statement as a college admissions essay. Your academic statement should be about 500 words and outline the reasons why you want to study on the Economics and Political Science program at Cairo University. A statement can be especially useful for providing additional information which is not immediately apparent from your transcript, but relevant to your application. You should discuss your reasons for wanting to study in Egypt and why the program at Cairo University appeals to you.

Your statement should also describe how and why a study abroad semester at Cairo University will assist you in achieving your academic, personal and professional goals. You should send your statement with the other Economics and Political Science forms found under the Forms tab. Yourapplication will not be complete until your statment has been received.


Housing Options

Cairo University does not have accommodation for study abroad students, so students on the IFSA-Butler program will be living in self-contained apartments in the Dokki area of Cairo.

All apartments are single gender, so all females and males will be housed separately in separate buildings, or on different floors of the same building.

The apartments consist of two to three double bedrooms, with a kitchen and living areas. The kitchens have adequate refrigerator and cupboard space and are fully equipped with pots, pans and other necessary utensils. All beds are twin-size, with blankets and pillows provided. Residents share bedrooms and bathrooms.

There is no meal plan for students attending Cairo University, so students will be able to cook for themselves. Local shops and grocery stores are located nearby.

IFSA-Butler housing is generally near public transportation, making commuting to campus convenient. Students are responsible for the cost of commuting and should expect a commuting time between 30 minutes to one hour from their apartment to campus.

Even though the IFSA-Butler students live together, the other apartments within the buildings are home to Egyptians and families of other nationalities. To make the most out of living in Egypt, you must be flexible. Islam and Egyptian cultural practices permeate life in Cairo. There are cultural rules that students need to follow in order for their experience to be a successful one:

  • Be prepared to give up some independence. Even though you will be living with other IFSA-Butler students, your neighbors will be Egyptian and their opinion of you will be formed by what they observe. Just as Egyptian students have curfews, IFSA-Butler students will need to also respect and abide by curfews. Students must never consume alcohol within the apartment or arrive home in an inebriated or drug-induced state. Overnight visitors, whether they are friends or family, are not permitted.
  • While smoking is still considered socially acceptable in Egypt, it is not permitted in IFSA-Butler operated apartments.
  • Learn as much about Egyptian culture as you can before you go abroad. What may seem a small thing to you could actually be something much more significant to your neighbors. Be sure to read Preparing to Study Abroad Egypt cover to cover, as well as other sources so that you learn as much as possible before arriving in Egypt.

Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.


There is no meal plan for students attending Cairo University, so students will be able to cook for themselves. The apartments all have kitchens that are fully equipped and grocery stores are located nearby.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. You will be responsible for the cost of your meals and any commuting costs you may incur.

Do I have to pay a housing deposit?
Yes. IFSA-Butler requires a refundable housing deposit of $300 before going abroad. We will return this deposit to you after March 1 for fall programs or September 1 for spring programs, less any fines, damages or outstanding debts in your name.

Will I have to commute to class?
Yes. The IFSA-Butler apartments in Cairo are approximately a 15 minute walk to Cairo University.

Can I arrange my own housing?
All students who participate on the Economics and Political Science program at Cairo University must live in IFSA-Butler arranged housing for the duration of the program.

Location Info

Population: 12 Milliion
Location: North central Egypt, along the Nile River

City features

  • One of the world's largest urban areas and a vast open-air museum of architectural treasures
  • A metropolis full of life and movement nearly 24 hours a day
  • An ideal home for the adventurous student in search of a truly urban but non-traditional study abroad experience

Do more!

  • Visit the city's ancient temples, tombs, mosques, churches and the Egyptian Antiquities Museum
  • Shop at a local souk (bazaar) or street market, or visit the famous Khan el-Khalili souk, which remains largely unchanged since the 14th century
  • Take a train to the beautiful, seaside city of Alexandria, which offers a modern taste of Egypt's illustrious history
  • Explore Islamic Cairo with all it's beautiful and historic Islamic architecture
  • Wander through Coptic Cairo and visit the Hanging Church

Bibliotecha Alexandrina
Alexandria Tourism
Lonely Planet Egypt

Dates & Fees

Program Dates


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* Date is subject to change depending on the university calendar.

Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

Program housing is available only until the date listed as “Program ends” on the calendar.

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In Egypt exams are taken under formal examination conditions, and changes cannot be made for individuals.

Program Fees

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What's included in our Egypt program fees
Expense calculator

Fall Payment Due: July 1
Spring Payment Due:
November 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for the entire program fee, which includes tuition, services and housing.

The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.

† Housing Deposit
This program requires a housing deposit of $300. This payment is in addition to the program fee but is due on the same date. The deposit is held separately from the program fee and should be paid separately. The deposit is refunded to the student after the program, less any damages, fines or outstanding debts in the student’s name.

Personal Cost Estimates

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Expense calculator


Applicants to the Economics and Political Science program at Cairo University must complete additional forms and write an Academic Statement. Information and guidelines for the Academic Statement can be found on the Academic Statement tab located under Academics. Please download, print and complete the following forms:

Please submit these forms, along with you Academic Statement, with the remainder of your IFSA-Butler application. Your forms can be sent to IFSA-Butler via email, fax or regular mail. You can track which application forms IFSA-Butler has received by logging into the Student Portal.

Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in Egypt:

altProgram Advisor David Watkins assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. David can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4229. David graduated from the University of Cincinnati with bachelor’s degrees in international affairs and political science. He studied abroad in France, Israel and the West Bank, and began a study abroad program with IFSA-Butler in Egypt during the spring of 2011. After political evacuation from Egypt, he continued his studies in Morocco. David currently advises students planning on studying abroad in England, New Zealand, Australia and the Middle East.


beckiStudent Accounts Coordinator Becki Niccum assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Becki can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 3077.




Student & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.

Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office, including our resident director. Click here to read more about Resident Director Dr. Mohamed el-Komi.

rhondaUpon return from your study abroad program, Assistant Director for Academic Affairs Rhonda Hinkle processes your Butler University transcript and assists with any academic record queries. Rhonda completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Evansville and received her master's degree from Bowling Green State University. She also has taken doctoral courses at Ball State University. For Rhonda, study abroad not only increased her awareness of the world around her but also ignited her passion for travel and education. Rhonda can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 4259.


Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program. Check out the following:
Student Network
Student Blogs
Experiences Abroad Videos
For Students

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