Abstract: The specific surface area, S, of a clay is commonly measured by the adsorption of ethylene glycol monoethyl ether (EGME); however, this method can be tedious and time consuming, especially if the clay is saturated with a monovalent, highly hydrated cation. An alternative method for measuring S was developed involving infrared internal reflectance spectroscopy. This method is based on the discovery that the ratio of R1, the reflectance of a clay-HOD mixture at the frequency of O-D stretching, to R2, the reflectance of the mixture at the frequency of H-O-D bending, is linearly related to S. The correlation coefficient between R1/R2 and S, as measured by the adsorption of EGME, was 0.995. Consequently, a calibration curve of R1/R2 versus S was constructed, and the measured values of R1/R2 for any clay-HOD mixture were referred to it for the determination of S. Results were obtained in triplicate in about an hour; hence, this method of determining S is more rapid and convenient than that involving the adsorption of EGME. Moreover, it applies to clays in a natural condition, i.e., swollen in water.