The MA program in Islamic Studies is designed to give students a foundation in the intellectual study of Islam, including but not limited to, three tracks of study that are available as options:
Sexuality, Gender and Feminist Studies in Islam
Environmental Studies in Islam
The program as a whole is oriented toward an analysis of contemporary debates and issues concerning Muslims globally. Students will also be trained to address the relation of Islam to other religions through comparative courses in Christianity and Judaism. All students must pass a course or exam in intermediate Arabic to meet the primary text language requirement.
An MA in Islamic studies is valuable on several fronts: finding a job (e.g., State Department; International Corporations; Media Outlets; Non-Profit Work) or an internship (in any of the aforementioned sectors) in the greater Los Angeles area or beyond. Also, the degree will provide excellent preparation for a PhD in Islamic Studies or for PhDs in other disciplinary areas, including but not limited to the study of religion (history of religions, comparative religions, theology) and doctoral programs in history, politics, economics, linguistics, communications, and anthropology.
The Religion department has established connections with several colleges in the area, including the other members of the Claremont Colleges as well as Zaytuna College. Please see below for accelerated degree options available to students enrolled at these colleges. The department also has connections with international universities, including Al-Azhar University in Egypt. Arrangements may be made to study at other universities as well.
Financial aid is available for qualified students.
Students can complete the MA in Islamic Studies in 2 years of full-time study (12 units per semester), but the department also welcomes students seeking part-time study (4 to 8 units per semester). Requirements are as follows:
48 units of approved coursework are required for the degree including:
28 units of required courses: “Theories of Religion,” “Introduction to Islamic Studies,” “Classical Arabic Literature and the Qur'an,” “Islamic Cosmology & Mysticism,” “Feminism and Qur’anic Studies,” and two other approved courses on Islam.
8 units of comparative courses
Competency in intermediate Arabic (students may complete intermediate Arabic courses at other institutions and transfer in up to 10 units to fulfill this requirement OR students must pass a translation exam administered by the School of Arts & Humanities to fulfill the requirement). For more information about Arabic courses and/or the language exam, see www.cgu.edu/sah/languageexam.
Research Tool - fulfilled by passing a foreign language translation exam administered by the School of Arts & Humanities (for more information about the language exam, see www.cgu.edu/sah/languageexam), or, with advisor approval, the Research Tool may be fulfilled by completing an approved research methods course
Accelerated MA: Undergraduate students enrolled at any of the Claremont Colleges or at Zaytuna College may choose to pursue an accelerated MA in Islamic Studies which can be completed in only one year after completing a BA degree. Click here for more information about this option.
Dual Degree: Students may elect to pursue a MA in Islamic Studies in conjunction with another degree program at CGU. Upon completion of the requirements for each degree, the student will receive a diploma for that degree. In a dual degree program, upon advisor approval students may “double-count” a certain number of units for each program toward the other degree program, thus decreasing the total amount of units required for both programs. Interested students must be admitted to each program and outline their plan of study in order to pursue a dual degree. Click here for more information about Dual Degrees at CGU.